Fuchsia and Magenta

fuchsia.jpgIn Monday’s tutorial I mislabeled Fuchsia. On the right side of the chart I called it Magenta. Thank you to Judy Reese in Washington for raising her virtual hand to ask the obvious question. Where do I find Premo Magenta? Ah. There is no such thing as Premo Magenta – just lots of confusion because I used the words Fuchsia and Magenta interchangeably.

This is not wrong. They are the same color. The naming history is interesting.

From a children’s storybook called “Naming Colors” by Ariane Dewey -

“The town of Magenta is in northern Italy. A very bloody battle was fought there in 1859 between the French, thier Italian allies, and the Austrians. Some French chemists had just invented a red dye. When they heard of France and Italy’s victory, they decided to name the dye Magenta after the battle.”

Before the battle the new synthetic color was called fuchsin from the flower named after the German 16th century botanist, Otto Fuchs.

Somewhere I’ve read that the earlier name, Fuchsia, was adopted by the Germans who did not want a color named after a French victory.

So Magenta is the French name and Fuchsia the German name for the same color.

The Wikapedia sites for Fuchsia and Magenta go into lots (and lots) more detail.

The main thing to remember – whether it is called Fuchsia or Magenta – it is the color that is the process primary. And its complement is  . . . spectrum Green.

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One Response to Fuchsia and Magenta

  1. Bianca says:

    Hi Maggie,

    I really love the book that you and Lindly made. Today I wanted to make the Color-Scale triangle (page 72). I am not sure wich Premo colors to use for the baseline colors, the mix from Blue to Magenta. I always used Fuchsia and Cobalt blue for mixing, but Lindly’s Yellow to Fuchsia colormix in the book (Lindly’s triangle on page 74) looks more red/pinkisch than mine. Can you please let me know if I need to mix the Fuchsia or maybe use a different color for the Magenta in the Color-Scale exercise

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