Dictionarium polygraphicum. Vermilion.

Dictionarium Polygraphicum:
Or, The Whole Body of Arts Regularly Digested.
Vol II.
London: Printed for C. Hitch and C. Davis in Pater-noster Row, and S. Austen in St. Paul's Church Yard. MDCCXXXV.
Vermilion is a very bright beautiful red colour, in great esteem among the ancients under the name of minium.

There are two kinds of it, the one natural, and the other factitious.

The natural is found in some silver mines in the form of a ruddy sand, which is afterwards prepar'd and purified by several lotions and coctions.

The artificial is made of mineral cinnabar, ground up with aqua-vita and urine, and afterwards dried.

It is also made of lead burnt and wash'd, or of ceruss prepar'd by fire: but this is not properly call'd vermilion, but red-lead.

Yet this last, however, seems to be the real vermilion of the ancients, and both apothecaries and painters still give it the name to enhance the price.

We have two kinds of vermilion from Holland, the one of a deep red, the other pale; but 'tis the same stuff at the bottom: the only difference of colour, proceeding from the cinnabar's being more or less ground: when the cinnabar is finely ground, the vermilion is pale; and this is preserv'd before that, which is coarser and redder.

It is of very great use with painters in oil and miniature; and among the ladies for a fucus, or paint, to heighten the complexion of such as are too pale.

Vermilion some disapprove of, to be us'd in painting prints, unless it be prepared by washing, as is directed for minium; and then chiefly for dry painting, except it be by those persons, who can use it moderately, and with judgment; for all heavy colours will drown the shades or strokes of the engraver.

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