Excerpt from “The 2nd edition of “Waldorf Education: A Family Guide.”
Robert Logsdon is credited with coining the word “lazure”, which has been accepted as the official term for this painting technique since the mid- 1970s. How did lasur become lazure? Logsdon was using the German word but found that Americans confused lasur with laser – a newly emerging scientific technology utilizing light. The word lasur, he realized, was really a general term, like glaze in English. (What has become commonly known as ”glaze finishes” evolved from the original beginnings known as lasur.) Lasur, therefore, did not articulate the specific method of painting to which we were referring. There was no specific word to describe this unique method with its new capacities. After some research he formulated the word lazure. It is derived from azure – the only word in English Logsdon could find bearing some semblance of sound and meaning to the word lasur. The word is of Persian origin lazuward referring to lapis lazuli. It was passed on to the Arabs and then to the Spanish as azur or azul. Old French borrowed azur from Old Spanish and passed it on to English. At one time the French used l’azure. Our new American word, then, is most closely related to the French. The word azure, already in the English language, comes directly from the French and refers to the blue appearing in a clear sky. The azure blue appears through the medium of the illumined transparent atmosphere with the darkness of space behind it. This fact convinced him to use the word lazure.