The Easel

Three colours: Blue

Philip Ball, Homunculus: April 17, 2020

Colours have interesting histories and blue a more exotic back story than most. The Egyptians came up with Egyptian blue. Lapis lazuli from Afghanistan yielded ultramarine for artists with deep pockets. Starting in the 18th century, systematic chemistry developed a wide array of affordable hues. In 1959 Yves Klein famously produced a blue so vivid that ‘it spoke for itself …“blue is the invisible becoming visible”.