Orpiment, genuine


100 g (jar) – 171,39 €

1673,91 € / 1 kg

175 µ, containing arsenic, toxic, Kings Yellow




  • Chemical composition: yellow sulphide of arsenic As2S3
    The origin of the modern name is derived from the Latin term auripigmentum or auripigmento, literally meaning gold
    paint. Orpiment was once widely used, particularly in the East, but has now fallen into disuse because of its limited
    supply and because of its poisonous character.
    The principal sources in ancient times appear to have been in Hungary, Macedonia, Asia Minor and perhaps in various
    parts of Central Asia. There was a large deposit near Julamerk in Kurdistan. Current deposits of orpiment are in
    Romania, Hungary, Germany, Greece, France, Italy, Iran, Peru, China, Japan and the western United States. Orpiment
    occurs as a low temperature product in hydrothermal veins, as a volcanic sublimation product, as a hot spring deposit
    and in fire mines. It is often associated with stibnite, pyrite, realgar, calcite and gypsum. Orpiment occurs in many
    places but not in large quantities.
    Orpiment is usually described as a lemon or canary yellow or sometimes as a golden or brownish yellow with a fair
    covering power. Microscopically, orpiment is crystalline and may contain orange-red particles of realgar, to which it is
    closely related. The larger particles glisten by reflected light and have a waxy-looking surface. The toxicity of the
    arsenic sulfide pigments has been known since early times. The toxic properties of orpiment have been used to
    advantage to repel insects.
    Orpiment is said to be incompatible with lead- or copper-containing pigments. Orpiment is not stable in lime and
    therefore can not be used for fresco, a fact noted by Cennino Cennini inn the fifteenth century. A mixture of orpiment
    and indigo to produce green was known to an eleventh-century Arab writer and Cennini also noted this mixture.
    Tintoretto (Jacopo Robusti) and other Venetian painters of the sixteenth-century made extensive use of both orpiment
    and realgar on their paintings. They were used in their pure form or mixed with each other to obtain vivid color effects.
    Orpiment can be made artificially by sublimation. This is a process in which sulfur and arsenic are fused to produce
    artificial “dry-process” orpiment. Our supply of orpiment is from the natural mineral and is prepared by grinding,
    sieving and levigation.