Venetian red

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Venetian red
About these coordinates     Color coordinates
Hex triplet#C80815
sRGBB  (rgb)(200, 8, 21)
CMYKH   (c, m, y, k)(0, 94, 97, 0)
HSV       (h, s, v)(0°, 84%, 84%)
B: Normalized to [0–255] (byte)
H: Normalized to [0–100] (hundred)

Venetian red is a light and warm (somewhat unsaturated) pigment that is a darker shade of scarlet, derived from nearly pure ferric oxide (Fe2O3) of the hematite type. Modern versions are frequently made with synthetic red iron oxide.

Historically, Venetian red was a red earth color often used in Italian Renaissance paintings. It was also called sinopia, because the best-quality pigment came from the port of Sinop in northern Turkey. It was the major ingredient in the pigment called cinabrese, described by the 15th-century Italian painter and writer Cennino Cennini in his handbook on painting, Il Libro dell'Arte. Cennini recommended mixing Venetian red with lime white, in proportions of two to one, to paint the skin tones of faces, hands and nudes.[2]

The first recorded use of Venetian red as a color name in English was in 1753.[3] Venetian red was the defining colour used by the British Army since the end of the English Civil War until its replacement with khaki, in the 1890s, mainly noted as being the primary colour of a Redcoat's dress, during the 18th and 19th centuries.


  1. ^ Color in this box is based on a picture of a bottle of car paint with a color sample of Venetian red on the side of the bottle.
  2. ^ Lara Broecke, Cennino Cennini's Il Libro dell'Arte, a New English Translation and Commentary with Italian Transcription, Archetype 2015, p. 62.
  3. ^ Maerz and Paul A Dictionary of Color New York:1930 McGraw-Hill Page 201; Color sample of Venetian red: Page 35 Plate 6 color sample I12