Stiff Paint

The most grisly material used in the preparation of artist's materials must surely be that of ground up human remains. Mummies were imported into Europe and ground into a pigment which gave a deep transparent brown. Commonly mixed with nut oil it was actually known to painters as 'mummy'. Most artists must have been aware of the material used, particularly those who read the "Compendium of Colours" published in 1897 which suggested that "the fleshy parts of the leg are most suitable". This grim trade did not cease until as recently as 1925 and then only because the Egyptian Government banned the export of mummified remains. Irish Art