Naples Yellow Italian – A Reluctant Change

Announcing the change in a beloved color’s formulation is never enjoyable, especially when it involves such a cherished cornerstone of the Williamsburg brand as our Naples Yellow Italian. From the beginning this was made from a particularly beautiful shade of a single pigment, PBr 24, Chrome Antimony Titanate. Many painters will seek out and covet single pigment colors because of the clarity and purity they can offer, as was certainly true in this case. Unfortunately, the pigment we relied on for so many years was recently discontinued by the manufacturer and we have been unable to locate another single pigment that can remotely fill the same role. Faced with this situation, we decided to try and create a blend that can hopefully match the essential qualities that made this color sing in such a special way. After a slew of trials, we opted for a recipe based on a closely related but deeper shade of the same pigment, PBr 24, modifying it with Titanium White and then bringing in some Cadmium Yellow Deep to hold onto that warm blush of milky peach that was at its heart. You can see the two colors side by side below:

Williamsburg's Naples Yellow Italian
Creating a perfect twin was probably always a bit beyond reach, but we hope you find these two to be extremely close. Admittedly, the new one is a touch warmer in tints and not quite as deep in masstone, so longtime devotees will undoubtedly need to adjust a touch here and there. But hopefully, if you give this new blend enough time to settle in, it will prove its worth and worthiness as a successor to a great color with a long history.

3 thoughts on “Naples Yellow Italian – A Reluctant Change

  1. I have a 25 plus year old tube of py 41 From Binney & smith Liquitex. It appears to be a mixture of naples yellow light and naples yellow deep. I’ve purchased the light and deep pigments from Kremer (before sinopia) and made paint with them. I have not tried your version of PBr 24 but have Winsor Newtons version in safflower oil. Aside from the nuances of color I notice the the real deal is a very good drier and the PBr24 is a very poor drier, it sounds like yours is as well with the titanium white and cad yellow additions. As far a ‘singing’ none of the hues do.

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