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The shades and hues of Blue colour are omnipresent – it is the colour of the sky and the reflected sky in water; it could be the colour of someone’s eyes; and it is the colour of a part of the flame. In the times of famous painters as Michelangelo, Rafael, and Vermeer, the shade of blue called ultramarine was a prized colour. It was so expensive that Michelangelo could not afford it and Vermeer went into debt using the colour generously in his paintings. The synthetic variety of ultramarine is available now but it is no replacement for the multi-hued original ultramarine.

http://www.theparisreview.org/blog/2015/06/08/true-blue/

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