A fugitive brown extract obtained from the roots of the Spanish licorice plant, Glycyrrhiza glabra native to southern Europe. Licorice is composed of a glycoside, an estrogenic hormone, sugar, and a saponin. It is water soluble and forms a sticky, viscous fluid. The saponin extract from licorice is used in fire extinguishers and it is added to fiber-based insulated building boards as an insect repellent. Licorice was sometimes added to bister to improve its working properties. The brown liquid was also used as a thin, transparent glaze for paintings.
Synonyms and Related Terms
Glycyrrhiza glabra; sweet root; Spanish licorice; Spanish juice
Physical and Chemical Properties
Soluble in water.
Resources and Citations
- R.White "Brown and Black Organic Glazes, Pigments and Paints" National Gallery Technical Bulletin, 10:58-71, 1986.
- Richard S. Lewis, Hawley's Condensed Chemical Dictionary, Van Nostrand Reinhold, New York, 10th ed., 1993
- R.D. Harley, Artists' Pigments c. 1600-1835, Butterworth Scientific, London, 1982
- Van Nostrand's Scientific Encyclopedia, Douglas M. Considine (ed.), Van Nostrand Reinhold, New York, 1976
- The Merck Index, Martha Windholz (ed.), Merck Research Labs, Rahway NJ, 10th edition, 1983 Comment: entry 4514
- Art and Architecture Thesaurus Online, https://www.getty.edu/research/tools/vocabulary/aat/, J. Paul Getty Trust, Los Angeles, 2000