Venetian Red is a pure iron oxide with real wow factor. It gets its name because the natural iron oxide deposits inland from Venice were this color which was midway between the deeper violet iron oxides found near Pozzuoli and the common red oxides found elsewhere. It has the unusual property of having a relatively warm mass tone and a comparatively cool undertone and this makes it perfect for making pinks of great character. Because it is not quite so opaque as the standard Red Oxide the undertone gets a chance to really shine. The Venetian painters used this color with flair and particularly as a result of Titian’s usage of it, it became a famous color throughout Italy. There is a pit outside Venice that claims to be the same one that Titian used to source his pigment. They still dig and sell the pigment in small quantities but the deposits are too small for any large scale production. Instead industrial production has moved to other sources in the Venice region. because of the variability in quality that is inevitable with natural ochre production, most artist paint manufacturers now use the synthetic version which is more reliable and a more pure red than the natural oxides. It is one of the most permanent colors on the palette and retains its permanence even in the lightest tints. Incidentally this same dark red iron oxide was given various names at different times and in different places but essentially the traditional names such as English red and Indian red represent colors in this same color range and the names are virtually interchangeable, however the Venetian Red name appears to be older and has always been associated with the very finest grades of the pigment.
Chemical Description: Synthetic Iron oxide
Pigment Number: PR101
Lightfastness Rating: ASTM I
Pigment Opacity: Semi-Transparent
Paint Opacity: Semi-Transparent