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Vanadium Green

falls when ferrocyanide of potassium is added to vanadic acid dissolved
in a strong acid. It is a beautiful green precipitate, but at present
simply a curiosity, owing to the rarity of the metal vanadium.

* * * * *

Adopting our usual custom of separating the wheat from the chaff, we
point to the opaque and transparent oxides of chromium, Veronese green,
viridian, emerald green, Scheele's green, and terre verte, as more or
less worthy of being dubbed durable.

As semi-stable, malachite green, bronze, Hooker's green, and Prussian
green, must be classed.

Verdigris, chrome greens, and sap green, should be branded as fugitive:
the chrome greens, because they are always commercially composed of
chromate of lead and Prussian blue, two compounds which are semi-stable
in themselves, but become fugacious when compounded.

A reference to the numbered italicised greens will show that there are
many not known to the palette, which are nevertheless very greatly
superior, as regards permanence, to some that disgrace it. Why these
latter are suffered to hold their position is a mystery not easily
explained: it is hard to reconcile the deplored degeneracy of modern
pigments with the popularity of semi-stable and fugitive colours.
Pictures do not stand, is the common cry; therefore, says the public,
there are no good pigments now-a-days. To which we answer, newly built
houses are constantly falling down; therefore there are no good bricks
in these times. Of a truth, one conclusion is as reasonable as the
other: in either case, if rotten materials be used, the result cannot be
lasting; but in neither case does it follow, because such materials are
employed, that there are no better obtainable. A well-built house
implies a conscientious builder, and a well-painted picture implies a
conscientious artist. It is because, we fear, that there are so few
conscientious artists, that there are so few permanent paintings; not,
certainly, because there are no good pigments. In this last belief,
however, the public is encouraged by certain painters, who seek thereby
to excuse their own shortcomings, forgetting that it is a bad workman
who finds fault with his tools. It has been well observed that when
artists speak regrettingly of lost 'systems,' or pigments enjoyed by the
mediaevalists and unattainable now, it would be far better were they to
make the best use of existing materials, and study their further
development. There is no need for this cant cry of fugacity, which casts
such a blight on modern art. Durable pigments are not yet obsolete, they
have only to be employed and employed properly to furnish paintings
equal in permanence to those of the old masters. "Titian," says Haydon,
"got his colours from the colour shops on the Rialto, as we get ours
from Brown's; and if Apelles or Titian were living now, they would paint
just as good works with our brushes and colours as with their own."


Purple, the third and last of the secondary colours, is composed of

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