Blue or ultramarine as we like to call it, is a rich color pigment that was originally made by grinding lapis lazuli into a powder. The name comes from the Latin ultramarinus, literally “beyond the sea”. Lapis lazuli was described by the Greek philosopher Pliny the Elder as ‘a fragment of the starry vault of heaven’. It is, and always has been, the most exotic of semi-precious stones and pigments. When you think of it blue is the colour we see as most connected to our spiritual senses. Feeling blue, vast expanses of receding sky and the infinite depth of the ocean all evoke feelings. The sun through the curling lip of a breaking wave the Madonnas cloak in classical painting and it’s not called the Cote d’Azur for nothing. Yves Klein was a French artist born in 1928 who is famous for one thing, no make that two things. First he registered a deep blue colour as Klein Blue with the Institut national de la propriété Industrielle (INPI) but he never patented IKB. Second, he covered the fronts of nude models with his wet blue paint and printed them onto huge canvases. Strangely the effect is not erotic more a silhouette of Micky Mouse. Enough titillating hints for you to begin your own research. Bon voyage!
Jack Gardner Guest Blogger