The ultimate pigment, historically reserved for the highest painting commissions, I will leave the description of this exquisite natural paint to Michael Harding:
"There are a few special pigment colours in the range; an example is a genuine Afghan lapis lazuli. The first and most noticeable thing about the lapis lazuli compared to the modern synthetic equivalent ultramarine blue, is the considerably less tinting and covering power and its slightly dirtier colour, though neither of these traits should be seen to detract from the natural beauty. If you are looking for a blue of great sharpness with huge explosive possibilities and tinting ability that can almost poke your eye out, even when intermixed with just about any colour, try phthalocyanine blue!
Lapis is a different creature altogether. Combined with terre verte and some other earth colours it is at home, spread out as a wash drawn across a landscape at horizon line, and it’s done, it almost paints itself. Alternately added as a toner to cool shadows in portraits; the choices of course are yours and as I always say it’s you the artists who have to do the hard part! When I first assessed the feel and nature of the pigment it was instantly clear it would have to be dispersed with great care and very gently."
A true icon from the craft of painting, this paint is very, very special.
Average Drying, Semi Transparant, Low Oil Content, Average Tint Power
Very fast and prompt service. Perfect.
It's true that this paint lacks the extravagant beauty of the 16th century Persian illuminated lazuli blues (those are unmatched by any lazuli I've seen so far apart from the ones produced by David Margulies or by Dirk Weber - the latest costs about £200 a gram!!). I still give it a high rating because this is arguably the best lapis lazuli paint being currently sold ready-made in the market. It contains more lazurite than Rublev's and is so much superior to Daniel Smith's ultramarine ash. A good colour for glazing, natural ultramarine is perhaps even more permanent than the artificial version.