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Sinopia: Wikis


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Sinopia is a reddish-brown ocher-like earth color pigment used in traditional oil painting. It is used for the cartoon or underpainting for a fresco. It is composed of iron oxides, from a kind of clay or quartz called sinople.

Sinopia was written about by Cennino Cennini in "Il Livro del Arte" in the 15th century and described as, "A natural color known as sinoper, or porphyry, is red; and this color is lean and dry in character. It stands working up well; for the more it is worked up, the finer it becomes. It is good for use on panel or anconas, or on the wall, in fresco or in secco..." Cennini follows this discussion with a look at a special kind of sinopia used in Florence for painting flesh colors.

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