Iconofile: Icons and Sacred Art



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Iconofile: Icons and Sacred Art Iconofile: Icons and Sacred Art
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Cloisonné: Enamel
Fiber Art: Embroidery
Fiber Art: Tapestries
Icons: Appraisals
Icons: Associations
Icons: Boards, Panels
Icons: Cases, Shelves
Icons: Hand Painted
Icons: Instruction
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Mosaics: Tile
Murals: Hand Painted
Respousse: Metal
Wood: Hand-Carved Wood
Pigments: Natural Mineral Pigments

Rublev Rublev Glauconite Dry Powder PigmentNatural Mineral Pigments
for Icon Painters

Iconofile has natural mineral and organic, dry powder pigments especially made by Natural Pigments, LLC for icon painters. They are the same pigments used by icon painters of ancient times, such as Andrei Rublev. Each pigment is also useful for other painting techniques. Whether you are a novice or an experienced painter, you'll find Rublev dry powder pigments well suited for use in aqueous mediums, such as egg yolk or whole egg (egg tempera), casein, gum Arabic (watercolor), hide glue (distemper) and acrylic polymers. Most perform well in oil and alkyds. Many of these colors are also suitable for fresco and other painting techniques, such as encaustic.

Blue Green Yellow Red

Click here for more about azurite



(Natural Vermillion)

(Lapis Lazuli)

(Green Earth)

Gold and
Orange Ochre





Red Ochre





Brown White Black

(Brown Ochre)






(White Lead)

(Carbon Black)



(Gypseous White)


Rublev Lazurite Dry Powder PigmentRublev Natural Mineral Pigments

Rublev dry powder pigments are made firsthand from the mineral sources. Our geologist, who has many years experience selecting mineral pigments for icon painters in Russia, travels to distant locations, and handpicks mineral specimens for use in our pigments. We process the minerals by washing, grinding and levigating for use as fine artists' pigments, and prepare them for shipment.

From Antiquity to the Renaissance, artists knew their pigments intimately. They bought pigments from sources they found to be reliable. They washed and ground their pigments. They prepared them with their favorite medium. It was tedious work to make paint, but what they gained from their efforts was an intense understanding of colors not possible any other way. For several centuries now, artists have bought pigments without knowing their origin. To obscure the origin of their pigments paint makers sold their colors under confusing and sometimes misleading proprietary names.

Today, this situation has not changed much. At Iconofile we want to remove the mystery of pigment sources and disclose both their origin and known composition. We want you to gain the same kind of intimate knowledge artists had when they bought and made their own paint.

Pigment Sampler Sets

Introductory Mineral Pigment Set

Samples of six natural mineral and earth pigments are included in this kit to introduce you to Iconofile pigments. The kit includes 1 oz. (29 ml) each of Glauconite, Goethite, Gold Ochre, Hematite, Red Ochre, Shungite -- all in individual bottles.

More info

Price: $16.95

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Historical Mineral Pigment Set

Set of 11 historical pigments gives you basic hues for icon painting: 1 oz. (29 ml) each of Glauconite, Goethite, Hematite, Caput Mortum, Gold Ochre, Red Ochre, Shungite, Raw Sienna, Malachite, Lazurite and Vivianite.

More info

Price: $85.50

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Notes about Iconofile Pigments

Availability of Pigments from Iconofile

Pigments shown in each category of the table above are stocked by Iconofile. There may be several different hues and grades available for each mineral. To learn more about each mineral, click on the image of the pigment. The photos above do not necessarily represent the entire range of hues available from Iconofile. Because of the seasonal purchases we make of minerals, some pigments may be out of stock at the time you place your order. The online store will indicate whether an item is out of stock. You can still add it to your shopping cart and we will let you know when it will become available. If you pay for your order with a credit card, we will only charge your account for the pigments we actually ship.

Note About Pigment Photos

All pictures of pigments in this web site are only approximations of the actual color of the pigment. We taken every care to match the color in these pictures on calibrated color monitors to the actual pigment. However, because of the wide variance in color monitors the results you get may vary.

Satisfaction Always Guaranteed

Iconofile guarantees your satisfaction with every purchase, so if you are not completely satisfied with the color of your pigment, or for any other reason, you may return the unopened package for a full refund.

More about our returns purchases

Descriptions of Pigments

To help you select pigments from our store we have organized our natural mineral pigments according their basic color and by the mineral species of origin.

Each pigment in our store is listed by the name of the natural mineral pigment, and if there exists a synthetic substitute, the common name of the artificial pigment. Common names in other languages and alternative and obsolete color names are also provided because many inquiries begin with obscure and little-used color names.

The general arrangement of the information for each pigment in the store is as follows: name of the pigment, description of its color, ASTM lightfastness rating, if available, chemical identification and properties, known use in history, estimate of its value in permanent painting, its absorption rate in oil and grinding characteristics, and evaluation of its toxicity.

History of Use

The dates attributed to the historical use of colors in the store have been arrived at by a study and comparison of literature on the subject. Some references are mentioned where the dates are obscure.


Information on each pigment includes an ASTM lightfastness category in oil, acrylic and watercolor media where test data is available:




Excellent lightfastness


Very good lightfastness


Not sufficiently lightfast

Pigments falling in the lightfastness III category are considered sufficiently lightfast only if they are used full strength (not tinted with white) and are provided with extra protection from ultraviolet light.

Care in Handling Pigments

We advised the utmost care and precaution while handling pigments. These pigments are not intended for use by children and caution should be exercised to not allow children access to them.

More about handling pigments


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