Focus on : AFGHANISTAN (III)

Can you imagine a world without painting?

So it begins with this title…the page dedicated to Children’s  art education on the J. Paul Getty Museum website…  During the Renaissance, “a deep blue paint was made by crushing the valuable gemstone lapis lazuli into a fine powder and mixing it with other ingredients. This costly blue was used most often for the clothing of the biblical Mary. If a picture included a woman wearing clothes painted with lapis blue, people understood it was probably Jesus’s mother…” Beauty and goodness….

The name comes from Arabic “allazward” meaning sky or blue …”As they did more than 5000 years ago, the best raw stones still come from the steep Hindu Kush in the north-east of Afghanistan. The lumps of blue rock, extracted from the inhospitable mountains by blasting, are brought down into the valley in the summer months by mules. Nature also created deposits in Russia, to the west of Lake Baikal, and in the Chilean Andes, where the blue rock often has white or grey lime running through it. In smaller amounts, lapis lazuli is also found in Italy, Mongolia, the USA and Canada, Myanmar and Pakistan, but in really good qualities it is rare all over. That is why the prices of jewelery with lapis lazuli vary very widely, from luxurious to quite inexpensive. The prices of this gemstone are largely dependent on the beauty and intensity of the color.” (http://www.gemstone.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=117:sapphire&catid=1:gem-by-gem&Itemid=14)

“An elephant carving on high-quality lapis lazuli, that includes gold-colored pyrite, is a rare example of Mughal inspired art. (length: 8 cm (3.1 in)” -Wikipedia, Public Domain
640px-Girl_with_a_Pearl_Earring
“Girl with a Pearl Earring (1665) by Johannes Vermeer is painted with ultramarine, a natural pigment made from lapis lazuli.” – The world of…Wikipedia, Public Domain