"Caput Mortuum is a Latin term meaning 'death's head'. In alchemy, it signified a useless substance left over from a chemical operation such as sublimation. Alchemists represented this residue with a stylized human skull, a literal death's head. In its current limited usage, the caput mortuum represents decline and entropy.
Caput mortuum (also spelled caput mortum or caput mortem) is the name given to a purple variety of iron oxide pigment, an "earth color". It is used in oil paints and paper dyes. The name for this pigment may have come from the alchemical usage, since iron oxide (rust) is the useless residue of oxidization.
It is the name of a brownish paint that was originally made from the wrappings of mummies. It was most popular in the 1600s. It was suddenly discontinued in the early 19th century when its composition became generally known to artists. A
This blog is called caput mortem because it's my sister’s favourite colour of oil paint. She has used it in the above painting of quince blossom in the garden of the last place I lived. As you can see, the effect is not always as sinister as the name suggests.
It is not so obvious in the one below, but I like the friendly feeling the horse gives.
Today is my sister's birthday.