Olive Terre Verte


We have obtained a very beautiful olive from terre verte by simply

changing its hue. In oil, especially, the colour so produced would be

found of service for autumn foliage, or richly painted foregrounds. A

simple original pigment, consisting wholly of the earth, it resembles

ordinary terre verte in being unaffected by strong light or impure air,

and uninjured by admixture; but differs from it in not darkening by

Semi-transparent, of sober richness and drying well in oil, it is,

according to its powers, a perfectly unexceptionable colour, of strict


* * * * *

Of the two olive colours in common use, olive lake and olive green, the

first is generally semi-stable, and apt to blacken; while the second is

usually fugitive, and liable to fade: both are compounds. The palette,

therefore, possesses no original olive pigment, good or bad. A glance at

the numbered italicised olives will show that the doubtful mixtures

referred to might with advantage be superseded. It is clear that the

olive pigments which the palette does not know, are better than those

with which it is acquainted.


As colour, according to the regular scale descending from white, ceases

properly with the last of the tertiaries, olive, in theory the neutral

black would here form a fitting conclusion. Practically, however, every

coloured pigment, of every class or tribe, combines with black as it

exists in pigments--not simply being deepened or lowered in tone

thereby, but likewise defiled in colour, or changed in class. Hence

there arises a new series or scale of coloured compounds, having black

for their basis, which, though they differ not theoretically from the

preceding order inverted, are yet in practice imperfect or impure. These

broken compounds of black, or coloured blacks and greys, we have

distinguished by the term, semi-neutral, and divided them into three

classes: Brown, Marrone, and Gray. What tints are with respect to white,

they are with regard to black, being, so to speak, black tints or


The first of the series is BROWN, a term which, in its widest

acceptation, has been used to include vulgarly every kind of dark broken

colour, and is, in a more limited sense, the rather indefinite name of a

very extensive class of colours of warm or tawny hues. Accordingly there

are browns of every denomination except blue; to wit, yellow-brown,

red-brown, orange-brown, purple-brown, citrine-brown, russet-brown, &c.

But there is no such thing as a blue-brown, nor, strictly, any other

coloured brown in which blue predominates; such predominance of a cold

colour at once carrying the compound into the class of gray, ashen, or

slate. Brown comprises the hues called dun, hazel, auburn, feuillemort,

mort d'ore, &c.; several of which have been already mentioned as allied

to the tertiary colours.