mercuric sulfide love

mercuric sulfide


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A poisonous compound, HgS, having two forms.
  • noun Black mercuric sulfide, a black powder obtained from mercury salts or by the reaction of mercury with sulfur, used as a pigment.
  • noun Red mercuric sulfide, a bright scarlet powder occurring naturally or prepared by heating mercury with sulfur, that is sensitive to heat and light and is used as a pigment.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun inorganic chemistry The sulfide of mercury, HgS, that occurs as the mineral cinnabar.


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  • "Sometime before the fifth century B.C., painters in Asia discovered that a far more satisfactory red could be made from the mineral cinnabar, or mercuric sulfide, a compound also known as vermilion and minium. Used to striking effect in Chinese scrolls and later on the frescoed walls of Pompeii, cinnabar did have several disadvantages: it was expensive, poisonous, and had a disconcerting propensity to turn black with exposure to light. Yet because it was by far the most brilliant red paint available, cinnabar continued to be used and celebrated for more than a thousand years."

    Amy Butler Greenfield, A Perfect Red: Empire, Espionage, and the Quest for the Color of Desire (New York: Harper Collins, 2005), 3.

    October 4, 2017