Notes on Ancient Egyptian Colours

egyptian mummyAt White Rose we look to go beyond the standard colours used in presets etc by utilising the colours from the Ancient Egyptian colour palette. This was born out of working with the The Gothic Bookworm and learning about the history of a paint called Mummy Brown, a brown pigment with rich, bitumen qualities. In the 16th /17th century, the paint was made by grinding the remains of ancient Egyptian mummies, for more detail

Ancient Egyptians primarily used a colour palette containing six colours: Green (wadj); Red (desher); Blue (irtyu or khesbedj); Yellow (khenet or kenit); White (hedj or shesep); and Black (kem) – each of these had a specific symbolism, see here for in-depth coverage, but briefly their symbolic use was :

    • Red – for male flesh tones, fire, blood, danger;
    • Blue – symbolised fertility, birth, rebirth, life, water and the heavens;
    • Yellow – symbolised the sun, eternity and if darkened, for the golden flesh-colour of the gods;
    • Green – was used for goodness, growth, life, the afterlife, and resurrection;
    • White – purity, sacredness, cleanliness, and clarity;
    • Black – death, darkness, the underworld, as well as life, birth, and resurrection.

These basic colours were often mixed, diluted, or otherwise combined to create colours such as purple, pink, teal, gold, silver, and other hues. From their colour palette we chose the following as a representative range unlikely to be covered by any other provider.

WR Egyptian Palette

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