(Greek: σηπία, “cuttlefish”). A brown pigment obtained from the ink of the cuttlefish and other cephalopods. The ancient Romans used sepia as ink for writing and drawing, and it enjoyed renewed popularity in the 19th century, when it largely replaced bistre for wash drawings. See also: sepia-toning.

Vincent van Gogh. Street in Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer. Sepia ink over black chalk on paper. 1888. Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.