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Lapis lazuli is a rock, largely formed from the mineral lazurite. Lapis lazuli is found in limestone in the Kokcha River valley of Badakhshan province in northeastern Afghanistan, where the Sar-e-Sang mine deposits have been worked for more than 6,000 years...The Girl with a Pearl Earring (1665) by Johannes Vermeer is painted with the exorbitantly expensive pigment lapis lazuli, or natural ultramarine.

Johannes Vermeer - Girl reading a letter at an open window 1659

The painting Girl with a Pearl Earring (Dutch: Het Meisje met de Parel). circa 1665, oil on canvas, is one of Dutch painter Johannes Vermeer's masterworks and, as the name implies, uses a pearl earring for a focal point. Today the painting is kept in the Mauritshuis gallery in The Hague. It is sometimes referred to as "the Mona Lisa of the North" or "the Dutch Mona Lisa." Wikipedia.

Pietà di Michelangelo This was the most amazingly breathtaking work when I saw it in person. Definitely time for a trip back.

Pearl S. Buck, The Good Earth “He had no articulate thought of anything; there was only this perfect sympathy of movement, of turning this earth of theirs over and over to the sun, this earth which formed their home and fed their bodies and made their gods.”

Girl with a Pearl Earring--a historical fiction novel based on the famous Dutch painting

Maria Féliz by Antoine Tzapoff

When I was little my mother took me to see Swan Lake in Seattle - I never wanted to be a ballerina, like so many girls did in the 90's, but I always thought there was something magical about them after seeing that ballet.

Michelangelo (06 March 1475; Arezzo, Caprese - 18 February 1564; Rome, Italy) - Portrait of Andrea Quaratesi (c.1532) - 41 x 29 cm