A lighter tone of Madonna blue. Medici porcelain was the first successful attempt in Europe to make imitations of Chinese porcelain. The experimental manufactory housed in the Casino of San Marco in Florence existed between 1575 and 1587 under the patronage of Francesco l de' Medici, Grand Duke of Tuscany. Following the precedents of classic Chinese blue and white porcelain, decorations were painted in under-glaze blue, which resulted in a range of hues when fired—from a bright cobalt blue to grey
A colour name popular in use since the beginning of the nineteenth century standardised here at the request of many colour using industries. This colour is found in Chinese imperial wares of the sung period (A.D 960-1279) and is said to be typical of that ‘blue as the sky after rain seen through the rift in the clouds,’ described by T’Ao Shuo in the 18th century.
There has been much controversy about this colour name. Some people have ascribed this name to the average colour found in Delft tiles, some to the colour predominating in Dutch paintings, including those of Vermeer of Delft. The colour here represented is the darkest blue tone found in Delft pottery, although lighter tones of a redder and lighter hue are seen in the tiles.