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Books It Is Named Vermilion In Allusion To The Insect Or Vermes

from which it is prepared. This insect is the "coccus ilicis," which
feeds upon the leaves of the prickly oak in the south of Europe. Like
the "coccus cacti," it is covered with a whitish dust, and yields a
tinctorial matter soluble in water and alcohol. Kermes and the lac of
India doubtless afforded the lakes of the Venetians, and appear to have
been used by the earliest painters in oil of the school of Van Eyck. The
former, under the appellation [Greek: kurno kokino], is said to be
employed by the modern Greeks for dyeing their caps red.

Some old specimens of this pigment which the author obtained were in
drops of a powdery texture and crimson colour, warmer than cochineal
lakes, and having less body and brilliancy. They worked well, however,
and withstood the action of light better than the latter, though the sun
ultimately discoloured and destroyed them. In other respects, they
resembled the lakes of cochineal. As a colouring matter, kermes is only
about one-twelfth part as powerful as that substance.

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