In this powerful painting The Virgin in Prayer by Sassoferrato it is the lapis lazuli blue. Lapis lazuli was, and still is, the most expensive pigment ever made. The name itself means 'blue rock' and it is always a brilliant blue with violet or greenish tints. It is created by grinding up the semi-precious lapis stone to create the pigment, resulting in such a costly colour. In the PANTONE charts of today, a closer and more affordable colour would be ultramarine, which is still a very dazzling blue.
This incredible image has also been transformed into a tray as part of our mini-masterpiece collaboration with The National Gallery, where this painting is on display, enabling you to take a piece of history home. An exhibition called 'Making Colour' opens this September at The National Gallery, covering the story of colour from lapis lazuli to cobalt blue, to dazzling golds and silvers.
We can't wait!