Yves Klein blue
The day before Yves Klein married Rotraut Uecker, he bought a small crown from an antique shop, took it home, painted it blue and it gave it to his soon-to-be wife to wear on their wedding day. ‘He was the King of Blue and I was his Queen,’ she later said in an interview. The story goes that Klein was first seduced by the colour when he saw the cerulean skies above the Mediterranean in France. ‘As I lay upon the beach of Nice, I began to feel hatred for birds which flew back and forth across my blue sky, cloudless sky,’ he said. ‘They tried to bore holes in my greatest and most beautiful work.’ But it was the paint supplier Édouard Adam who truly ignited Klein’s passion for the colour. In 1956, he showed him two powdered pigments. The first was Prussian blue and the second was ultramarine, or as it later became known, International Klein Blue (IKB): a deep, lustrous shade that would dominate the artist’s work until his untimely death in 1962 at the age of 34.
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