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Egyptian Blue

called by Vitruvius, Coeruleum, is frequently found on the walls of
the temples in Egypt, as well as on the cases enclosing mummies. Count
Chaptal, who analysed some of it discovered in 1809 in a shop at
Pompeii, found that it was blue ashes, not prepared in the moist manner,
but by calcination. He considers it a kind of frit, of a semi-vitreous
nature; and this would appear to be the case from Sir H. Davy obtaining
a similar colour by exposing to a strong heat, for two hours, a mixture
of fifteen parts of carbonate of soda, twenty of powdered flints, and
three of copper. The colour is very brilliant when first made, and
retains its hue well in distemper and decorative painting; but it has
the common defect of copper blues of turning green in oil, when ground
impalpably for artistic use. One remarkable effect of this copper
smalt--for it is nothing else--is, that by lamp-light it shows somewhat
greenish, but shines by day with all the brightness of azure. Merimee
believes that Paul Veronese employed this sort of blue in many of his
pictures where the skies have become green.

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