Originally Posted by Marie-Thomas
I absolutely love the hands and the white fabric. The blue is a bit to blue for me but I guess that is a personal thing or maybe a computer thing.
It's actualy more of a traditional thing.
Mary has been depicted as wearing blue since the 12th century. In earlier centuries her robes had usually been painted in sombre black, grey, violet, dark green or dark blue. In the 12th century they began to be painted a rich lighter blue, usually made with a new pigment imported from Asia; ultramarine, so blue became associated with holiness, humility and virtue. Ultramarine was made from lapis lazuli, from the mines of Badakshan. in the mountains of Afganista, near the source of the Oxus River. The mines were visited by Marco Polo in about 1271; he reported, "here is found a high mountain from which they extract the finest and most beautiful of blues." Ground lapis was used in Byzantine manuscripts as early as the 6th century, but it was impure and varied greatly in colour. Ultramarine refined out the impurities through a long and difficult process, creating a rich and deep blue. It was called bleu outremer
in French and blu otramere
in Italian, since it came from the other side of the sea. It cost far more than any other colour, and it became the luxury colour for the Kings and Princes of Europe and thus became assiciated with royalty.
The richer and deeper the blue, the more 'royal' or 'noble' it was considered to be, so in religious
art, the blue of Mary's robes were often depicted with the richest, deepest blue available to the artist, as a mark of honour and to indicate her role in religious royalty. She is, after all, considered to be a direct decendant from King David.
BTW, great painting Oilybloke.