Color Chronicles: Sang de Boeuf


Sang de boeuf, or translated as oxblood in English, is an old, rich shade of red that is akin to an ox's blood which was used for fabric dye, leather and paint. The color was used for pottery glaze, by heating copper and iron oxide. The term dates way back in the 19th century, but the practice of producing such color for pottery has existed since the 1200s in China. In Chinese, the color is named "langyao", meaning 'blown red'. Apart from the color, the pigment would bring a glassy shine.

Sang de Boeuf red glazes were loved by Western curators and collectors, with many potters mimicking the glaze color.

Credits: takezzo & legacy

Firstly, oxblood must not be confused with burgundy, another dark red. Oxblood is a dark red which has more purple and black, best seen when mixing paints in an artist's palette.. The color is also called flambé glaze, Unfortunately, finding works that used this color and maintained its original hue is rare. When aged, it turns brownish red.

Finding sang de boeuf in nature is quite difficult, but I'm sure every analogue experimentalist often encounters this color in the darkroom. In fashion, you might find sang de boeuf named as 'cordovan' when buying a new pair of leather shoes. For photography, you can drench your images with sang de boeuf by adding red and violet. When using redscale films, we recommend picking places with low light with a fash. Shooting indoors has a higher chance of reproducing this color.

Credits: abakhtiar, 35mmindeed, baddog, metalhead_nl & fiercbear

2018-06-10 #culture #color-chronicles #sang-de-boeuf


  1. ellakoppensteiner
    ellakoppensteiner ·

    Thanks @montagu, @takezzo, @legacy, @abakhtiar, @35mmindeed, @baddog, @metalhead_nl & @fiercbear for the great shots! :D

  2. takezzo
    takezzo ·

    Gorgeous color... and thanks for picking my picture for the article.

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