As I was researching a ‘food archaeology’ dive into cinchona bark for my Around the Table sketching class I ordered a copy of the book Just The Tonic. As I was reading this well researched and very interesting book about the birth of tonic water, I came across a color note regarding – Mauve.
The color Mauve was born from the curiosity of a teenager named William Henry Perkin. William was a student involved in the experimentation to find a synthetic quinine, an important treatment for malaria in the mid 1800s. His success was not in finding a synthetic quinine, but he did discover a dye in the residue of his experimentation vat and by the age of 21 had his own dye manufacturing facility.
Mauve is NOT a color this writer is fond of, so I do not own a premixed Mauve on my watercolor palette. My venture into mixing this color was at the recommendation of others – I chose Quinacridone Rose & Ultramarine Blue… and a touch of Sap Green.
In 1859 Mauve instantly became a fashionable color with followers such as Empress Eugenie [Napoleon III’s wife] and Queen Victoria, influencers of their day.