Umber, along with carbon black, is one of the oldest pigments known to man and is found in the earliest cave paintings. However, Burnt Umber and other dark pigments weren't often used in the European tradition until the Baroque period in the 1700s by Caravaggio, Rembrandt and Vermeer. Winsor and Newton is considered a premier manufacturer of watercolor, and Burnt Umber continues that tradition of high quality as the darkest of the iron oxide colors. Burnt Umber is a saturated dark chocolate brown with a touch of orange in it. The pigment from W&N is considered more transparent than the same color from many other brands. Staining pigments applied over burnt umber are easier to edit and lift. Applied in a diluted wash, this is a very effective landscape foundation tint.
Burnt Umber also mixes very effectively with blues to make interesting greens.