Colour of the day no. 25 – Caput mortuum

solid block of colour caput mortuum

Colour of the day no 25 - Caput mortuum

Caput Mortuum Traditionally associated with a synthetic reddish purple pigment derived from Iron Oxide. The term was originally used in the 17th Century by alchemists referring to the ‘worthless’ residue left after experiments. Paints derived from it include Venetian Red and Spanish Brown. Today, in non pigment form we would probably call it ‘rust’ .

We’d love to know via the comments below what Caput mortuum reminds you of or makes you think about. We’re also running a weekly competition where people can re-name a colour. If you had to re-name this colour, what would you call it? There will be a weekly prize of a pot of paint containing the colour and labelled with your new name and a £10 Amazon voucher.

Colour of the day

Throughout the Brighton Festival a colour of the day will be displayed in Fabrica and on this blog. To help decide which colour to choose we asked Anne Wight who is a grapheme synaesthete. This is a form of synaesthesia in which an individual’s perception of numbers and letters is associated with an experience of colour.

Like all forms of synaesthesia, grapheme-colour synaesthesia is involuntary, consistent, and memorable and is one of the most common forms of synaesthesia. Generally, while it is extremely unlikely that any two synaesthetes will report the same colours for all letters and numbers, studies of large numbers of synaesthetes find that there are some commonalities across letters.

We have chosen colours/pigments/paints for each day loosely based the colours she sees for the dates of May’s Festival.


One response to “Colour of the day no. 25 – Caput mortuum

  1. “Torch Singer Red”.

    It looks like lip color from an era when stable pigments were few and far in between. Red screams “look at me”, but this is a throwaway red. It’s a red that yearns for the spotlight, but it’s just there to provide color and sadly it knows it. If this red graced the lips of a corpse, a good girl that got over her head, you wouldn’t even notice it. Truly, a throwaway red.

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