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"Chamois, jonquille, and yellow generally" Topic

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4th Cuirassier14 Sep 2023 5:56 a.m. PST

For years I've been painting the yellow bits on French light infantry in, well, yellow, on the basis that it's usually called yellow in English. Sometimes 'jonquille' is mentioned but that's just a type of yellow. I have Ospreys that allude to 'chamois' but as that's a kind of yellowish gazelle I figured it's still yellow.

P Dawson's book on the French army at Waterloo with a photo of a swatch of 'chamois'. It is, frankly, Vallejo Flat Flesh colour. Between that and the light green of chasseurs being very light indeed it looks like all my chasseurs are wrong. Oops.

Does anyone else paint chasseur facings flesh colour? I think I shall have to start.

shadoe0114 Sep 2023 1:02 p.m. PST

I think it depends on a lot of things:

1) The scale of the miniature.

2) Questions on whether or not the cloth colour has changed with time – not just exposure to sun but also chemical changes.

3) How it's perceived at the time – we're used to brighter dyes so what might have appeared "very yellow" to someone in the past might seem dull to us.

4) The camera, lighting and surrounding context of the photo of the cloth sample was taken.

5) The reproduction of the photo.

Having said that I would go with what we see in period art work as that's the period perception of the colour.

I do 15/18mm and tend to go brighter – so more yellow and not flesh.

JAFD2614 Sep 2023 6:32 p.m. PST

There is a page or so in Elting's _Swords around a Throne_ which discusses this, quotes contemporary officer. Unfortunately, am separated from my copy at moment, would find exact page if me and book were together.

Anthony Barton15 Sep 2023 10:20 a.m. PST

The commonest vegetable dye for yellow was Weld or Rocket,which grows everywhere, and produces a light lemon yellow shade.It would almost the only choice for large scale production.
It is notorious for fading after a few years, hence the way fabrics originally intended to be green (dyed with mixed Weld and Indigo) become blue over time, 15th century tapestries being a well known example.
So I should be very cautious of the colour a Napoleonic cloth sample might nowadays appear : if dyed with Weld, mixed with red dyes like Madder, the Madder might remain when the Weld has vanished.
Madder also fades, especially in direct sunlight, but often survives quite well if kept indoors.
Perhaps surprisingly, Indigo fades almost not at all .

Prince of Essling18 Sep 2023 8:15 a.m. PST

According to "Encyclopedie des Uniformes Napoleoniens 1800-1815 Tome 1" by Vincent Bourgeot & Alain Pigeard "Chamois" is animal skin coloured hence chamois leather:


The colour chart at the back of the book on Lucien Rousselot's plates on "Napoleon's Armee 1800-1815" has an orangish tint the colour being nearer below:


Personal logo deadhead Supporting Member of TMP18 Sep 2023 10:55 a.m. PST

Green fading to blue. Classic is de Marbot's jacket (pelisse) in La Musee de l'Armee, not a trace of the original green anywhere. It is a faded blue colour.

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