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Mummy Brown Or Egyptian Brown Is A Bituminous Product Mixed With

animal remains, brought from the catacombs of Egypt, where liquid
bitumen was employed three thousand years ago in embalming. By a slow
chemical change, it has combined during so many ages with substances
which give it, as a rule, a more solid and lasting texture than simple
asphaltum. Generally resembling the latter in its other properties and
uses as a pigment, mummy is often substituted for it, being less liable
to crack or move on the canvass. It must be remembered, however, that
mummy varies exceedingly both in its composition and qualities; and as
from its very nature and origin nothing certain can be said of it, but
little reliance should be placed on this brown. Mummy belongs to the
class of pigments which are either good or bad, according as they turn
out. On the whole, we agree with the American artist, who has been more
than once quoted in these pages, that nothing is to be gained by
smearing one's canvass with a part, perhaps, of the wife of Potiphar.
With a preference for materials less frail and of a more sober
character, we likewise hold with Bouvier, that it is not particularly
prudent to employ without necessity these crumbled remains of dead
bodies, which must contain ammonia and particles of fat in a concrete
state and so be more or less apt to injure the colours with which they
may be united. The use of mummy is now confined to oil, in which, says
Mr. Carmichael, a mixture of mummy and bitumen will dry and never crack.
If this be the case, the compound would be preferable to either


is an iron oxide, containing more or less alumina, and prepared by
calcining an aluminous Prussian blue, or treating an aluminous
ferrocyanide of peroxide of iron with an alkali. Possessing the nature
and properties of burnt Sienna, it is transparent, permanent, and dries
well in oil. Of an orange hue, it is neither so rich nor so powerful as
that pigment, and is better employed as a glaze than in body.


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