Friday, November 21, 2014

U is for Ultramarine

Ultramarine is a deep blue color and a pigment which was originally made by grinding lapis lazuli into a powder.[1] The name comes from the Latin ultramarinus, literally "beyond the sea", because the pigment was imported into Europe from mines in Afghanistan by Italian traders during the 14th and 15th century.

Ultramarine was the finest and most expensive blue used by Renaissance painters. It was often used for the robes of the Virgin Mary, and symbolized holiness and humility. It remained an extremely expensive pigment until a synthetic ultramarine was invented in 1826.

I was up until midnight last night trying to think of a way to incorporate U into my alphabet postings. One approach I use is to move through the alphabet, trying out each letter when placed after U. Up, ubiquitous, ugly, uncle, unite, umbrella, umbrage ... on and on. Eventually, and out of order, ultramarine arrived in my thoughts, and I slept.

Today I cropped part of one of my word/drawings and filled it with all shades of blue, including, of course, ultramarine. I love this color with connections to both the sea and jewels.