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Browns And The Cold Semi-neutral Grays Marrone Is Practically To

shade, what red is to light; and its relations to other colours are
those of red, &c., when we invert the scale from black to white. It is
therefore a following, or shading, colour of red and its derivatives;
and hence its accordances, contrasts, and expressions agree with those
of red degraded; consequently red added to dark brown converts it into
marrone if in sufficient quantity to prevail. In smaller proportions,
red gives to lighter browns the names of bay, chestnut, sorrel, &c.

Owing to confused nomenclature, most of the colours and pigments of
this class have been assigned to other denominations--puce, murrey,
morelle, chocolate, columbine, pavonazzo, &c., being variously ranked
among reds, browns, and purples. This vagueness also accounts for
pigments having been ranged under heads not suited to the names they
bear, and explains why Brown Ochre has been classed among the yellows,
Italian Pink among the same, Brown Pink among the citrines, &c.

As adapted to the walls of a picture gallery, marrone, more or less deep
and inclined to crimson, is one of the best colours known. For the
reason that each colour has its antagonist, and consequently may affect
a picture well or ill, according to its tone or general hue, there can
be no universally good colour for such a purpose. What suits one picture
or style of painting may not suit another: with a blood-red sunset, for
instance, or portrait with crimson drapery, marrone would be out of
place. But as it is impossible to provide each picture with a separate
background, all that can be done in large collections is to study the
general effect, sacrificing the interests of the few to the good of the
many. If cool-coloured landscapes predominate, with blue skies and green
foliage, it will be found that the orange-yellow of the frames agreeably
contrasts the former, and the crimson-marrone of walls as agreeably sets
off the latter. If portraits and historic paintings prevail, which are
in general of a warm advancing nature, then a modest green may prove
eligible. And if engravings form the staple, the grey hue of the print
is best opposed by a bright fawn colour. Where several rooms are devoted
to pictures, a suitable wall colour is most easily secured by
classifying the paintings as far as possible according to their general
hue, and placing them in different chambers: in each there will be a
prevailing character in the colouring of its pictures, and each can be
painted or papered accordingly. However, whether this plan is adopted or
not--and it may be objected to as involving a certain monotony--care
should be taken to have a wall colour of some sort or other, that is, to
let it be seen. Pictures crammed together kill each other: without a
pin's point between them, a speck of wall space visible, much of the
illusion is destroyed. "It is only," says Chevreul, "the intelligent
connoisseur and amateur who, on seeing a picture exhibited in a gallery,
experience all the effect which the artist has wished to produce;
because they alone know the best point of view, and because, while their
attention is fixed on the work they are observing, they alone end by no
longer seeing the surrounding pictures, or even the frame of that one
they contemplate." Amid a moving crowd of people, inseparable from
nearly all public exhibitions, it becomes difficult for the visitor,
intelligent or otherwise, thus to concentrate his attention on one work.
As far, therefore, as space will allow, paintings should be kept
separate: larger rooms, or fewer pictures, are what is wanted.[B]

From this digression, pardonable, let us hope, because in the interests
of art, we will pass on to a consideration of marrone pigments.


is an exceedingly rich marrone or russet-marrone brown, bearing the same
relation to the colour marrone that raw umber bears to the colour
citrine. One of the most valuable products of the madder root, it has
supplied a great desideratum, and in water especially is indispensable,
both as a local and auxiliary colour. Of intense depth and transparency,
if made with skill, it affords the richest description of shadows,
either alone or compounded with blue, and the most delicate pale tints.
Being quite permanent, a good drier, and working most kindly, it is a
pigment which cannot be too strongly recommended to the landscape
painter's notice. Containing a large proportion of red, it is eligible,
with yellow or blue, for mixed orange or mixed purple of a subdued tone.
It may be used tolower red curtains or draperies, and for the darkest
touches in flesh. Mixed with cobalt, it forms a fine shadow colour for
distant objects; and with indigo or Prussian blue and black, is
serviceable for the shades of those nearer the foreground. It is
similarly useful when mixed with black, and will be found advantageous
in rusty iron, as anchors, chains, &c. For the deepest and richest parts
of foregrounds it may be employed alone, as also for deep dark cracks
and fissures, or strong markings in other near objects, as boats and
figures. With French blue, or cobalt and white, a set of beautiful warm
or cold grays may be obtained, in proportion as the brown or blue
predominates. Compounded with blues and bright yellows such as aureolin,
it gives fine autumnal russet greens. A good purple for soft aerial
clouds is furnished by cobalt and brown madder, or for stormy clouds
by the brown, Prussian blue, and black: an equally good slate colour
is obtained from cobalt, sepia, and the brown. For glazing over foliage
and herbage, a mixture of the madder with aureolin or gamboge is adapted;
and for brooks and running streams compounds of this brown with raw Sienna,
cobalt and raw Sienna, Vandyke brown, and French blue, will each be found
useful. Black sails are well represented by burnt Sienna, French blue, and
brown madder; and red sails by light red or burnt Sienna with the brown.


Marrone is a retiring colour easily compounded in all its hues and
shades by the mixture variously of red, and black or brown; or of any
other warm colours in which red and black predominate. A reference to
the permanent brown, black, and red or reddish pigments will show to
what extent the colour marrone may safely be produced by admixture. In
compounding marrone, the brown or black may be itself compounded, before
the addition of the red, reddish-purple, or russet, requisite for its

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