|Background colour of this cell is crimson|
Crimson, or Crimson Lake, or Carmine is sometimes the names given to the dye made from the dried female bodies of the insect, cochineal, although it is more common to call the pigment "cochineal" after the insect from which it is made. It appears to have been discovered during the conquest of Mexico by Spaniard Hernán Fernando Cortés and brought to Europe in early 1500s. Carmine was first described by Mathioli in 1549.
Carmine is an aluminium and calcium salt of carminic acid and carmine lake is an aluminium or aluminum-tin lake of cochineal extract, whereas Crimson lake is prepared by striking down an infusion of cochineal with a 5 percent solution of alum and cream of tartar. Purple lake is prepared like carmine lake with the addition of lime to produce the deep purple tone. Carmine dyes tend to fast fading.
This dye was once widely prized in both the Americas and in Europe. It was used in paints by Michelangelo and on the fabrics of the Hussars, the Turks, the British Redcoats, and the Canadian Mounted Police.
Nowadays carmine dyes are used for colouring foodstuffs, medicines and cosmetics, also in some oil paints and watercolours used by artists.