Historical Paints Series - Combeferre + Synthetic Ultramarine
Natural ultramarine, a pigment made from the semi-precious stone lapis lazuli, is notorious for being extraordinarily expensive. However, advances in chemistry allowed the pigment to be analyzed in the early 19th century, and observations were made of similar blue deposits forming in kilns. This led to the offering of a prize in 1824 for the artificial production of the color, which was successfully done a few years later. This new version of the color was a fraction of the price of natural ultramarine, and quickly surpassed the older pigment.