Ultramarine is a vivid intense shade of blue. Ultramarine is often described as a color that is beyond the sea deep blue. Thanks to it’s vibrant, rich color ultramarine was highly sought after and used to add luscious detail to works of art.
As a pigment, ultramarine was first made by powdering the semi-precious stone Lapis Lazul (found in those Afghanistan mines). A superlative blue, Ultramarine gets it’s name from the Latin word ultramarinus (beyond the sea) since the pigment was imported to Europe by Italian traders, from the mines in Afghanistan, during the 14th and 15th centuries. In this modern age we have synthetically created ultramarine pigments, but that doesn’t make ultramarine any less brilliant or vivid a blue. In fact ultramarine still stands out as a magnificent hue that shines above the rest with it’s brilliance!
I’ve isolated the ultramarine band in ultramarine focus in Vermeer’s Girl with a Pearl Earring – Her gaze is just as captivating with only the ultramarine highlighted, don’t you think?
As a child I used to love saying that ultramarine was my favorite color, not just because it was a gorgeous shade of blue but also because I loved saying the word so much! There is something so enchanting and dreamy about the word and color of ultramarine, don;t you think?
Namaste ~ Ella
*To see how the ultramarine stands out with all the colors in this image check out this link to the Artsy Vermeer page ~ I’m not affiliated with Artsy in any way, I just think they’re neat!
** If there’s a word you’d like to see added to the Word Nerd roster, please feel free to contact me or suggest it in the comments – I love feedback and recommendations!