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Is Merely A Faded Blue The Blacks Are Both Of Vegetable And Mineral

origin, having been obtained from a variety of substances in a variety
of ways.

But, as shown by Layard in his discoveries at Nineveh, a knowledge of
colouring was not confined to the Egyptians; it was likewise possessed
by the Assyrians. The painted ornaments of the latter are stated to have
been remarkably elegant; and although the colours were limited to blue,
red, white, yellow, and black, yet they were arranged with so much taste
and skill, and the contrasts were so judiciously preserved, that the
combinations were in general agreeable to the eye. The pale
yellowish-white ground on which the designs were painted, resembled the
tint on the walls of Egyptian monuments, and a strong well-defined black
outline was found to be as peculiar a feature in Assyrian as in Egyptian
painting, black frequently combining with white alone, or alternating
with other colours. As far as they have been analysed, the pigments
employed were mineral, the brightest being a blue derived from copper.
No traces of vegetable colours have been found; it is presumed that they
existed, but being subject to more rapid decay than the mineral
pigments, they have disappeared. That all the colours, indeed, employed
by the ancients were not permanent, was proved by the fact of certain
blues and reds, brilliant and vivid when the earth was removed from
them, fading rapidly when exposed to the air.

From Philocles, the Egyptian, and Gyges, a Lydian, both of whom,
according to Pliny, acquired the knowledge of the art of painting in

Next: Egypt The Greeks Obtained The Knowledge Of Their Ars Chromatica

Previous: Their Chief Source The Greens Consist Of Yellow Mixed With Copper

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