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Green earth, also known as terre verte and Verona green, is an inorganic pigment derived from the minerals celadonite and glauconite.[1][2][3] Its chemical formula is K[(Al,FeIII),(FeII,Mg](AlSi3,Si4)O10(OH)2.[4]

First used by the ancient Romans, green earth has been identified on wall paintings at Pompeii and Dura-Europos.[5][6] The Renaissance painter and writer Cennino Cennini claimed that “the ancients never gilded except with this green” being used as a bole, or undercoating. In the Middle Ages one of its best-known uses was in the underpainting of flesh tones.[4]

High quality deposits can be found in England, France, Cyprus, Germany and at Monte Baldo near Verona in Italy.[6] The color ranges from neutral yellow green to pale greenish gray to dark matte olive green.[4][3]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Green earth Colourlex. Retrieved August 29, 2016.
  2. ^ Green earth. Pigments through the Ages. Retrieved August 29, 2016.
  3. ^ a b St. Clair, Kassia (2016). The Secret Lives of Colour. London: John Murray. p. 224-226. ISBN 9781473630819. OCLC 936144129.
  4. ^ a b c Common Medieval Pigments. Retrieved August 29, 2016.
  5. ^ Varichon, Anne (2000). Couleurs – pigments et teintures dans les mains des peuples. Seuil. pp. 210–211. ISBN 978-2-02084697-4.
  6. ^ a b Terre Verte. Retrieved August 30, 2016.