Viridian

Viridian

One of the prettiest colors also has one of the prettiest names. Viridian is a medium green with notes of blue (though it is more green than blue). The name is based directly on the Latin word for green—though the first English use of the name viridian came only in the 1860s when all sots of greens became popular with the growing Victorian middle class (and were first commercially available due to the burgeoning chemical industries and consumer goods industries of the time).

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The pigment used in viridian paint is a hydrated chromium(III) oxide, which is colorfast but nothing like the formidable phthalocyanine dyes which eventually ruin all pieces of artist’s clothing (believe me). Viridian has a political significance—the color was affiliated with a group of environmental and technological theorists who believe that humankind’s environmental and resource problems have high tech solutions. These theorists were originally known as the Viridian Design Movement but their ideas have been assimilated into the “Bright Green” environmental movement which emphasizes science and technology solutions to modern global conundrums (as opposed the “Dark Green” movement which advocates for the destruction of technology and a substantial reduction in the human population).

Viridian Acolyte art by D. Alexander Gregory

Viridian Acolyte art by D. Alexander Gregory