Indian red

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Indian red


Indian red at 100x (visible light left; UV light right)

The name used for a synthetically produced brick red color iron oxide artists' pigment. Originally, the name Indian red was used for red earth pigments imported from the Persian Gulf and India. In the early 18th century, a synthetic Indian red composed of pure ferric oxide was made from steel mill wastes. It is a dense, opaque, permanent pigment. In the late 20th century, Crayola began using the name 'chestnut' for the crayon color previously name 'Indian red'.

Synonyms and Related Terms

Pigment Red 101; Indischrot (Deut.); rouge indien (Fr.); rojo indio (Esp.); indiko kokkino (Gr.); rosso indiano (It.); rode oker (Ned.); India red; Venetian red; red iron oxide; colcothar; Pompeian red; light red; roofers red; iron saffron; chestnut (Crayola name)








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No known hazards.

Resources and Citations

  • R. J. Gettens, G.L. Stout, Painting Materials, A Short Encyclopaedia, Dover Publications, New York, 1966
  • Thomas Gregory, The Condensed Chemical Dictionary, Reinhold Publishing, New York, 3rd ed., 1942
  • Ralph Mayer, A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques, Harper and Row Publishers, New York, 1969 (also 1945 printing)
  • Michael McCann, Artist Beware, Watson-Guptill Publications, New York City, 1979
  • R.D. Harley, Artists' Pigments c. 1600-1835, Butterworth Scientific, London, 1982
  • Matt Roberts, Don Etherington, Bookbinding and the Conservation of Books: a Dictionary of Descriptive Terminology, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington DC, 1982
  • Dictionary of Building Preservation, Ward Bucher, ed., John Wiley & Sons, Inc., New York City, 1996
  • Monona Rossol, The Artist's Complete Health and Safety Guide, Allworth Press, New York, 1994