Cobalt green

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Cobalt green


Cobalt green

A composite green pigment composed of cobalt and zinc oxides that have been calcined together. First developed in 1780 by Sven Rinman, a Swedish chemist, cobalt green, or Rinman's green, was not sold as an artists pigment in 1835. Cobalt green is a permanent, bright, bluish-green pigment. It is a good drier in oil paints but has low tinctorial power. The name cobalt green has also been used for some commercial paints that have a mixture of Cobalt blue and Chrome yellow.



Synonyms and Related Terms

Pigment Green 19; CI 77335; verde cobalto (Esp.); Kobaltgrün (Deut.); Rinmansgrün (Deut.); vert de cobalt (Fr.); prasino toy kobaltioy (Gr.); verde di cobalto (It.); verde di zinco (It.); cobaltgroen (Ned.); verde de cobalto (Port.); zinc green (incorrect); Rinman's green; Rinmann's green; Saxony green; Swedish green; smalt green; Gellert green;


  • Skin contact may cause allergies, especially on elbows, neck and ankles.
  • Chronic inhalation may cause asthma.
  • Ingestion may cause vomiting, diarrhea and the sensation of hotness.
  • Kremer-Pigmente: SDS

Physical and Chemical Properties

  • Fine, regular, rounded, transparent particles.
  • Bright green in transmitted light.
  • Highly refraction.
  • High birefringence.
  • Resistant to alkalis.
  • Slightly soluble in acids producing a pale pink solution.
Composition CoO-ZnO
Refractive Index 1.94-2.0

Resources and Citations

  • R. J. Gettens, G.L. Stout, Painting Materials, A Short Encyclopaedia, Dover Publications, New York, 1966 Comment: p. 109
  • Ralph Mayer, A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques, Harper and Row Publishers, New York, 1969 (also 1945 printing)
  • Dictionary of Building Preservation, Ward Bucher, ed., John Wiley & Sons, Inc., New York City, 1996
  • Reed Kay, The Painter's Guide To Studio Methods and Materials, Prentice-Hall, Inc., Englewood Cliffs, NJ, 1983
  • Michael McCann, Artist Beware, Watson-Guptill Publications, New York City, 1979
  • R.D. Harley, Artists' Pigments c. 1600-1835, Butterworth Scientific, London, 1982
  • Thomas B. Brill, Light Its Interaction with Art and Antiquities, Plenum Press, New York City, 1980
  • David Bomford, Jo Kirby, John Leighton, Ashok Roy, Art in the Making:Impressionism, National Gallery, London, 1990
  • Susan E. Schur, Conservation Terminology: A review of Past & Current Nomenclature of Materials, Technology and Conservation, Spring (p.34-39); Summer (p.35-38); Fall (p.25-36), 1985
  • Monona Rossol, The Artist's Complete Health and Safety Guide, Allworth Press, New York, 1994
  • Random House, Webster's Encyclopedic Unabridged Dictionary of the English Language, Grammercy Book, New York, 1997