Manganese blue

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A synthetic green-blue pigment made by fixing barium manganate on a Barium sulfate base. Manganese blue was first discovered in 1907 but not patented until 1935. It is an inert pigment that can range in color from a clear azure blue to a bright emerald green (manganese green). Manganese blue accelerates the drying of oil paints but has poor tinting strength. It has been used most frequently for tinting cement.

Synonyms and Related Terms

Pigment Blue 33; CI 77112; barium manganate blue; bleu de manganèse (Fr.); Manganblau (Deut.); azul de manganeso (Esp.); mple toy magganioy (Gr.); blu di manganese (It.); mangaanblauw (Ned.); azul de manganês (Port.); manganese green; Cassel green


  • Toxic.
  • Inhalation or ingestion of manganese can cause a nervous system disorder.
  • ThermoFisher: SDS

Physical and Chemical Properties

  • Insoluble in water. Unaffected by acids or alkalis.
  • Chemically inert.
  • Rectangular particles with rounded edges.
  • Strongly pleochroic from dark to pale turquoise.
  • Strong birefringence under crossed polars.
Composition BaMnO4-BaSO4
Density 4.85 g/ml
Refractive Index ~1.65


Characteristics of Common Blue Pigments

Resources and Citations

  • Keijzer "A Brief Survey of the Synthetic Inorganic Artists' Pigments Discovered in the 20th Century" ICOM Preprints, Dresden 1990 p. 214-219.
  • Nicholas Eastaugh, Valentine Walsh, Tracey Chaplin, Ruth Siddall, Pigment Compendium, Elsevier Butterworth-Heinemann, Oxford, 2004
  • The Dictionary of Art, Grove's Dictionaries Inc., New York, 1996 Comment: 'Pigment'
  • R. J. Gettens, G.L. Stout, Painting Materials, A Short Encyclopaedia, Dover Publications, New York, 1966 Comment: first mentioned in patent literature in 1935
  • Reed Kay, The Painter's Guide To Studio Methods and Materials, Prentice-Hall, Inc., Englewood Cliffs, NJ, 1983
  • Ralph Mayer, A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques, Harper and Row Publishers, New York, 1969 (also 1945 printing)
  • Richard S. Lewis, Hawley's Condensed Chemical Dictionary, Van Nostrand Reinhold, New York, 10th ed., 1993
  • Michael McCann, Artist Beware, Watson-Guptill Publications, New York City, 1979