Ultramarine is a deep vivid blue traditionally made by grinding the semi-precious stone lapis lazuli into a powder. Its name comes from the Middle Latin ultramarinus meaning "beyond the sea" as Europeans obtained ultramarine from overseas trade with the Middle East. Ultramarine was an extremely expensive pigment that was used sparingly by artists from the middle ages up until the early 19th century when a synthetic ultramarine pigment was developed in France. Due to the pigments long established reputation as being vivid, brilliant and luxuriously unaffordable, other pigments were marketed as ultramarine colors such as ultramarine green. These are often mixes that include synthetic ultramarine blue. The following are common types of ultramarine color.
Ultramarine Shadow#090045 French Ultramarine#1805db Electric Ultramarine#3f00ff
NotesDue to its cost, European artists often reserved ultramarine for particularly important elements of their works. For example, the Virgin Mary was often depicted wearing an ultramarine robe.Artists often used white or another color of blue as an underpainting with a thin glaze of ultramarine as a finish. For example, the well known 17th painting Girl with a Pearl Earring by Johannes Vermeer features a girl with a blue turban glazed with ultramarine with a white base.Synthetic ultramarine, often known as French Ultramarine, is a more vivid blue than the natural pigment.Throughout most of history, Afghanistan was the primary source of ultramarine. Cave drawings dated to the 6th AD in Afghanistan are also the first known use of ultramarine color.
A deep vivid blue traditionally made by grinding the semi-precious stone lapis lazuli into a powder.
LuxuryThe finest and most expensive blue used by European artists from the middle ages to the early 19th century when synthetic versions of the color were developed.The Virgin Mary is often depicted in an ultramarine robe. This began in the middle ages when the expensive ultramarine pigment was reserved for particularly important subject matter. Femininity, purity and power.
This is the complete list of articles we have written about color palettes.
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