The Primer of Claude of France

'Artificial orpiment'

Artists' Materials

To date, this unusual, glass-based pigment has only been identified in one other manuscript painted in Rome or Bologna around the same time as this Primer: Fitzwilliam Museum, Marlay cutting It. 25.

The ochre-coloured clothing of the man refusing Mary and Joseph lodging, in the lower right scene, was painted with ‘artificial orpiment’, an unusual pigment which the artist utilised alongside the more common lead-tin yellow.