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.
Chrome Yellow is a pigment of modern introduction into general use, and of considerable variety, which are mostly chromates of lead, in which the latter metal more or less abounds. They are distinguished by the pure-ness, beauty, and brilliancy of their colours, which qualities are great temptations to their use in the hands of the painter; they are notwithstanding far from unexceptionable pigments; - yet they have a good body, and go cordially into tint with white, both in water and oil; but used alone, or in tint, they after some time lose their pure colour, and may even become black in impure air: they nevertheless resist the sun's rays during a long time. Upon several colours they produce serious changes, ultimately destroying Prussian and Antwerp blues, when used therewith in the composition of greens, etc. In general they do not accord with the modest hues of nature, nor harmonize well with the sober beauty of other colours; hence the opinions of artists vary exceedingly respecting these pigments. Whether improvement in their modes of preparation and use will render them eligible pigments hereafter remains to be proved.
We have prepared them upon almost every possible base; and the late ingenious Dr. Boll-mann, who introduced them into commerce, made trials at our suggestion for improving them, but none has been hitherto produced upon which the artist can safely trust his reputation as a colourist. This substance was known as a native pigment long before it was distinguished as a chemical substance.
This pigment is also a chromate of lead, prepared in Paris, differing in no essential particular from the above, except in the paleness of its colour. The chrome yellows have also obtained other names from places or persons from whence they have been brought, or by whom they have been prepared, such as Jaune de Cologne; we pass over, however, such as have not been generally received. The following pigment passes also under the name of Jaune Minerale: -