The painters known as the “old masters” treasured lapis lazuli pigment because of its heavenly blue color. Now you, too can use this naturally occurring mineral in your art. Use it to create your own handmade watercolor. The color is bright and transparent, with amazing intensity.
“Lapis lazuli, or lapis for short, is a deep-blue metamorphic rock used as a semi-precious stone that has been prized since antiquity for its intense color. As early as the 7th millennium BC, lapis lazuli was mined in northeast Afghanistan.
“Lapis lazuli artifacts, dated to 7570 BC, have been found at Bhirrana, which is the oldest site of Indus Valley civilisation. Lapis was highly valued by the Indus Valley Civilisation (7570–1900 BC). Lapis beads have been found at Neolithic burials in Mehrgarh, the Caucasus, and as far away as Mauritania. It was used in the funeral mask of Tutankhamun (1341–1323 BC).
“By the end of the Middle Ages, lapis lazuli began to be exported to Europe, where it was ground into powder and made into ultramarine, the finest and most expensive of all blue pigments.
“Ultramarine was used by some of the most important artists of the Renaissance and Baroque, including Masaccio, Perugino, Titian and Vermeer, and was often reserved for the clothing of the central figures of their paintings, especially the Virgin Mary.
Lapis is the Latin word for “stone” and lazulī is the genitive form of the Medieval Latin lazulum, which is taken from the Arabic لازورد lāzaward, itself from the Persian لاجورد lājevard. It means “sky” or “heaven”; so this is a “stone (of/from) the sky” or “stone (of/from) heaven”.”
Fineness : 400 mesh