• [7] The Dutch artist Johannes Vermeer used umber to create shadows on whitewashed walls that were warmer and more harmonious than those created with black pigment.

  • History Umber was one of the first pigments used by humans; it is found along with carbon black, red and yellow ocher in cave paintings from the Neolithic period.

  • Use in art • The Italian baroque painter Caravaggio used umber to create the darkness in his chiaroscuro (“light-dark”) style of painting.

  • [3] Dark brown pigments were rarely used in Medieval art; artists of that period preferred bright, distinct colors such as red, blue and green.

  • Vermeer used umber for the shadows on the whitewashed walls, since they were warmer than those made with black.

  • [6] The great age of umber was the baroque period, where it often provided the dark shades in the chiaroscuro (light-dark) style of painting.

  • Pigments containing the natural umber earths are typically identified by the Color Index Generic Name, PBr7 (Pigment brown 7).

  • Rembrandt used umbers to create his rich and complex browns, as a ground, and to speed the drying of his paintings.

  • [3] The first recorded use of burnt umber as a color name in English was in 1650.

  • • The presence of a large amount of manganese makes umber earth colors darker than ochre or sienna.


Works Cited

[‘• Roelofs, Isabelle; Petillion, Fabien (2012). La couleur expliquée aux artistes. Editions Eyrolles. ISBN 978-2-212-13486-5.
• Ball, Philip (2001). Histoire vivante des couleurs. Paris: Hazan Publishers. ISBN 978-2-754105-033.
• Thompson, Daniel
V. (1956). The Materials and Techniques of Medieval Painting. Dover. ISBN 0-486-20327-1.
• “Umber / #635147 hex color”. ColorHexa. Retrieved 2021-11-12.
• ^ Jump up to:a b Shorter Oxford English Dictionary (5th ed.). Oxford University Press.
2002. A red brown earth containing iron and manganese oxides and darker than ochre and sienna, used to make various pigments.
• ^ Jump up to:a b c d e St. Clair, Kassia (2016). The Secret Lives of Colour. London: John Murray. p. 250–252. ISBN 9781473630819.
OCLC 936144129.
• ^ Roelofs & Petillion 2012, p. 30
• ^ Jump up to:a b c St. Clair 2016, p. 237.
• ^ Thompson 1956, pp. 88–89
• ^ “Umber”. Pigments through the Ages. WebExhibits.
• ^ “Industrialization”. Pigments through the ages. WebExhibits.
• ^
Maerz and Paul A Dictionary of Color New York:1930 McGraw-Hill Page 191; Color Sample of Burnt Umber: Page 53 Plate 15 Color Sample A12
Photo credit:’]