How to get Background colour for a Widget

I'm trying to get the current background colour for a widget, with odd results. I'm using the Gtk# bindings, so I'm not sure what the calls translate into in Gtk+, but if I read a DrawingArea (da) Background with:-

Gdk.Color bg = da.Style.Backgrounds[(int)StateType.Normal];

then set the colour back to this value with

da.ModifyBg(StateType.Normal, bg);

I get a different colour from the original! If I set the default BG with the same call, but with a null colour argument, the original background is indeed restored, but I seem to be unable to read this colour. The obvious property for the BG colour is da.Style.Background(StateType.Normal), but this property is write-only (though I'm not sure why). Any help in understanding what is going on would be most welcome. I've tried the Gtk# list, but it was suggested I'd do better here.

-- Hywel Thomas

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