Old Masters Academy

The Old Masters: Velázquez’s Palette

The Old Masters: Velázquez’s Palette

The Old Masters:

Velázquez’s Palette


Diego Rodríguez de Silva y Velázquez was a Spanish painter who was the leading artist in the court of King Philip IV.


According to Carmen Garrido, Head of Technical Services at the Prado Museum in Madrid and author of Velázquez: Tecnica y Evolución, Velázquez’s palette consisted of the following colors:


WHITE: composed of lead white and calcite
YELLOW: yellow iron oxide, lead-tin yellow, and Naples yellow (the latter, sparingly)
ORANGE: orange iron oxide and vermilion of mercury
RED: red iron oxide, vermilion of mercury, and organic red lake
BLUE: azurite, lapis lazuli, and smalt
BROWN: brown iron oxide and manganese oxide
BLACK: organic black of vegetal or animal origin
GREEN: azurite, iron oxide, and lead-tin yellow
PURPLE: organic red lake and azurite

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