Tin Violet

By heating chromate of stannic oxide to bright redness, a dark violet

mass is obtained, which is better adapted to enamel painting than to the

palette. It communicates in glazings a variety of tints, from rose-red

to violet.

* * * * *

So scant is the number of good purples in common use, that there are but

two which can be classed as durable, namely, purple madder and the true

Mars violet.

Foremost in the second group stands burnt carmine. As there are

different degrees both of permanence and fugacity, so are there

different degrees of semi-stability. Burnt carmine, burnt lake, Indian

purple, and violet carmine, all belong to this division; but the first

certainly is more permanent than the rest.

Rich and beautiful as it is, purple madder cannot be called brilliant;

while Mars violet is, of course, ochrous. Unlike green and orange,

therefore, purple can point to no original pigment at once vivid and

durable: as regards purple, brilliancy implies a semi-stability that

borders more or less closely on fugacity. Until the advent of a perfect

palette, however, brilliancy and semi-stability will doubtless hold

their own. Their present popularity may be seen by a glance at the lists

of artist-colours--lists compiled, be it remembered, in obedience to

the law of demand and supply. If art were really so much honoured as

some of its disciples pretend, none but durable colours would be

employed. In our opinion, if a picture be worth painting at all, it is

worth painting with permanent pigments; but many evidently think

otherwise. Deploring an error neither flattering to the craft they

practise nor to themselves, we would urge such to bear in mind this

axiom, semi-stable pigments become fugitive when used in thin washes.

Even in body they do not preserve their primitive hue, but in glazing

and the like, their colour altogether flies or is wholly destroyed.

It is this semi-stability, recommended to the thoughtless and

indifferent by the beauty which generally accompanies it, that is the

bane of modern art. Even our greatest painters have yielded to its

fascination. Who has not gazed upon one of Turner's fading pictures with

still more of sadness than enjoyment, that anything so grand, so

beautiful, so true, should slowly but surely be passing away? A feeling

akin to pity is conjured up at the sight of the helpless wreck,

abandoned amid the treacherous materials employed, and sinking deeper

and deeper. Mournful, indeed, is that mighty ruin of mind amid matter;

mournful the thought that in years to come, the monument sought for will

not be found.


Citrine, or the colour of the citron, is the first of the tertiary class

of colours, or ultimate compounds of the primary triad, yellow, red, and

blue; in which yellow is the archeus or predominating colour, and blue

the extreme subordinate. For citrine being an immediate compound of the

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