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

Uranium Yellow White Chalk facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail