CFF Summer Fire What Color is Vermillion?

Coral Bells Firefly(double exposure)

Yesterday my writing group got into a discussion of what color is vermillion. Later in the day I picked up a coral bell to add to my summer garden. Looking closer I discovered it to be described as having vermillion colored flowers. My friend Norie Clarke sent along the quotes below about Vermillion,

I hope to keep my garden full of flaming red flowers all summer long.

Vermillion/Redder Than Fame

Vermilion was the primary red pigment used by European painters from the Renaissance until the 20th century. However, because of its cost and toxicity, it was almost entirely replaced by a new synthetic pigment, cadmium red, in the 20th century. (Happened to cadmium too, right?)
In 1835 “Chinese vermilion” was described as a cinnabar so pure that it only had to be ground into powder to become a perfect vermilion when the synthetic vermilion was introduced, that color became darker and richer.
The poet Bai Juyi (772–846) wrote that
“the flowers in the river when the sun rises are redder than flames”,
and the word he used for red was the word for vermilion, or Chinese red.

For Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge. Summer Fire

7 thoughts on “CFF Summer Fire What Color is Vermillion?

  1. Not far from me there is a town named Vermilion. The sign leading into town says it was named for the vermilion red clay that the native inhabitants used for pottery. Now the town is mostly known for boating, restaurants, antique shops, and the annual “Woolybear” festival in the fall. Interesting post.


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