Child painting at an easel
Prior to the advent of synthetic ultramarine, expensive lazurite pigments were used sparingly. Some painters avoided ultramarine altogether, making the depiction of sky and water very difficult; Dutch painter Jan van Eyck only included it at the request of his patrons.

Ultramarine coloured inks

Ultramarine coloured paint on artist's palette

Before the introduction of synthetic ultramarine, artists such as Michelangelo, Titian and Giotto had no alternative than to use lapis lazuli-based pigment, which was often as expensive as gold.

Once the far less costly and widely available alternative became available in the 19th century, the way was open for many more artists to make use of the unique vibrancy of ultramarine blue. Arguably, the expressionism and new visions in art which followed might not have been possible without the new ultramarine.

Now the ultramarine blues, violets and pinks Holliday Pigments create are available in both high quality professional grades and children’s fun paints alike. The pigments are ideal for use in oils, acrylics, water colours, gouache, pastels and more. Attributes such as excellent dispersion, lightfastness and transparency, non-staining and bleeding, a lack of toxicity and uniquely bright colouring make our ultramarines the first choice for manufacturers.