The Ten Books on Architecture, 7.5.8

Vitruvius  Parallel editions

‹‹‹ Vitr. 7.5.7 | Table of Contents | Vitr. 7.6.1 ›››

Gwilt translation

8Who in former times used minium otherwise than as a medicine? In the present age, however, walls are every where covered with it To this may be added the use of chrysocolla, purple, and azure decorations, which, without the aid of real art, produce a splendid effect. These are so costly, that unless otherwise stated in agreements, they are to be, by law, charged to the account of the employer. To my utmost I have described the means for avoiding defective plastering, and as lime has previously been sufficiently treated of, it now remains to treat of marble.

Morgan translation

8For example, which of the ancients can be found to have used vermilion otherwise than sparingly, like a drug? But today whole walls are commonly covered with it everywhere. Then, too, there is malachite green, purple, and Armenian blue. When these colours are laid on, they present a brilliant appearance to the eye even although they are inartistically applied, and as they are costly, they are made exceptions in contracts, to be furnished by the employer, not by the contractor.

I have now sufficiently explained all that I could suggest for the avoidance of mistakes in stucco work. Next, I shall speak of the components as they occur to me, and first I shall treat of marble, since I spoke of lime at the beginning.