Browns And The Cold Semi-neutral Grays Marrone Is Practically To


shade, what red is to light; and its relations to other colours are

those of red, &c., when we invert 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; consequently red added to dark brown converts it into

marrone if in sufficient quantity to prevail. In smaller proportions,

d gives to lighter browns the names of bay, chestnut, sorrel, &c.

Owing to confused nomenclature, most of the colours and pigments of

this class have been assigned to other denominations--puce, murrey,

morelle, chocolate, columbine, pavonazzo, &c., being variously ranked

among reds, browns, and purples. This vagueness also accounts for

pigments having been ranged under heads not suited to the names they

bear, and explains why Brown Ochre has been classed among the yellows,

Italian Pink among the same, Brown Pink among the citrines, &c.

As adapted to the walls of a picture gallery, marrone, more or less deep

and inclined to crimson, is one of the best colours known. For the

reason that each colour has its antagonist, and consequently may affect

a picture well or ill, according to its tone or general hue, there can

be no universally good colour for such a purpose. What suits one picture

or style of painting may not suit another: with a blood-red sunset, for

instance, or portrait with crimson drapery, marrone would be out of

place. But as it is impossible to provide each picture with a separate

background, all that can be done in large collections is to study the

general effect, sacrificing the interests of the few to the good of the

many. If cool-coloured landscapes predominate, with blue skies and green

foliage, it will be found that the orange-yellow of the frames agreeably

contrasts the former, and the crimson-marrone of walls as agreeably sets

off the latter. If portraits and historic paintings prevail, which are

in general of a warm advancing nature, then a modest green may prove

eligible. And if engravings form the staple, the grey hue of the print

is best opposed by a bright fawn colour. Where several rooms are devoted

to pictures, a suitable wall colour is most easily secured by

classifying the paintings as far as possible according to their general

hue, and placing them in different chambers: in each there will be a

prevailing character in the colouring of its pictures, and each can be

painted or papered accordingly. However, whether this plan is adopted or

not--and it may be objected to as involving a certain monotony--care

should be taken to have a wall colour of some sort or other, that is, to

let it be seen. Pictures crammed together kill each other: without a

pin's point between them, a speck of wall space visible, much of the

illusion is destroyed. "It is only," says Chevreul, "the intelligent

connoisseur and amateur who, on seeing a picture exhibited in a gallery,

experience all the effect which the artist has wished to produce;

because they alone know the best point of view, and because, while their

attention is fixed on the work they are observing, they alone end by no

longer seeing the surrounding pictures, or even the frame of that one

they contemplate." Amid a moving crowd of people, inseparable from

nearly all public exhibitions, it becomes difficult for the visitor,

intelligent or otherwise, thus to concentrate his attention on one work.

As far, therefore, as space will allow, paintings should be kept

separate: larger rooms, or fewer pictures, are what is wanted.[B]

From this digression, pardonable, let us hope, because in the interests

of art, we will pass on to a consideration of marrone pigments.


is an exceedingly rich marrone or russet-marrone brown, bearing the same

relation to the colour marrone that raw umber bears to the colour

citrine. One of the most valuable products of the madder root, it has

supplied a great desideratum, and in water especially is indispensable,

both as a local and auxiliary colour. Of intense depth and transparency,

if made with skill, it affords the richest description of shadows,

either alone or compounded with blue, and the most delicate pale tints.

Being quite permanent, a good drier, and working most kindly, it is a

pigment which cannot be too strongly recommended to the landscape

painter's notice. Containing a large proportion of red, it is eligible,

with yellow or blue, for mixed orange or mixed purple of a subdued tone.

It may be used tolower red curtains or draperies, and for the darkest

touches in flesh. Mixed with cobalt, it forms a fine shadow colour for

distant objects; and with indigo or Prussian blue and black, is

serviceable for the shades of those nearer the foreground. It is

similarly useful when mixed with black, and will be found advantageous

in rusty iron, as anchors, chains, &c. For the deepest and richest parts

of foregrounds it may be employed alone, as also for deep dark cracks

and fissures, or strong markings in other near objects, as boats and

figures. With French blue, or cobalt and white, a set of beautiful warm

or cold grays may be obtained, in proportion as the brown or blue

predominates. Compounded with blues and bright yellows such as aureolin,

it gives fine autumnal russet greens. A good purple for soft aerial

clouds is furnished by cobalt and brown madder, or for stormy clouds

by the brown, Prussian blue, and black: an equally good slate colour

is obtained from cobalt, sepia, and the brown. For glazing over foliage

and herbage, a mixture of the madder with aureolin or gamboge is adapted;

and for brooks and running streams compounds of this brown with raw Sienna,

cobalt and raw Sienna, Vandyke brown, and French blue, will each be found

useful. Black sails are well represented by burnt Sienna, French blue, and

brown madder; and red sails by light red or burnt Sienna with the brown.


Marrone is a retiring colour easily compounded in all its hues and

shades by the mixture variously of red, and black or brown; or of any

other warm colours in which red and black predominate. A reference to

the permanent brown, black, and red or reddish pigments will show to

what extent the colour marrone may safely be produced by admixture. In

compounding marrone, the brown or black may be itself compounded, before

the addition of the red, reddish-purple, or russet, requisite for its


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