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ultramarine

Syllabification: ul·tra·ma·rine
Pronunciation: /ˌəltrəməˈrēn
 
/

Definition of ultramarine in English:

noun

1A brilliant deep blue pigment originally obtained from lapis lazuli.
Example sentences
  • The brilliant pure blue of genuine ultramarine, obtained from crushed lapis lazuli, was a pigment used in Europe from the early 13th century when the method of extraction was perfected.
  • The background is a lightly mottled blue - the look you get when you apply ultramarine, a semitransparent pigment, in a reasonably straightforward fashion.
  • They are small in scale and feature extensive use of gold and brilliant, rich and sparkling colors like ultramarine, Prussian blue, indigo, violet, purple, carmine and tangerine.
1.1An imitation of ultramarine, made from powdered fired clay, sodium carbonate, sulfur, and resin.
1.2A brilliant deep blue color.
Example sentences
  • An elegant Siddha on a cave ceiling is done in sombre shades of blue, ranging from off-white to ultramarine, an unusual colour scheme.
  • ‘In them, Ken has fused the rich colours of sky, sea and earth - ultramarine, cyan, terracotta - with neutrals to create works which are serene and yet striking,’ says David.
  • Her palette grew more complex and sophisticated - replete with lavenders, juicy oranges, translucent celadons, glowing viridians, wine reds and a range of blues from deep ultramarine to pale sky.

Origin

late 16th century: from medieval Latin ultramarinus 'beyond the sea' with reference to the foreign origin of lapis lazuli.

More
  • The brilliant bright blue pigment ultramarine originally came from lapis lazuli, a rock brought from Afghanistan that was more precious than gold. Latin ultramarinus meant ‘beyond the sea’, and forms descended from it became the name for the pigment in most European languages. It was not until the early 18th century that a reliably fast, and much cheaper, alternative deep blue was discovered by accident by a man called Diesbach who lived in Berlin. This was then the capital of Prussia, and so the colour became known as Prussian Blue.

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