Cobalt yellow

/ ko • bawlt   yel • low /

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History of Cobalt yellow:

Although little is recorded on the history of cobalt yellow (or Aureolin), all sources cited credit the discovery of this potassium and cobalt compound to N. W. Fischer in Breslau in 1848. Gettens and Stout cite J. G. Bearn (The Chemistry of Paints, Pigments and Varnishes, London, 1932) for the method of manufacturing cobalt yellow. It was first introduced as a pigment for artists' use by Saint-Evre, Paris in 1852.

Laurie and Blockx consider cobalt yellow chemically illogical for a permanent pigment. Laurie, however, refers to tests made by Captain Abney and Professor Russell who showed that it was reliable in watercolor. Blockx tested it in 1879 and by the time his book was published in 1910, he found that it withstood strong sunlight. He added that it must be carefully manufactured or it will brown in oil. He considered it the only color that could reasonably replace Indian yellow. It was known for its good mixing quality with all other pigments and for particularly good tints in watercolor.

When was Cobalt yellow used?

Discovery Used until
1852 continues in use

Use of Cobalt yellow among paintings in the SchackGallery, Munich:


Source: Kühn