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Blue invokes dreamlike states, it instills yearnings and has a calming effect, it leads to a serious inward outlook. 

Blue is the color of the heart and has a positive connotation.

Unpleasant things of life, such as the "blue letters" ("blaue Briefe" in German) announcing dismissal from work or not passing to the next grade in school are colored blue so they are accepted more readily.

Blue color suggests cleanliness and freshness in household products such as detergents, blue drinks are cool and light. 

Nature of Blue: A natural color, from the blue of the sky, blue is a universal color. The cool, calming effect of blue makes time pass more quickly and it can help you sleep. Blue is a good color for bedrooms. However, too much blue could dampen spirits.

Donald Judd

Culture of Blue: In many diverse cultures blue is significant in religious beliefs, brings peace, or is believed to keep bad spirits away.

Blue conveys importance and confidence without being somber or sinister, hence the blue power suit of the corporate world and the blue uniforms of police officers. Long considered a corporate color, blue, especially darker blue, is associated with intelligence, stability, unity, and conservatism.

Just as seeing red alludes to the strong emotions invoked by the color red, feeling blue or getting the blues represents the extremes of the calm feelings associated with blue, i.e. sadness or depression, lack of strong (violent) emotion. Dark blue is sometimes seen as staid or stodgy — old-fashioned.

Blue Food

Of all the colors in the spectrum, blue is an appetite suppressant. Weight loss plans suggest putting your food on a blue plate.

Or even better than that, put a blue light in your refrigerator and hey presto! your munchies disappear. The most dramatic results can be achieved by using a blue light bulb for your dining area.

Nature does not create blue food. There are no leafy blue vegetables (blue lettuce?), no blue meats (blue burger, well-done please!), and aside from blueberries, blue just doesn't exist as a natural food item.

Colston Bassett Stilton

Consequently, we don't have an automatic appetite response to anything this color. Furthermore, our primal nature avoids food that are poisonous. A million years ago, when our earliest ancestors were foraging for food, blue, purple and black were "color warning signs" of potentially lethal food.


Blue Pigments


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Lapis lazuli

Lapis lazuli, also known as just lapis, is one of the stones with the longest tradition of being considered a gem, with a history stretching back to 5000 BC. Deep blue in color and opaque, this gemstone was highly prized by the pharaohs of ancient Egypt, as can be seen by its prominent use in many of the treasures recovered from pharaonic tombs. It is still extremely popular today.

Lapis is a rock and not a mineral because it is made up from various other minerals. To be a true mineral it would have one constituent only.


Natural Ultramarine

Made from the semi-precious stone lapis lazuli. A rock of many compounds: lazurite, a sodium sulfosilicate ore, deep blue crystals. Hauyne, sodalite (a sodium aluminum silicate with sodium chloride that occurs in crystals and masses), and nosean. Lapis lazuli is a contact metamorphic mineral found in limestone and granite; the best is found in Afghanistan, from ancient times until today.

Natural ultramarine has a high stability to light as is proven by the fact that examples on paintings as much as five hundred years old have as intense and pure a blue color as either the freshly extracted pigment or the best synthetic.

The earliest known occurrence of use as a pigment was in the sixth and seventh century wall paintings in cave temples at Bamiyan in Afghanistan.

Afghanistan’s Taliban rulers caused a global outcry by demolishing the renowned 5th-century Buddhas of the Bamiyan valley in 2001.


When it was used in medieval Italy, its most extensive use was in illuminated manuscripts and panel paintings, complementing the use of vermilion and gold, and was as expensive as gold to work in. The highest quality and most intensely blue-colored ultramarine was often reserved for the robes of Christ and the Virgin. Graduations of color were easily achieved and quite beautiful, but the cost eventually drove it into obsolescence.

The Book of Hours

Yet the color blue, and ultramarine in particular, since it is such a deep blue, has a connection to the sacred. Because the sky is blue, placing the color blue on Mary and Jesus links Heaven and Earth.

Most blues in paintings from the Renaissance and Middle Ages were not ultramarine. Not only was it impractical in terms of cost, it was also quasi-blasphemous to portray something non-divine using the color of divinity. For these reasons, the most used blue during these times was Azurite. It produces a lower-quality blue than ultramarine, and its color is not as permanent - it changes after exposure to bright light to shades of green or black. It also does not always produce a uniform color; sometimes it is too light and sometimes it makes the paint too think and grainy. However, for painters of the Middle Ages and Renaissance, it was the most commonly used blue.

Entombment Michelangelo

Titian, Bacchus and Ariadne 1520-3

Queen Mary and King George V.

Ultramarine is a more exciting blue than we have seen in past seasons. It has an intensity and a brilliance that stirs the emotions and energizes us far more than the cool, quiet, tranquil blues that have recently been popular. It is the color of tropical waters, invigorating and inviting.


Synthetic Ultramarine

Ultramarine is imitated nowadays by a process which was invented in France in the eighteenth century as a result of a prize offered by the French government. The raw materials of ultramarine manufacture are soda and china clay and coal and sulphur, all common and inexpensive materials. The process requires skill, is inexpensive, and the product is many thousand times less costly than genuine ultramarine. The first observance of the substance was made by Goethe in 1787, when he noticed blue deposits on the walls of lime kilns near Palermo. He mentioned that the glassy blue masses were cut and used locally as a substitute for lapis in decorative work. In 1928, Jean Baptiste Guimet perfected a method of producing an artificial, and cheaper, ultramarine pigment. 

The hue is a necessary component in a balanced palette of warm and cool colors; without it a cool, deep blue is lacking.

Synthetic ultramarine is not as vivid a blue as natural ultramarine, since the particles in synthetic ultramarine are smaller and more uniform than natural ultramarine and therefore diffuse light more evenly. Synthetic ultramarine is also not as permanent as natural ultramarine.

Artificial, like natural, ultramarine has a magnificent blue colour, which is not affected by light nor by contact with oil or lime as used in painting. 

Synthetic ultramarine being very cheap, can be used for wall painting,


Jodhpur - the Blue City, Rajasthan




and also as a corrective for the yellowish tinge often present in things meant to be white....

All About Bluing

International Klein Blue


Blue Color Combinations

Using Blue: A deep royal blue or azure conveys richness and perhaps even a touch of superiority. Navy blue is almost black and is a bit warmer than lighter blues. Combine a light and dark blue to convey trust and truthfulness — banker's colors.

Although blue is a year-round color, pastel blues, especially along with pinks and pale yellows suggest Springtime while deep blue is a colder weather color. Create a conservative but sophisticated look with subtle contrast by combining light and dark shades of blue.

Using Blue with Other Colors: Mix the color of blue with green for a natural, watery palette. Add gray for understated elegance.

Sky blue and robin's egg blue, especially when combined with neutral light brown, tans, or beige are environmentally friendly color combinations.

Throw in a dash of blue to cool down a hot red or orange scheme. Grab attention with the contrast of blue and yellow.

Edgar Degas The Blue Dancers

Dark blue with white is fresh, crisp, and nautical. Red, white, and blue is a patriotic color trio for many countries, including the United States.

Old Glory Blue

Based on the official color chips held in New York by the Color Association of the United States.

Old Glory Blue. signifies vigilance, perseverance & justice.


Use dark blue with metallic silver accents for an elegantly rich appearance.


Language of Blue: The use of blue in familiar phrases can help a designer see how their color of choice might be perceived by others, both the positive and negative aspects.

Good blue

Bad blue