The Ten Books on Architecture, 7.9.2

Vitruvius  Parallel editions

‹‹‹ Vitr. 7.9.1 | Table of Contents | Vitr. 7.9.3 ›››

Gwilt translation

2But in open places, such as peristylia or exedræ, and similar situations whereto the rays of the sun and moon penetrate, the brilliancy of the colour is destroyed by contact with them, and it becomes black. Thus, as it has happened to many others, Faberius, the scribe, wishing to have his house on the Aventine elegantly finished, coloured the walls of the peristylia with vermilion. In the course of thirty days they turned to a disagreeable uneven colour; on which account he was obliged to agree with the contractors to lay on other colours.

Morgan translation

2Hence, though it keeps its colour perfectly when applied in the polished stucco finish of closed apartments, yet in open apartments, such as peristyles or exedrae or other places of the sort, where the bright rays of the sun and moon can penetrate, it is spoiled by contact with them, loses the strength of its colour, and turns black. Among many others, the secretary Faberius, who wished to have his house on the Aventine finished in elegant style, applied vermilion to all the walls of the peristyle; but after thirty days they turned to an ugly and mottled colour. He therefore made a contract to have other colours applied instead of vermilion.