Where did our name come from? Sienna, a natural earth pigment

We are often asked where the name Sienna comes from, with many customers often presuming Danielle’s name is actually Sienna! In fact, none of our team are called Sienna, neither are any of our family members. We chose Sienna for its meaning and vast history, as the first natural pigment used in early artwork.

Sienna is a natural iron oxide, or ‘earth colour’ . Similar to ochres and umbers, these palettes of yellows, oranges, reds and browns have been used by artists for more that 40,000 years and are still visible in cave paintings, a testament to the stability of these minerals.

Sienna was first recorded as a colour name in 1760, although it was known and used in its natural form by the ancient Romans. The sienna pigment in its natural state is a yellow-brown, and when heated becomes a reddish brown called burnt sienna.

During the Reanaissance, sienna in its raw and burnt states, was used by artists such as Caravaggio and Rembrandt as a brown in their palettes. It was traditionally mined in the town of Siena in southern Tuscany until sources were nearly exhausted, and in modern days the majority of sienna production is located on the Italian islands of Sardinia and Sicily.

When naming Sienna, we were drawn to the raw and organic history of the natural pigment. Sienna is everything we wanted from a name- it is undeniably beautiful, but has a vast history and associations with rich, pigmented colours- just like our polishes. When naming our polishes, we obviously had to pick the perfect brown to give our namesake. Sienna, is the perfect warm earthy tone to keep your manicure at its autumn best.

 

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