Zinc Orange

When hydrochloric acid and zinc are made to act on nitro-prusside of

sodium, a corresponding zinc compound is formed of a deep orange colour,

slightly soluble in water, and not permanent.

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For a secondary colour, orange is well represented on the modern

palette, and can point to some pigments as good and durable as any to be

found among the primaries. Burnt Sienna, cadmium orange, Mars orange,

neutral orange, and orange or burnt Roman ochre, are all strictly

permanent. The so-called orange vermilions were, it will be remembered,

classed among the reds.

As semi-stable, must be ranked chrome orange; and as fugitive, Chinese

orange, orange orpiment, and orange lead.

From the foregoing division, the predominance of eligible orange

pigments over those less trustworthy is manifest. Unfortunately, with

many painters it is not so manifest that their secondary and compound

colours should receive as much attention as the primaries, and that it

is their duty, not only to the art which they practice, but to the

patrons for whom they practice it, that their orange and green and

purple hues, should be as durable as their yellows, reds, and blues. For

such, the introduction of a new permanent pigment is of little interest,

unless its colour be primary; so wedded are they to that passion for

compounding which the chemist views with dismay. With dismay, because he

knows that the rules of mixture are severe, and cannot with impunity be

altered; that, although disguised in oil or gum, each pigment is a

chemical compound, with more or less of affinity and power, more or less

likely to act or be acted upon. Because he knows that, except with the

most experienced artists, compounding leads to confusion; and that in it

the temptations to use semi-stable or fugitive colours are strong. Look

at those tables of mixed tints of which artist-authors are so fond, and

tell us whether they always bear scrutiny--surely not. Admirable,

perfect as these tints may be in an artistic sense, how often is their

beauty like the hectic flush of consumption, which carries with it the

seeds of a certain death. Will that orange where Indian yellow figures

ever see old age, or that green with indigo, or purple with cochineal

lake? Will they not rather spread over the picture the Upas-tree of

fugacity, and kill it as they die themselves!


Green, which occupies the middle station in the natural scale of colours

and in relation to light and shade, is the second of the secondary

Zinc Brown Zinc-cobalt Blue facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail