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Genuine Lapis Lazuli Afghanistan



Genuine Lapis Lazuli Afghanistan

  • PB29


    Lightfastness 8/8

    Granulation: medium


    " Azure ultramarine is a noble, beautiful, very perfect color in addition to all colors, of which one could neither say nor do what it no longer exists. " Cennino Cennini wrote in his famous Book of the Art referring to blue that it was obtained by processing the mineral Lapis Lazuli. For Filarete it was " the most beautiful blue, obtained from a stone and coming from beyond the seas and is therefore called 'overseas' .. " And for Pliny the Elder: " a fragment of the starry vault of the sky ... " Chemically a sodium and aluminosilicate polysulphide, it owes its deep purple blue to the lazurite component. Semi-transparent, extremely lightfast and with slight granulation. Known in ancient times as a decorative stone to the Egyptians and Babylonians, lapis lazuli is perhaps the most precious and praised pigment in the West since the late Middle Ages. Extracted from the Badakhshan quarries in present-day Afghanistan, it cost more than gold at the palettes of European painters of the time. They often had to face long lengths to procure them journeys to the great trading cities. The use of the only ultramarine blue was therefore rare and sometimes the subject of litigation in the quirky contracts between patron, often replaced with the cheaper Azurite. To get the extraordinarily intense blue and purple, the Lapis Lazuli powder, according to a long and complex alchemical method, was mixed on a base of beeswax and natural resins to create a pastel that it was appropriately left to rest and then immersed in water where it released its purest blue. Not even today's scholars are able to justify the effectiveness of this method which nevertheless gave birth to ultramarine blue, the blue of Fra Angelico, Giotto, Michelangelo ... the king of blues

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