Manganese violet

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A synthetic pigment composed of a double salt of phosphoric acid with manganese and ammonium. Manganese violet was first introduced in Germany in 1868 as Nuernberg violet. By 1890 it was commercially available in England from Winsor & Newton. It has a deep rich violet hue but has poor hiding power and has not been widely used. Manganese violet is lightfast and can be used in all techniques except for fresco.

Synonyms and Related Terms

manganese ammonium phosphate; Pigment Violet 16; CI 77742; manganviolet; Manganviolett (Deut.); violet de manganèse (Fr.); violeta de manganeso (Esp.); iodes toy magganioy (Gr.); violetto di manganese (It.); violetto minerale (It.); mangaan violet (Ned.); violeta de manganês (Port.); mineral violet; permanent violet; Nuernberg violet; Nurnberg violet; Nuremberg violet; burgundy violet; fast violet; permanent mauve


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

Physical and Chemical Properties

  • Decomposed by strong acids and bases. Insoluble in water.
  • Low birefringence.
  • ASTM lightfastness=1
Composition (NH4)2Mn2(P2O7)2
CAS 10101-66-3
Refractive Index 1.67; 1.75; 1.72

Resources and Citations

  • 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
  • Ralph Mayer, A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques, Harper and Row Publishers, New York, 1969 (also 1945 printing)
  • M. Doerner, The Materials of the Artist, Harcourt, Brace & Co., 1934
  • Reed Kay, The Painter's Guide To Studio Methods and Materials, Prentice-Hall, Inc., Englewood Cliffs, NJ, 1983