"Red ochers are among the most widely used pigments. They can be traced back to the earliest cave paintings. Red ocher can be found in natural form in volcanic regions or can be produced by heating yellow ocher. There are many variations or red ocher: a light, warn tone is Venetian Red, darker, more cool-toned purple versions is called Indian Red, or Caput Mortuum. The choicest source for red ochre in classical antiquity was known as Pontus Euxinus, from the Pontine city of Sinope, according to Pliny. The coloring agent of al these pigments is iron oxide. Although there are many shades of red ocher they all appear subdued when compared to vermillion. Red ocher is very opaque and absorbs much oil. Medieval and Renaissance painters used red ocher for fresco, tempera and oil painting. It was also used for drawing. It mixes well with other colors and produces a great variety of natural shades" (


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