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Brown Stil De Grain Citrine Lake Or Quercitron Lake Is Usually

prepared from the berries of Avignon (ramnus infectorius), better known
as French, Persian, or Turkey berries; but a more durable and quicker
drying species is obtained from the quercitron bark. If produced from
the former, it must be branded as fugitive, but if from the latter, it
may be termed semi-stable. In either case it is a lake, precipitated
from the alkaline decoction by means of alum, in such proportions that
the alkali shall not be more than half saturated. The excess of soda or
potash employed imparts a brown hue; but the lake being in general an
orange broken by green, falls into the class of citrine colours,
sometimes inclining to greenness, and sometimes towards the warmth of
orange. It works well both in water and oil, in the latter of which it
is of great depth and transparency, but its tints with white lead are
very fugitive, and in thin glazing it does not stand: the berry variety
dries badly. A fine rich colour, more beautiful than eligible, it is
popular in landscape for foliage in foregrounds. Modified by admixture
with burnt Sienna or gamboge, it yields a compound which, with the
addition of a small quantity of indigo, gives a warm though not very
durable green. In many of the Flemish pictures the foliage has become
blue from the yellowish lake, with which the ultramarine was mixed,
having faded.

It has been remarked that the alteration made by time in semi-stable
pigments is not so observable when they are employed in full body. Their
use generally has been deprecated, but in shadows such vegetable colours
as brown pink are sometimes of advantage, as they are transparent, lose
part of their richness by the action of the air, and do not become
black. Moreover, if mixed with pigments which have a tendency to darken,
they mitigate it very much. This last, indeed, is the most legitimate
purpose to which semi-stable pigments whose colour fades on exposure can
be put.


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