The blue color has its own legendsBy Pictolic https://pictolic.com/en/article/the-blue-color-has-its-own-legends
Previously, blue paint was extracted from the semi-precious mineral lapis lazuli, it was expensive and very valuable, but then an accident changed history.
Wonderful, magical, royal blue, ultramarine — in the Renaissance, these were the names for the most valuable pigment — lapis lazuli, obtained from a semiprecious mineral.
Mining and processing of the mineral since the VI century has been carried out almost exclusively in Afghanistan. Imported to European markets via Venice, it was worth five times its weight in gold. Lapis lazuli was used sparingly and was often reserved for wealthy patrons, and only prosperous artists could buy it.
For example, look at this magnificent still life, painted in the middle of the XVII century by Frenchman Paul Liegeois: in the foreground is a royal blue drapery. Liege has achieved an amazing effect! A thin layer of ultramarine lay on a layer of white lead. When light penetrates the thin blue glaze, the white one reflects it back, enhancing the deep blue tone.
We often take for granted the dazzling spectrum of colors in old paintings. Early Renaissance masterpieces are full of precious deep shades.
Mannerist artists, such as Bronzino, used shocking combinations of colors that lie beyond the limits of naturalistic perception. Grandiose Baroque artists, such as Caravaggio, emphasized bright shades with dramatic dark shadows. They maximized their visual impact despite the limited range of natural colors. And always the blue color was especially valuable.
But at one fine historical moment, everything changed: at the end of the Baroque era, in the middle of the XIX century, paint appeared — Prussian blue, Berlin azure.
It happened by accident, as a result of an unsuccessful production.
Heinrich Diesbach, a paint manufacturer, was in a hurry to make a batch of red pigment, which was obtained from boiled cochineal insects, alum, iron sulfate and potash fertilizers.
Something went wrong there, and when Disbach came to the workshop in the morning, he found a deep blue substance instead of red. Disbach and the alchemist Dippel, with whom he worked, quickly realized the commercial potential of this new pigment and began producing it, selling it to artists at the Prussian court.
Now artists have been able to mix a much wider range of colors on their palettes. They experimented with color harmonies, creating illusions of depth in new shades.
Prussian blue was created in the alchemical "laboratory" at the right time. He resonated the spread of a grandiose scientific revelation and catalyzed a whole new direction in the expression of feelings and perception of the world by man.
For example, look at this magnificent still life painted in the middle of the XVII century by Frenchman Paul Liegeois: in the foreground is a royal blue drapery. Liege has achieved an amazing effect! A thin layer of ultramarine lay on a layer of white lead. When light penetrates the thin blue glaze, the white one reflects it back, enhancing the deep blue tone.