"A well regarded art materials manufacturer in Milan (Italy)" So says Handprint of this still family owned company started by Gianni and Carlo Maimeri in 1923.
Maimeri Blu the Artist quality range from Maimeri
The artist quality range shown above comprises 72 colours of which 52 are single pigment paints. There is also a second range - I hesitate to call them student quality - called Venezia with 36 colours. Maimeri were one of the first paints I bought and the reason was good quality combined with an excellent price. I discovered a small discount art materials company called if I recall right `Framework Art & Craft'. They are on the Cheney Industrial Estate in Swindon in one of the units. I believe they still are but unfortunately discontinued Maimeri due to poor sales - they said -so I've not been there for some years.
The verdict of Handprint, albeit with a few quibbles , was :-
"In most cases the color appearance, pigment quality, lightfastness and handling characteristics rival the watercolors from Daniel Smith, M Graham or Winsor & Newton".....Overall, Maimeri Blu paints are bright, sweet and beautifully formulated...."
Not a bad endorsement although he does have a few quibbles and I have one myself. Bruce says the Cobalt Violet is mislabelled and certainly Golden Lake has been for years. I've never had Cobalt Violet but the Golden Lake was supposedly Quinacridone Gold. However the label said PV49 which is obviously wrong and according to Bruce the pigment is now PY42 `a similar pigment' according to Maimeri, as the only current source of PO49 is Daniel Smith. I contacted Maimeri querying this but received no reply - typical of many companies that don't like awkward questions. Handprint however has or had considerable clout and he received an e-mail from them with the above information. Incidentally I didn't like the original Golden Lake, not nearly as good as the Winsor & Newton single pigment PO49, now unfortunately a three pigment mix.
Apart from Golden Lake I am happy with most of the Maimeri paints I have with Avignon Orange (PR206) a particular favourite. I also tried a few Venezia paints and found them pretty similar to the main range But don't buy the `Flesh Colour' - horrible. If you check them out many of the colours have the same name and pigment. Unfortunately Venezia is not readily found in the UK.
We now come to the question of pricing and availability. In North America all the main discount specialists seem to sell them often including Venezia and at excellent prices. I do have a problem with the way Maimeri price the paints. They operate four series and series 1 and 2 are quite competitive. 58 of the 72 colours are either series 1 or 2, the majority series 1. The problem arises with those that are series 3 and 4. Why for example is Rose Lake, the red form of PV19, in series 3 when Primary Magenta, the rose form of PV19 is in series 1? The Cobalts, Cadmiums and Cerulean are in series 4, a hefty £15.20p in Jacksons latest catalogue. Winsor & Newtons Cerulean, albeit 14ml as opposed to 15ml, is shown as £12.85p. No contest buy W & N and this applies to the Cobalts and Cadmiums. You really have to look at the pricing in the various makes and compare pigments - not names - to see where the best buys are.