Rose Madder Genuine

Color Week 45 is about a ‘Genuine’ color. After much research I have discovered that a color has the designation genuine when the ‘original’ recipe is used in production. That is the case with Rose Madder Genuine discussed in this post. Permanent is the designation when the recipe is reworked as in Rose Madder Permanent. An excellent 2 minute clip from Winsor & Newton (WN) ‘masterclass’ is provided here as an overview of the rose madder genuine color. Only WN makes this original recipe color.

Madder has been cultivated as a dyestuff since antiquity in Central Asia and Egypt where it was grown as early as 1500 BC. Madder traces have been found in the tomb of Tutankhamun, in ancient Greece and in the ruins of Pompeii.

Natural rose madder supplied half the world with red until 1868 when madder was replaced by alizarin because it could be manufactured at a fraction of the cost.

Winsor & Newton Rose Madder Genuine is extracted from the roots of the common plant Rubia tinctorum using the original recipe, including the addition of Bergamot oil because rose madder ‘stinks’.

Winsor & Newton

Here are some examples of watercolor WN Rose Madder Genuine … and yes it does have a lovely light fragrance of bergamot!

Blush pink. Fugitive pigment. Shown here compared to other reds on my palette.

Fun Note: Winsor & Newton also makes brushes, the most notable ‘Series 7’. WN started to make the brushes at the request of Queen Victoria. The naming Series 7 was homage to Queen Victoria as her favorite number was 7.

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