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Gamboge first recorded use dates back to the 8th century in Japanese art
– Small shipments of the pigment were distributed in European contexts through over-land trade journeys
Gamboge became more accessible in the 17th century with the growth of shipping
– The pigment is derived from the gum of Garcinia trees in Southeast Asia
Gamboge was briefly in shortage during the 1970s and 1980s due to trade restrictions

Gamboge is extracted by tapping latex from various species of evergreen trees
– The resin is collected in hollow bamboo canes and congealed into raw gamboge
– The orange fruit of Garcinia gummi-gutta is also known as gamboge
– Trees must be at least ten years old before tapping
– Various species of Garcinia trees are used for gamboge extraction

Visual characteristics:
Gamboge resin has a brownish-yellow color when extracted
– Once ground, the resin takes on a deep yellow color
– Artists used gamboge in watercolor painting and for mixing colors like green and orange
Gamboge is most commonly used in watercolors

Gamboge is highly sensitive to light
– It reacts poorly with lime surfaces and white lead
– Deemed unsuitable for frescos

Notable occurrences:
Gamboge has not been extensively identified in works of art
– Identified in the Maitepnimit Temple in Thailand and the Medieval Armenian Glajor Gospel
– Possibly used by Rembrandt and J. M. W. Turner

– The word “gamboge” comes from “gambogium,” the Latin word for the pigment
– Derived from “Gambogia,” the Latin word for Cambodia
– First recorded use as a color name in English was in 1634

Gamboge (Wikipedia)

Gamboge (/ɡæmˈbʒ/ gam-BOHZH, /-ˈbʒ/ -⁠BOOZH) is a deep yellow pigment derived from a species of tree that primarily grows in Cambodia. Popular in east Asian watercolor works, it has been used across a number of media dating back to the 8th century. Easy to transport and manipulate into a durable watercolor paint, gamboge is notable for its versatility as a pigment in how it has been used in paintings, printing of books, and garment dyes, including the robes of Buddhist monks. Though used in a number of different contexts, Gamboge is known not to react well with citric acid surfaces therefore making it unsuitable for frescos and with white lead. For its popularity, Gamboge has not been extensively identified in works of art from any time period; the few instances wherein art historians have attempted to identify whether or not the pigment was used in a given work have confirmed its widespread use and its longevity as staple within watercolor painting particularly in eastern art.

About these coordinates     Color coordinates
Hex triplet#E49B0F
sRGBB (r, g, b)(228, 155, 15)
HSV (h, s, v)(39°, 93%, 89%)
CIELChuv (L, C, h)(69, 92, 48°)
SourceMaerz and Paul
ISCC–NBS descriptorStrong orange yellow
B: Normalized to [0–255] (byte)

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