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On this page: Painting (continued)

PAINTING.

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(vii)j and the elder Pliny (xxxiii and xxxv). It is observed by Cicero in the Brutus § 70, that only four colours were used by PQlj'-gnotus, Zeuxis, Timanthes, and their con­temporaries, as contrasted with their suc­cessors, Aetlon, Nicomachus, ProtSgenes,

(6) * PAINT-BOX, ETC.

(First published by B. Fillon, Description de la Villa it ctu Tombeait d'«nc Ftmme Artiste Gallo-romaine, Fontenay, 1819.)

and Apelles. Pliny (xxxv 50), who identi­fied the colours as white (melinum), yellow {sil Atftcum), red (SlnSpIs Ponttca), and black (Mramentum), even places Aetion, Nicomachus, Apelles, and Melanthius under the same limitation. But it is hardly probable that such important colours as blue and green were dispensed with, even in the primitive art of Polygnotus; much less in the more advanced art of Zeuxis and his contemporaries; and least of all in that of Apelles and Protogenes. The earliest artists, however, may well have used comparatively few colours, and those of the simplest kind, the cOlOresausteriof Pliny xxxv 30, as contrasted with the colorcs flo-v\di: such as vermilion, " Armenian blue," " dragon's blood," malachite green, indigo, and purple. These were characteristic of later developments of art, and were so costly that they were not paid for by the artists, but by those who gave them their commissions (ib. 44; Vitruv., vii 5, 8).

The pigments known to the ancients were as follows:

White. The pigment used in Greece was a " pipe-clay " called meltnum (Gr. mlllais), found in veins in the island of MelSs. It was not available for fresco-painting (Pliny, xxxv 49). A white earth of Eretria was employed by Nicomachus and Parrhasius (ib. 38). A commoner pigment was the cretfi Sellnttsia of Seliuus in Sicily, used for mural paintings (ib. 49, 194), and the creta aniildria, made by mixing chalk with [ the glass composition worn in the rings of j

the poor (ib. 48). For fresco-painting they used pdrcct&nium, a hydrated silicate of magnesia, so called from a cliff on the African coast near Egypt (ib. 30), which in Rome was adulterated with creta Cwiolia (ib. 36). For other purposes they employed whitelead (Gr. psimytlASn ; Lat. cerasso), an artificial product, the finest sorts of which came from Rhodes, Corinth, and Sparta. It is carbonate of lead, and is still used under various names (e.g. ceruse). It is sold in its crude form as " Chemnitz or Vienna white," and mixed with sulphate of barium in "Dutch, Hamburg, and Venetian white."

Yellow. The pigments in use were yellow ochre and orpiment. The best kind of yellow ochre (Gr. ochra; Lat. sil) was found in the mines of Laurium. It was also found in Scyros, Achaia, Gaul, Cappadocia, Cyprus, and Lydia. The Attic variety was first used by Polj'gnotus and Mlcon; it was afterwards preferred for the high lights, while the kinds from Scyros and Lydia were reserved for the shadows (ib. xxxiii 158-160, xxxvii 179). It is a diluted brows ochre or hydrated peroxide of iron, being composed of oxygen, water, and iron, mixed with more or less clay. Orpimeut, or tri-sulphide of arsenic (Gr. arsenlcOn; Lat. auripigmentum), was of two kinds: (1) of a golden yellow, from Mysia on the coast of the Hellespont; and (2) a duller kind, from Pontus and Cappadocia (Dioscorides v 120). It could not be used for frescoes (Pliny xxxv 49). Yellow ochre and orpi­ment (under the name of " king's or Chinese yellow ") are still in use.

Red. One of the oldest pigments was ruddle (Gr. milt5s ; Lat. rubnca). This is a red earth coloured by sesquioxide of iron. In the Homeric age it was used to orna­ment the bows of ships. In later times the clay from which Greek vases were made owed its brilliant hue to the ruddle of Caps Collas on the Attic coast (Suidas, s.v. Koliadds kSrameSs, and Pliny, xxxv 152). The best kind came from Cappadocia, by way of Smope (hence called Sinopls Pontlcd, ib. 31, 36, xxxiii 117), or through Ephesua (Strabo, p. 540). It was also found in North Africa (cicerculum, Pliny, xxxv 32), especi­ally in Egypt and at Carthage; also in Spain and the Balearic Islands, and LemnSs and Ceos. There was a treaty forbidding the export of ruddle from Ceos except only to Athens (Hicks, Or. Historical Inscriptions, p. 186). It could be artificially produced by calcining yellow ochre, a discovery due

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