One of Michelangelo's paintings had not been finished only because the customer failed to pay for lapis-lazuli required for painting of the Holy Mother’s robes. In 15-16th centuries the best blue paint was lapis-lazuli (natural ultramarine). It could be traded for gold with the rate 1:1. After processing of 100 grams of the stone the outcome was only 3 grams of the pigment! Read about blue color as symbol in art
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