This section is from the book "Chromatography; Or, A Treatise On Colours And Pigments, And Of Their Powers In Painting", by George Field. Also available from Amazon: Chromatography, or A Treatise on Colours and Pigments, and of Their Powers in Painting.
We have adopted the term marrone for our second and middle semi-neutral, as univocal of a class of impure colours composed of black and red, black and purple, or black and russet pigments, or with black and any other denomination of pigments in which red predominates. It is a mean between the warm, broken, semi-neutral class of colours called brown, and the cold semi-neutral class of grey, or ashen. Marrone is practically to shade, what red is to light; and its relations to other colours are those of red, etc, when we invert or degradate the scale from black to white. It is therefore a following, or shading, colour of red and its derivatives; and hence its accordances, contrasts, and expressions, agree with those of red degraded; hence red added to dark brown converts it into marrone if in sufficient quantity to predominate. In smaller proportions red gives to lighter browns the denominations of bay, chestnut, sorrel, etc.
Owing to the instability and confusion of the nomenclature of colours, most of the colours and pigments of tins class have been assigned to other denominations, as reds, browns, and purples - puce, pavonazzo, murrey, morello, chocolate, columbine, etc. (and the seasons of London bring us annually new names for broken colours from the dyer, few of which survive the ephemeral fashions which introduce them): hence pigments which belong properly to the present and other classes have been arranged according to their names under other heads; such in the present instance are the ochres called purple-brown, mineral purple, dark cassius purple, dark Indian red, etc, which see. It is owing to this vagueness of nomenclature that the present and other denominations of broken colours have been unknown to or little used by the poets, who have coloured every thing according to nature, fancy, or analogy; even time and things immaterial - the hours, the days, and the seasons. Thus, according to Lomatius, the days of the week have been denoted by colours. Sunday, as white; Monday, yellow; Tuesday, red; Wednesday, blue; Thursday, green; Friday, purple; and Saturday, black: again, of the months, January, white; February, grey; March, orange; April, olive; May, green; June, carnation; July, red; August, golden; September, blue; October, violet; November, purple; December, black: and Time and the Poets wore fillets of green, denoting immortality, whence the custom of strewing green herbs upon graves; in all of which we may remark some order and natural analogy.
Marrone is a retiring colour easily compounded in all its hues and shades by the mixture variously of red, black, and brown, or of any other warm colours in which red and black predominate; but the following are the only pigments which bear the denomination: -
Chocolate lead is a pigment prepared by calcining oxide of lead with about a third of that of copper, and reducing the compound to a uniform tint by levigation. It is of a chocolate hue, strong opaque body, and dries freely. Cliromale of copper and chromate of quicksilver afford similar pigments, varying in brightness of colour; but all these, being of colours easily compounded, arc not employed.
Marrone Lake is a preparation of madder of great depth, transparency, and durability of colour. It works well in water, glazes and dries in oil, and is in all respects a good pigment: as, however, its hues are easily given with other pigments, it has not been much used. There is a deeper kind, which has been called purple-black.
Failures in the process of burning carmines, and preparing the purple of gold, frequently afford good marrone colours.
Carucru, Or Chica, is a new pigment, of a soft powdery texture, and rich marrone colour, brought by Lieutenant Mawe from South America; for a portion of which we have been indebted to the kindness of Mr. Brockedon. It is said to be procured from a species of bignonia in the manner of indigo by the Indians of the interior of Guiana, and employed by their chiefs and higher orders as a fucus for the face, and as a sovereign remedy, topically applied, for the erysipelas.* Comparatively as a pigment, it resembles marrone lake in colour, and is equal in body and transparency to the carmine of cochineal, though by no means approaching it in beauty, or even in durability, fugitive as the latter pigment is. Exposed to the light of a window, even without sun, the colour of carucru is soon changed and destroyed, which defects alone render it unfit for fine art, whatever value it may be found to possess in dyeing or in medicine.
In its chemical affinities it very much resembles the best anotta, although it is redder in colour; and, if we may venture an opinion, it is but a finer species of that drug, and may be substituted for it in tinging lackers and varnishes, as it forms a rich orange tincture with spirit of wine.
* See an article on this production by Dr. Hancock, Edht. N. Phil. Journ. No. XIV.
Its use as a rouge evinces a good eye in the Carib, with whose complexion it is better suited to harmonize, than the gaudy rouge prepared from car-thamus or safflower, very injudiciously employed by the fair beauties of Europe.