Paisleys Encased in Cadmium & Lapis Lazuli
Updated: Sep 29
February 10, 2016
Christian Tyler Ruth, Kashmir Rose Art History Expert began his web lecture with the beautiful watercolor of Russian Countess Maria Moucin Pouschkin from the Hillwood Museum Middleton Collection circum 1820 - 1830. Maria Ourousoff married Count Musin-Pushkin in 1822. Wrapped around her is a gorgeous cadmium yellow Kashmir Shawl with blue paisley designs around the borders.
Artists were considered chemist and scientist, they competed by created exotic colors for paint and dyes. All pigments used in painting and dye were made from natural minerals. This deep yellow is a cadmium yellow made from cadmium sulfide. The utimarine blue was highly prized and expensive because it was only mined in Afghanistan. The word ultramarine means "beyond the sea," a very romantic orgin. It is derived from the Lapis Lazuli stone therefore the color was literally a powdered rare gem stone.
In 1844, French Science Society had a contest to make synthetic ultramarine. A French Chemist won the contest and therefore the sythetic ultramarine was known as the "French Ultrimarine."
Shades of Kashmir Rose UltraMarine
The paisley originated from the Persian artist between 200 AD - 650 AD. The symbol could be described to appear like a teardrop. But the inspiration for the design comes from a shrub or cluster of leaves known as 'boteh' in the Persian language. Centuries later it evolved to be known as 'buta,' bud of a flower, even today it is the national symbol of Azerbaijan. When the paisley Kashmir Shawls first arrived in Europe in the late 1700s, they were considered exotic and romantic. Originally, the shawls and patterns were wore by men. It wasn't until the French Empress Josephine was gifted a Kashmir Shawl, that it become a status and fashion statement in France and all of Europe. The English would copy the Kashmir shawl designs as they enter the ports and recreate them in Paisley, Scotland. Hence, the name paisley emerged. The paisley has become a popular and common design used in clothing, decor and art. It has evolved to become a universal symbol that people from the East and West can relate to. The Kashmir Shawl gifts the world warmth and beauty through elegance, luxury and unity.