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Or Iodine Scarlet Is An Iodide Of Mercury Having The Body And

opacity of vermilion, and being as much inferior to it in permanence as
it is superior in brilliancy. Of all artistic pigments, it is at once
the most dazzling and the most fugitive, and should have no place on the
palette. If used, it should be with an ivory knife, as iron and most
metals change it to colours varying from yellow to black; hence it
should never be compounded with metallic pigments. So sensitive, indeed,
is it to the slightest touch of metal, that it has been known to turn to
a dull brown merely by being washed over with a colour which had been
taken out of its saucer with a penknife. In the cake, it must be
carefully kept wrapped up in paper, otherwise the presence of metal
tubes or a knife in the colour-box may spoil it. By a foul atmosphere,
the scarlet is soon utterly destroyed, and even metallized. In contact
with the air, it quickly fades away; and has been found to vanish
completely, when exposed to light alone. Employed in water, a thick
glaze of gum-arabic or gamboge adds to its stability. As a landscape
pigment, the colour is out of the general scale of nature; but in
flower-painting its charms are almost irresistible. Nothing certainly
can approach it as a colour for scarlet geraniums, but its beauty is
almost as fleeting as the flowers.


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