The discovery of a technique for the particle separation and preparation of the blue mineral pigment azurite for use in an oil painting medium aids the compari-son of colors used in the Renais-sance with modern synthetic pig-ments. Chroma or chromatic intensity is presented as the key to understanding the language of color theory. This is supported by the first images ever of azurite cut by a focused ion beam (FIB) in or-der to compare unprepared and prepared particles of the mineral and thus demonstrate the impor-tance of the preparation process. The implications of a natural pig-ment renaissance for artists and restorers are assessed.

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