Stil de grain yellow

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Stil de grain yellow
About these coordinates     Color coordinates
Hex triplet#FADA5E
sRGBB  (rgb)(250, 218, 94)
CMYKH   (c, m, y, k)(0, 13, 62, 2)
HSV       (h, s, v)(48°, 62%, 98[1]%)
B: Normalized to [0–255] (byte)
H: Normalized to [0–100] (hundred)

Stil de grain yellow is a pigment traditionally derived from unripe buckthorn berries. An archaic name for this color, used in the 17th century, is pinke.

It is also known as sap green, although in contemporary art supplies the term sap green often indicates a mixture intending to resemble the traditional Sap Green or Stil de grain yellow. Contemporary oil colors often use coal tar lakes as a substitute.[2] Golden Fluid Acrylics have included 'sap green' in their new line of 'historical colors'. It is a mixture consisting of: synthetic iron oxide, nickel complex azo, brominated and chlorinated copper phthalocyanine and nearly pure amorphous carbon.[3]

Traditional Sap Green is made both from ripe and unripe buckthorn berries, and prepared in different ways. Berry harvest time, varietal, preparation method and time period of use have a lot to do with the common name used to refer to that particular hue, color, recipe or chemical composition.

The unripe buckthorn berries are also called Rhamni Immaturi. The color it produces is dark brown in its dense form, and turns to a bright yellow in a thin layer. It has a low lightfastness rating of about 4.[4]

Sap green, ripe buckthorn berry, is made from ripe berries that are also called Rhamni Maturi, species Rhamnus, grown in the Near East, although the color can also be made from European varieties of this berry, such as those from Avignon or Persian Berry. This version is also commonly referred to as yellow madder, stil de grain, yellow lake pigment, Dutch pink, brown pink and English pink. This color is not permanent and was often used for decorative painting.[5]

This color is also known as Persian Berries Lake, yellow berries and buckthorn berries. These names refer to the entire color family, whose principal coloring agent is rhamnetin, C16H12O7.[2] Extracting the coloring principle through boiling water, allows one to add different mordants, such as alum or soda, each resulting in a different hue of this color.

Most often in when called sap green the color is in the form of a dyestuff, either from direct berry juice of that of a lake, precipitated with alum.[6] In lake form, this color is considered to fade rapidly.[7]

It was enjoyed widely in the 18th century in France and England.[8]

For use in medieval manuscripts, the color was sold in dried sheep bladders in a liquid form that resembled a dense syrup, instead of being dried and sold as powder.[9]

Although it is used widely by name, it is rare to find a pre-made fine artist product that contains this pure pigment. Berries, ripe or unripe, as well as different versions of the lake are obtainable in powdered pigment form, although it is costly[4] compared to its substitutes. It is fugitive and therefore not ideally suited for oil color, but has survived well in manuscript form due to the natural protections from light and moisture that a book offers.

Stil de grain yellow is a yellow pigment made from the yellow berries (Persian berries) of the Italian Buckthorn bush, species Rhamnus saxatalis.[10][11]

The first recorded use of pinke as a color name in English for this yellow pigment was in 1598.[12] The names stil de grain yellow and yellow madder came into use as the name for this yellow pigment in the early to mid-18th century, replacing the former name pinke.[13]

The source of this color is: ISCC-NBS Dictionary of Color Names (1955)--Color Sample of Stil de Grain Yellow (color sample #83).

Stil de grain yellow in human culture[edit]


  • In the 17th century, the word pink or pinke was used to describe a yellowish pigment, which was mixed with blue colors to yield greenish colors. Thomas Jenner's A Book of Drawing, Limning, Washing (1652) categorizes "Pink & blew bice" amongst the greens (p. 38),[14] and specifies several admixtures of greenish colors made with pink—e.g. "Grasse-green is made of Pink and Bice, it is shadowed with Indigo and Pink ... French-green of Pink and Indico [shadowed with] Indico" (pp. 38–40). In William Salmon's Polygraphice (1673), "Pink yellow" is mentioned amongst the chief yellow pigments (p. 96), and the reader is instructed to mix it with either Saffron or Ceruse for "sad" or "light" shades thereof, respectively (p. 98).


  1. ^ Color Conversion Tool set to hex code of color #FADA5E (Pinke):
  2. ^ a b ISBN 978-0-486-21597-6
  3. ^
  4. ^ a b
  5. ^ ISBN 978-0-670-83701-4
  6. ^ 'Painting Materials, A Short Encyclopedia' by Rutherford J. Gettens and George L Stout
  7. ^ The Artists Handbook by Ralph Mayer 5th Edition
  8. ^ Thompson 'The Materials of Medieval Painting)
  9. ^ Thompson 'The Materials of Medieval Painting'
  10. ^ Maerz and Paul A Dictionary of Color New York:1930 McGraw-Hill Discussion of the Color Pinke Page 173
  11. ^ Maerz and Paul A Dictionary of Color New York:1930 McGraw-Hill Discussion of the Color Stil de Grain Yellow Page 183
  12. ^ Maerz and Paul A Dictionary of Color New York:1930 McGraw-Hill Page 202
  13. ^ Maerz and Paul A Dictionary of Color New York:1930 McGraw-Hill Page 205; Color Sample of Stil de Grain Yellow: Page 43 Plate 10 Color Sample K2
  14. ^ Jenner, Thomas (1652). A Book of Drawing, Limning, Washing. London: M. Simmons. p. 38.

See also[edit]