Morocco Blues – why and how Morocco got painted blue

Elizabeth Gowing

Wednesday 21st July 2021


For the time being, all Lectures shown in this web site will be available only by Zoom. The Society plans to reintroduce “real” Lectures again at the newly renovated Ludlow Assembly Rooms at the start of the next Season in September 2021. One week before each Zoom Lecture, all paid up Members and Guests who have paid the Guest Fee will receive an email giving full instructions on how to access it. A reminder email will be sent the day before the Lecture. General information on accessing Zoom Lectures is given in the ASTV Guide to the use of Zoom which is now be available in the Documents tab of this web site. Lectures start at 2.15pm.




Have you ever wondered why there is so much blue in Morocco  This lecture draws on Elizabeth’s time in Morocco in visits spanning more than 25 years. She will focus particularly on the stories behind the blue pigment used for the fishing boats and doorways of photogenic Essaouira on the Moroccan coast, and the Majorelle Blue developed and patented by French artist Jacques Majorelle in Marrakech in the 1920s. The story of Morocco’s blues takes us from Berber veils to Yves Saint-Laurent who restored Majorelle’s Marrakech garden, via Modernist Orientalist art and a protected mollusc... More information available at :

Elizabeth studied at Magdalen College Oxford before training as a teacher and working in Lambeth, Hackney and Islington. She is a regular contributor to Radio 4 (Saturday Live, Excess Baggage, From Our Own Correspondent) and the BBC World Service.