Beyond the sea. But also the deep beautiful blue pigment derived from Lapis Lazuli.
For centuries the most prized of pigments. Lapis was mined in Afghanistan, ground up and then caravanned along the Silk Road, through Samarkand where the mosques and madrassas glistened with gold and ultramarine mosaic. Its destination was Venice and the studios of artists.
Renaissance Madonnas and Titian’s Ariadne are draped in lapis, and cloaked with blue, blue skies. Vermeer’s girl wears a pearl earring but is wrapped up in blue.
Synthetic production in the 19th century brought an even more vibrant hue, which reached its possible apotheosis in the 20th century in the paintings of Yves Klein. Paintings which were entirely blue, a blue which became “International Klein Blue”
So deep. So compelling. I stood in front of those paintings in Vienna and sank into their blue.
The colour of the sky when the sun has set and the stars just begin to show.
And the deep of the sea, before the light fades forever.