Pompeian red became a popular shade to paint the trendiest of 18th Century European dining rooms.

Named after the famous (and then brand new) excavation at Pompeii, Italy, the color came into popularity after it was seen in frescos inside excavated homes.

However, this red is actually a dehydrated form of yellow ocher. That is to say, these frescos were most likely yellow during their creation, and only after extreme heat application (perhaps from a volcanic eruption) did the yellow become the ever-so-popular “Pompeian red.” Check out The Brilliant History of Color in Art for more.

Wall Fragment with a Woman on a Balcony, about 9 B.C. – A.D. 14, Roman. J. Paul Getty Museum.

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