Lime white

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Brief description of Lime white:

Lime white consists of two kind of pigments, Chalk and Bianco San Giovanni


White pigment of limited hiding power, mainly used for painting grounds. It is stable under ordinary conditions. It is known from prehistory and is used until today. It is a calcium carbonate, calcite.

Bianco di San Giovanni

Bianco di San Giovanni is a special kind of lime white pigment first described in literature by Cennino Cennini. Not to be confused with simple chalk, Bianco di San Giovanni, as Cennino Cennini reports, is dried lime which is reduced to powder and then immersed in the water for eight days that is changed each day. It is then made into small cakes that are left to dry in the sun. Therefore Bianco di san Giovanni is calcium carbonate plus calcium hydroxide.

Names for Lime white:

Alternative names: chalk, bianco san giovanni
Word origin: The name "Lime white" comes from  .
Non-English names:
German French Italian
Kreide craie Bianco San giovanni
Origin: artificial
Chemical name:

calcium carbonate (chalk)

calcium carbonate + calcium hydroxide (bianco San Giovanni)


Example of use by artists:

Fresco: painting onto a lime white ocean

Frescoes are made of three layers: the support (commonly a brick wall); arriccio (the preliminary layer of lime plaster with sand spread on the masonry); and intonaco (top layer lime plaster). Pigments are painted on this outter layer of lime still wet.