Brown Stil De Grain Citrine Lake Or Quercitron Lake Is Usually


prepared from the berries of Avignon (ramnus infectorius), better known

as French, Persian, or Turkey berries; but a more durable and quicker

drying species is obtained from the quercitron bark. If produced from

the former, it must be branded as fugitive, but if from the latter, it

may be termed semi-stable. In either case it is a lake, precipitated

from the alkaline decoction by means of alum, in such proportions that

the alkali shall not be more than half saturated. The excess of soda or

potash employed imparts a brown hue; but the lake being in general an

orange broken by green, falls into the class of citrine colours,

sometimes inclining to greenness, and sometimes towards the warmth of

orange. It works well both in water and oil, in the latter of which it

is of great depth and transparency, but its tints with white lead are

very fugitive, and in thin glazing it does not stand: the berry variety

dries badly. A fine rich colour, more beautiful than eligible, it is

popular in landscape for foliage in foregrounds. Modified by admixture

with burnt Sienna or gamboge, it yields a compound which, with the

addition of a small quantity of indigo, gives a warm though not very

durable green. In many of the Flemish pictures the foliage has become

blue from the yellowish lake, with which the ultramarine was mixed,

having faded.

It has been remarked that the alteration made by time in semi-stable

pigments is not so observable when they are employed in full body. Their

use generally has been deprecated, but in shadows such vegetable colours

as brown pink are sometimes of advantage, as they are transparent, lose

part of their richness by the action of the air, and do not become

black. Moreover, if mixed with pigments which have a tendency to darken,

they mitigate it very much. This last, indeed, is the most legitimate

purpose to which semi-stable pigments whose colour fades on exposure can

be put.