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Alchemy discussion forum > Bibliography > Articles on alchemy > The alchemy of red mercury sulphide

The alchemy of red mercury sulphide
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Paul Ferguson

Joined: Fri Feb 15th, 2008
Posts: 1527
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 Posted: Mon Jan 13th, 2014 10:42 pm
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"Vermilion red, mercury sulphide (α-HgS), was one of the most important reds in art and its use as a pigment dates back to Antiquity. In medieval Europe, it could be mined as cinnabar, or produced as vermilion by heating mercury with sulphur. This work aims to study the production of synthetic vermilion as a medieval pigment and to confirm which was the source (mineral or artificial) of the reds used in Portuguese medieval illuminations. The production of synthetic vermilion was based on the process described in the Judaeo-Portuguese medieval treatise “The book on how to make colours”, using materials and technologies as close as possible to the medieval ones."

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