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Usta1 was accidentally discovered at a fire in the Piræus, some ceruse having been burnt in the jars there. Nicias, the artist above-mentioned,2 was the first to use it. At the present day, that of Asia, known also as "purpurea," is considered the best. The price of it is six denarii per pound. It is prepared also at Rome by calcining marbled sil,3 and quenching it with vinegar. Without the use of usta shadows cannot be made.4

1 "Burnt" ceruse. This was, in fact, one of the varieties of "minium," red oxide of lead, our red lead. Vitruvius and Dioscorides call it "sandaraca," differing somewhat from that of Pliny.

2 In Chapter 10.

3 See B. xxxiii. cc. 56, 57.

4 It was possibly owing to this that the colour known as "umber" received its name, and not from Ombria, in Italy. Ajasson says that shadows cannot be successfully made without the use of transparent colours, and that red and the several browns are remarkably transparent.

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