lapis lazuli


The colour was called Ultramarine Blue and the most expensive pigment during the Renaissance and was noted to be more expensive than gold. Ultramarine blue made from lapis lazuli is one of the few natural pigments with a permanent and vivid blue colour, good opacity, and high stability. It has always been very expensive and today can sell for over $1,000 per pound.



paintings done with ultramarine blue pigment
Paintings Done With Ultramarine Blue: Four well-known paintings done using ultramarine pigment. Clockwise from top left: The Starry Night by Vincent Van Gogh; Girl With a Pearl Earring by Johannes Vermeer; Bacchus and Ariadneby Titian; and, The Virgin in Prayer by Sassoferrato. All images are in the public domain and were obtained from

True or False: Can you smell or taste colours?


Trivia: How many colours can you see?

Equinox, Hans Hofmann, 1958.
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