Cadmium yellow/red

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History of Cadmium yellow/red:

Stromeyer discovered metallic cadmium in 1817 but production of the cadmium pigments was delayed until about 1820 because of the scarcity of the metal. A natural mineral, greenochite, is known in nature but was not used for pigments. Cadmium sulfide was prepared with an acid solution of cadmium salt (either chloride or sulfate) which was heated with hydrogen sulfide gas until a powder was formed. Hues ranging from a lemon yellow to a deep orange were made in this way.

The deeper varieties of cadmium yellow and orange were the most permanent. The paler varieties were known to fade on exposure to sunlight. All of the cadmiums were brilliant and the deeper shades had the greatest tinting strength. Field claimed that the best cadmiums were those produced without an excess of sulfur and that the permanence of a carefully made cadmium was improved when mixed with lead white using only an ivory knife. They were used in both oil and watercolor but could not be mixed with copper-based pigments.

A cadmium red was available as a commercial product from 1919. Cadmium pigments were used sparingly due to the scarcity of cadmium metal and therefore because was more expansive. 

When was Cadmium yellow/red used?

Discovery Used until

1820 (cadmium yellow)

1919 (cadmium red)

continues in use

continues in use

Use of Cadmium yellow/red among paintings in the SchackGallery, Munich:

Source: Kühn

Other browns
(intro) - Umber - Van Dyke brown