Ultramarine Blue

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Ultramarine Blue is named after the Latin words ultra marinus, meaning ‘beyond the sea’ as it was imported to Europe from Asia, as opposed to the ocean hue it resembles. Made from lapis lazuli, it required a complicated process of washing and rewashing to extract the pigment, meaning that the powder was more expensive than the stone itself, even being more expensive than gold at some points. As such a valuable pigment, it was often saved for special reasons, especially in Renaissance art where it was mostly saved for the robes of the Virgin Mary, thus associating the colour with holiness and humility. After a synthetic pigment was discovered in 1826, ultramarine blue made its way into more artworks and has even become the most widely sold colour after white.

This compelling collection is full of prints that are bold, bright and, believe it or not, blue! Including inky abstracts, with this iconic blue intermingling with other hues as well as fluid florals and commanding cutouts, these prints feature the best of ultramarine blue. Featuring geometric shapes and graphic lines, these stark and striking prints with a stunning simplicity are a brilliant balance of blue and white.