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Olive Terre Verte

We have obtained a very beautiful olive from terre verte by simply
changing its hue. In oil, especially, the colour so produced would be
found of service for autumn foliage, or richly painted foregrounds. A
simple original pigment, consisting wholly of the earth, it resembles
ordinary terre verte in being unaffected by strong light or impure air,
and uninjured by admixture; but differs from it in not darkening by
time. Semi-transparent, of sober richness and drying well in oil, it is,
according to its powers, a perfectly unexceptionable colour, of strict

* * * * *

Of the two olive colours in common use, olive lake and olive green, the
first is generally semi-stable, and apt to blacken; while the second is
usually fugitive, and liable to fade: both are compounds. The palette,
therefore, possesses no original olive pigment, good or bad. A glance at
the numbered italicised olives will show that the doubtful mixtures
referred to might with advantage be superseded. It is clear that the
olive pigments which the palette does not know, are better than those
with which it is acquainted.


As colour, according to the regular scale descending from white, ceases
properly with the last of the tertiaries, olive, in theory the neutral
black would here form a fitting conclusion. Practically, however, every
coloured pigment, of every class or tribe, combines with black as it
exists in pigments--not simply being deepened or lowered in tone
thereby, but likewise defiled in colour, or changed in class. Hence
there arises a new series or scale of coloured compounds, having black
for their basis, which, though they differ not theoretically from the
preceding order inverted, are yet in practice imperfect or impure. These
broken compounds of black, or coloured blacks and greys, we have
distinguished by the term, semi-neutral, and divided them into three
classes: Brown, Marrone, and Gray. What tints are with respect to white,
they are with regard to black, being, so to speak, black tints or

The first of the series is BROWN, a term which, in its widest
acceptation, has been used to include vulgarly every kind of dark broken
colour, and is, in a more limited sense, the rather indefinite name of a
very extensive class of colours of warm or tawny hues. Accordingly there
are browns of every denomination except blue; to wit, yellow-brown,
red-brown, orange-brown, purple-brown, citrine-brown, russet-brown, &c.
But there is no such thing as a blue-brown, nor, strictly, any other
coloured brown in which blue predominates; such predominance of a cold
colour at once carrying the compound into the class of gray, ashen, or
slate. Brown comprises the hues called dun, hazel, auburn, feuillemort,
mort d'ore, &c.; several of which have been already mentioned as allied
to the tertiary colours.

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