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Yellow Is A Chief Constituent: Hence Brown Is In Some Measure To Shade

what yellow is to light. Hence, also, proper quantities of either the
three primaries, the three secondaries, or the three tertiaries, produce
variously a brown mixture. Browns contribute to coolness and clearness
by contrast when opposed to pure colours, and Rubens more especially
appears to have employed them upon this principle; although the same may
be said of Titian, Correggio, Paulo Veronese, and all the best
colourists. Being a sort of intermedia between positive colours and
neutrality, browns equally contrast colour and shade. This accounts for
their vast importance in painting, and the necessity of preserving them
distinct from other colours, to which they give foulness in mixture; and
to this is due their use in backgrounds and in relieving of coloured

The tendency in the compounds of colours to run into brownness and
warmth is one of the common natural properties of colours which
occasions them to deteriorate or defile each other in mixture. Brown by
consequence is synonymous with foul or dirty, as opposed to fair or
clean; and hence brown, which is the nearest of the semi-neutrals in
relation to light, is to be avoided in mixture with light colours. Yet
is it an example of the wisdom of nature's Author that brown is
rendered, like green, a prevailing hue, and in particular an earth
colour, as a contrast which is harmonized by the blueness and coldness
of the sky.

This tendency will likewise explain the use of brown in harmonizing and
toning, as well as the great number of natural and artificial pigments
and colours so called. It was the fertility and abundance of browns that
caused our great landscape-colourist Wilson, when a friend went
exultingly to tell him that he had discovered a new brown, to check him
in his characteristic way, with--"I'm sorry for it: we have gotten too
many of them already." Nevertheless, fine transparent browns are
obviously very valuable.

If red or blue in excess be added to brown, it falls into the other
semi-neutral classes, marrone or gray. The wide acceptation of the term
brown has occasioned much confusion in the naming of colours, since
broken colours in which red, &c. predominate, have been improperly
called brown. That term, therefore, should be confined to the
semi-neutral colours, compounded of, or like in hue to, either the

Next: Primary Yellow The Secondary Orange Or The Tertiary Citrine With

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