Orpiment 10g

In stock

A yellow arsenic sulfide, a rare mineral usually described as a lemon or canary yellow or sometimes as a golden or brownish yellow. Our orpiment is an intensely bright pigment of crystalline particles from Kyrgyzstan. Learn more.

WARNING! CONTAINS ARSENIC. Please read the MSDS for cautionary statements.

Orpiment is yellow arsenic sulfide, usually described as a lemon or canary yellow or sometimes as a golden or brownish-yellow. It is designated as brilliant yellow in Munsell notation 4.4Y 8.7/8.9. Our orpiment is made from natural mineral sources near Kadamdzhay in Kyrgyzstan and is an intensely bright pigment of crystalline particles.

Pigment Names
Mineral Names:Chinese: ci huang or shi huang (pinyin), tz'u huang or shih huang
English: orpiment
French: orpiment
German: Rauschgelb, Operment
Italian: orpimento
Japanese: shiō, kiō, sekiō
Russian: аурипигмент
Spanish: oropimente
Artificial Pigment Names:English: king's yellow
French: juane royal, orpin artificiel
German: Königsgelb
Russian: желтый мышьяк
Synonyms:English: arrhenicum, arsenic trisulfide, arsenikon, auripigment, auripigmento, auripigmentum, jalde, operment, oropiment, yellow arsenic
French: arsenic jaune, arsenic sulfuré jaune
German: Arsenblende, Arsenikon, Auripigment, Gelbe Arsenblende
Greek: Αρρενικόν Αρδενικόν
Latin: arsenicum flavum, auripigmentum

Origin and History

It is a historical pigment having been identified on ancient Egyptian objects and paintings from the thirty-first to the sixth century B.C. It is mentioned in Greek and Roman literary sources. The Hellenistic Leyden papyrus described its use for late Egyptian painting, as does the Mappae Clavicula for early medieval painting. The pigment has been described in various other medieval manuscripts dating from the 12th to the 15th centuries.


Orpiment is a rare mineral that usually forms with realgar. In fact, the two minerals are almost always together. Crystals of orpiment are extremely rare as it usually forms masses and crusts. The masses are sometimes transparent to a degree and have a gemmy quality to them. The yellow color is special to orpiment and can be confused only with a few other minerals. Orpiment is derived from the Latin auripigmentum, or "golden pigment." The largest quantities of orpiment were found in Turkish Kurdistan (Julamerk), and in the Russian republic Georgia. The orpiment in Italian painting often came from the fumaroles of mount Vesuvius and from the Campi Flegrei in Tuscany. Since the later Middle Ages, the pigment was also artificially made. This pigment would most likely be the result of sublimation of arsenic, or arsenic oxide, and orpiment with and without the addition of sulfur. Notable occurrences of orpiment are found today in Kyrgyzstan; Romania; Peru; Japan; Utah, USA; and Australia.

Permanence and Compatibility

Early authorities usually described orpiment as fading readily, or at least to some degree on exposure to light. It is said to be incompatible with lead- or copper-containing pigments. Molart studied the mechanisms of deterioration in orpiment. Several medieval painting guides do not recommend mixing orpiment with lead white, red lead, or verdigris. However, it must also be noted that it has been identified in paintings mixed with indigo, red iron oxide, azurite, Prussian blue, green bice (artificial malachite), and bice (smalt). It cannot be applied to wet plaster, and hence is not recommended in wet fresco painting techniques.

Oil Absorption and Grinding

No data has been published on the oil absorption properties of orpiment. It is difficult to grind because of its micaceous structure. For this reason, it is often quite coarse. It has been suggested to add ground glass to the pigment to facilitate grinding and dispersion in linseed oil.


The toxicity of arsenic sulfide pigments has been known for years. Extreme caution must be used when handling the dry orpiment pigment, as well as in any soluble form, to avoid inhaling the dust or ingesting it.

Pigment: Orpiment

Rublev Colours Pigment: Orpiment

Pigment Information
Colour Index:Pigment Yellow 39 (77085, 77086)
Chemical Name:Arsenic Sulfide
Chemical Formula:As2S3
ASTM Lightfastness Rating
Acrylic:Not Rated
Oil:Not Rated
Watercolor:Not Rated
Density:3.49 g/cm3
Hardness (Mohs):1.5–2.0
Refractive Index:nα = 2.400 nβ = 2.810 nγ = 3.020
More Information
BrandRublev Colours
VendorNatural Pigments
Processing TimeUsually ships the next business day.
Size10 g jar

California Proposition 65: This product contains a chemical known to the State of California to cause cancer and birth defects or other reproductive harm.

Hazard Pictograms

Danger MarkEnvironment

Signal Word: Danger

Hazard Designation:

H331: Toxic if inhaled

H334: May cause allergy or asthma symptoms or breathing difficulties if inhaled

H340: May cause genetic defects

H350: May cause cancer

H360: May damage fertility or the unborn child

H362: May cause harm to breast-fed children

H370: Causes damage to organs

H372: Causes damage to organs through prolonged or repeated exposure

H410: Very toxic to aquatic life with long lasting effects

Precautionary Statements:

P261: Avoid breathing dust//mist/spray.

P262: Do not get in eyes, on skin, or on clothing.

P263: Avoid contact during pregnancy/while nursing.

P264: Wash hands thoroughly after handling.

P264: Wash skin thoroughly after handling.

P270: Do not eat, drink or smoke when using this product.

P271: Use only outdoors or in a well-ventilated area.

P272: Contaminated work clothing should not be allowed out of the workplace.

P273: Avoid release to the environment.

P280: Wear protective gloves/protective clothing/eye protection/face protection.

P281: Use personal protective equipment as required.

P284: Wear respiratory protection.

P285: In case of inadequate ventilation wear respiratory protection.

P301 + P310-P311: IF SWALLOWED: Immediately call a POISON CENTER or doctor/physician.

P501: Dispose of contents/container in accordance with local and national regulations.

Personal Protective Equipment:

Dust mask type N95 (US), Eyeshields, Faceshields, Gloves, type P2 (EN 143) respirator cartridges

You may also be interested in

Here are items you recently viewed during your visit of Natural Pigments Recently Viewed
No recently views items
Clear All
Orpiment 10g
Copyright © 2024-present Natural Pigments, Inc. All rights reserved.