This article summarises the history of cinnabar, from its first uses in burials to modern oils on canvas. After a brief introduction on mercury and contamination issues, the article gets to the heart of the topic. First, mercury-based minerals significant for studying pigments, i.e. cinnabar, metacinnabar, hypercinnabar and calomel, are presented. Structural information and properties precede an overview of the geographic distribution of cinnabar deposits. The following section addresses the multiple uses of cinnabar, divided into funerary use, decorative use, lustre and Chinese lacquer production. The use of cinnabar for writing (ink), medicine and cosmetics is briefly described, and a shortlist of uncommon finds is further provided. The following section approaches inherent but less known topics such as cinnabar procurement, trade, production technology, application and alteration. An entire section is dedicated to calomel before concluding with an overview of the analytical methods for the characterisation and provenance investigation of cinnabar.

Pigments — Mercury-based red (cinnabar-vermilion) and white (calomel) and their degradation products / Elisabetta Gliozzo. - In: ARCHAEOLOGICAL AND ANTHROPOLOGICAL SCIENCES. - ISSN 1866-9557. - STAMPA. - 13:(2021), pp. 210.1-210.53. [10.1007/s12520-021-01402-4]

Pigments — Mercury-based red (cinnabar-vermilion) and white (calomel) and their degradation products

Elisabetta Gliozzo
Writing – Original Draft Preparation
2021

Abstract

This article summarises the history of cinnabar, from its first uses in burials to modern oils on canvas. After a brief introduction on mercury and contamination issues, the article gets to the heart of the topic. First, mercury-based minerals significant for studying pigments, i.e. cinnabar, metacinnabar, hypercinnabar and calomel, are presented. Structural information and properties precede an overview of the geographic distribution of cinnabar deposits. The following section addresses the multiple uses of cinnabar, divided into funerary use, decorative use, lustre and Chinese lacquer production. The use of cinnabar for writing (ink), medicine and cosmetics is briefly described, and a shortlist of uncommon finds is further provided. The following section approaches inherent but less known topics such as cinnabar procurement, trade, production technology, application and alteration. An entire section is dedicated to calomel before concluding with an overview of the analytical methods for the characterisation and provenance investigation of cinnabar.
2021
13
1
53
Elisabetta Gliozzo
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Descrizione: Gliozzo, E. 2021. Pigments — Mercury-based red (cinnabar-vermilion) and white (calomel) and their degradation products. Archaeological and Anthropological Sciences 13:210. DOI:10.1007/s12520-021-01402-4
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Utilizza questo identificatore per citare o creare un link a questa risorsa: https://hdl.handle.net/2158/1346784
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