An enlightening post from Anita Chowdry regarding lapis lazuli and preparing it for use. Particularly interesting to see how useless the Cennini recipe is!
Just look at that – a beautiful precious Blue, its subtle variety of shades and striations, shot through with streaks of calcite and glittering iron pyrites, describing some imaginary landscape. It is the original royal-blue, the best blue ever, valued as a jewel and a pigment for millennia both in the Occident and the Orient. It graces the pages of the most opulent and sumptuous manuscripts of the Medieval and Renaissance periods, along with gold, cinnabar, red lead and copper greens, equally valued as the ornaments of choice for volumes sacred and secular in Christendom and the Islamic world.
The first time I encountered a quantity of fine quality lapis pigment was in the very early 1990s, when I met David Margulies, who had a shop…
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