Orange Vermilion


Deep or pale, when well made and pure is of strict permanence, not

sensibly affected by light, time, or foul air; and eligible either in

water, oil, or fresco. For an enamel colour it is unsuited, being

dissipated at a red heat, a test that detects the presence of any

non-volatile adulterant. The best vermilion is a powerful vivid colour,

higher in tone than all reds, except the scarlet iodide of mercury. With

this it should not be compounded, but with other pigments it may safely

be used in admixture, as far as its own colour is concerned. Of great

body, weight, and opacity, it is a somewhat slow drier; and does not

retain that brilliancy when dry, which is peculiar to it while wet. A

want of transparency, and not drying well, prevent its being so

generally employed as would be desirable. Pictures should seem to be

painted with colour, not with pigment, the material being lost amid the

hues, tints, and shades; but with such compounds as vermilion, the art

of concealing art becomes difficult indeed. The pigment is apt to

predominate over the colour, and the painting to look mechanical rather

than natural: particles are apparent where hues alone should be seen,

and all sense of reality is destroyed. For these reasons, vermilion is a

dangerous pigment in unskilled hands, needing an intimate acquaintance

with its physical properties. The extreme weight or specific gravity of

the red renders it liable to sink and separate when compounded with

other colours; hence the heavier those mixed with it the better. Its

almost equal opacity, too, and habit of washing up, militate against its

use by young painters. With experience, however, and due care, this is

a serviceable colour; yielding with white most delicate flesh tints, and

in minute proportion with cobalt or French blue and white, tender aerial


Being cheaper than formerly, vermilion is not so much adulterated as it

once was; although, even now, brickdust, orpiment, &c. sometimes

sophisticate it. The knavish practices to which the pigment has been

subjected, have acquired it an ill-fame both with authors and artists.

Vermilion has been charged with fading in the light, and with being

blackened by impure air; but it was the custom to crimson the colour by

means of lake, or tone it to a scarlet hue by red lead. With pigments as

with persons, evil communications corrupt good manners--a motto that

might be written with advantage on every palette.


Resembles the preceding in all respects, except in being more scarlet in

its tint, and washing better; advantages which render it more useful

when the tone is required to be very bright and pure. At one time, the

Dutch alone in Europe possessed the secret of giving to vermilion a rich

scarlet colour.


Orange Russet Russet Rubiate Or Field's Russet This Is A Very Otherwise Called Berlin Blue Paris Blue Prussiate Of Iron facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail