Today, let us introduce you to the elegant color known as the most beautiful blue in the world: Klein blue!

Klein Blue, also known as International Klein Blue, is the blue color first mixed by French artist Yves Klein (1928-1962), based on Ultramarine Blue, it is known as the most beautiful blue in the world.

Yves Klein's work "IKB 45" is one of his monochromatic paintings. IKB in the title of the painting refers to International Klein blue. (The picture is taken from the Internet)

The base of Klein Blue – the main raw material of Ultramarine Blue is lapis lazuli from the mountains of northern Afghanistan. Ultramarine blue extracted from lapis lazuli was first seen in Afghan murals in the sixth century, and can also be seen in Chinese paintings of the Song Dynasty. Ultramarine blue spread to Europe through sea and land in the Middle Ages, so the word "Ultramarine" is derived from the Latin "ultramarinus", which means "from overseas". Because lapis lazuli is very rare, it takes a lot of time to grind lapis lazuli into pigments. One kilogram of minerals can only produce about 30 grams of pigments. Therefore, in Europe during the Renaissance in the Middle Ages, ultramarine blue was only used in the robes of the Virgin Mary and other saints. Ultramarine blue therefore symbolizes humility and purity, and the ability to use ultramarine blue for painting is also a symbol of wealth and status for investors. The artist who used ultramarine blue most often belonged to the Dutch artist Johannes Vermeer in the 17th century. You may not have heard of Vermeer's name, but you must have seen his famous painting "Girl with a Pearl Earring". It was painted with ultramarine blue and lead white, and covered with a layer of ultramarine blue glaze.


                                                                Johannes Vermeer, Girl with a Pearl Earring, 1665, in the Mauritshuis, The Hague. (The picture is taken from the Internet)

In 1826, French chemist Jean-Baptiste Guimet heated kaolinite, sodium carbonate, and sulfur in a high-temperature kiln to develop a synthetic version of ultramarine blue, a pigment chemically identical to lapis lazuli but more vivid in color. To distinguish it from its mineral counterpart, it is called French Ultramarine. Gradually, synthetic French ultramarine became popular because of its convenience and affordability, and became one of the indispensable colors in artists' palette.

Lapis lazuli from the mountains of northern Afghanistan (picture taken from the Internet)

With the popularity of ultramarine blue, many artists love to use this color that symbolizes nobility and purity, including Clyfford Still (1904-1980), an American artist and one of the leaders of the first generation of abstract expressionist painters, and Klein blue. The first modulator – French artist Yves Klein.

Clyfford Still's famous painting "1953" was painted in ultramarine blue and was purchased by Tate Gallery in 1971

(The picture is taken from the Tate website)

The inventor of Klein blue, French artist Yves Klein (1928-1962) was an important artist in post-war Europe. In 1960, art critic Pierre Restany (1930-2003) proposed Nouveaux Realistes, and Yves Klein was the most avant-garde and most mysterious pioneer artist of neo-realism in the 1960s. He is the earliest promoter of performance art, and is also regarded as the pioneer of minimalism and pop art.

French artist Yves Klein and his invented Klein blue (picture taken from the Internet)

Yves Klein began to explore monochromatic paintings in the 1950s, and finally dark blue became the core of his monochromatic paintings. He blended the aforementioned ultramarine blue with synthetic resin Rhodopas M60A, and finally mixed a more saturated and pure dark blue tone, and registered it and named it "International Klein Blue" (IKB). After that, Klein blue was used as the core color to create many avant-garde works of art. One of the most classic and shocking is his "Anthropometrie" creation exhibition held at the Paris Contemporary Art Gallery on March 9, 1960. In the exhibition, Yves Klein directed Yves Klein's works with nude female models under the command of Pierre Henry. Under the "Monotonous Symphony", the paint on the body is embossed on the large white screen.


                                                                                                               Yves Klein's classic avant-garde creation "Anthropometrie ANT82"

I have told so many stories about Klein blue, starting from his basic ultramarine blue, and then to the appearance of Klein blue and the introduction of artist Yves Klein. I wonder if everyone is as fascinated by this pure, saturated dark blue as I am?  This blue, which symbolizes humility and purity, is called the most beautiful blue in the world and deserves its name!

After reading so many beautiful Klein blue works, do you also want to own a Klein blue object? Finally, I recommend JOTO’s handmade ceramic Klein blue tableware_CJR0513. The designer has passed strict color checks and used Klein blue in bowls, plates, cups, and saucers that are common in daily life. Let Klein Blue be more known and owned by everyone. JOTO currently has a total of seven Klein Blue products, including Klein Blue rice bowls, noodle bowls, two sizes of shallow and deep plates, and water glasses. If you want to have the most beautiful blue in the world, you can't miss it!


                                                           JOTO handmade ceramic Klein blue tableware_CJR0513, delicate porcelain and beautiful Klein blue are the best choice for you who love art and beauty!

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1.Yves Klein, from wikipedia.

2.Clyfford Still, from wikipedia.

3Evie Hatch(2015)Pigment Stories: Ultramarine Blue and French Ultramarine,extracted from (Date of retrievalJuly 5, 2022

4. Gong Yingxiang (2016) History of Zhenlan, extracted from: (Date of retrieval: July 5, 2022)

5. Chen Qixiang, "Klein: Body, Color, Immateriality" Yves Klein: Corps, Couleur, Immateriel, retrieved from: Retrieval date: July 5, 2022)


Extended information:

1.Yves Klein – Anthropometries | TateShots:

2.Weitemeier, Hannah(2017)Yves Klein. Los Angeles: Taschen America Llc.