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WikiProject Color (Rated C-class, High-importance)
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Comment about purple and violet[edit]

Purple is a color — Preceding unsigned comment added by Luke of the Underworld (talkcontribs) 14:35, 22 February 2013 (UTC)

PURPLE AND VIOLET ARE NOT SUPPOSE TO BE DIFFERENT. IN FACT, THEY ARE THE SAME (but only according to the widest of the three definitions of "purple"). By error the same article called: 'Purple, the colour from the sea' has been listed three times

Merge all in PURPLE - it is correct colour name for lock colour circle. Alexandrov 14:42, 9 February 2007 (UTC)
This web page, [[1]], contains a color circle that agrees with this viewpoint - a red-yellow-blue color circle that shows three colors spanning the space from blue to red, calling them blue-violet, violet, and red-violet. (I've encountered another one with that series of names elsewhere too.) In current usage, the term violet refers to hues corresponding to the extreme blue spectral colors (although I wouldn't be surprised if some of the nonspectral purples closest to the blue end are also included), and beyond that one gets purple (which some people reserve for shades close to "royal purple", specifically excluding mauve and fuchsia - which are included in the article as shades of purple, even though there's no reference to those names or their articles).
Magenta, similarly, is used to refer to extreme spectral reds. But it's also used to refer to process magenta. Ideally, that should be the same shade as fuchsia: #FF00FF. In fact, magenta inks absorb a considerable amount of blue light, and so they're closer to red. And there are other inconsistencies in color nomenclature: one color wheel I came across shows scarlet as coming between red and crimson - that is, the sequence being red, scarlet, crimson, magenta... towards purple and blue - whereas current pigment names use the term "scarlet" for a red with a slight tinge or orange - thus being next to red in the other direction. So Wikipedia should use current best practice, and if that means it's inconsistent with the color nomenclature some may be familiar with from elsewhere, that is unavoidable. --Quadibloc (talk) 10:40, 22 May 2011 (UTC)
Here are a few other pages with color wheels with that terminology: [[2]], an art site (note that the phrase, "tertiary colors" appears), [[3]], a site for drafting professionals (and we see "tertiary colors" again!), and [[4]] this site even gives Cornell University as the source for its color wheel! So the use of "violet" to mean "purple" does appear to be almost a standard in some segment of the world of art. I haven't been able to locate where the terminology originated, however, even with the term "tertiary colors" as a clue. --Quadibloc (talk) 10:51, 22 May 2011 (UTC)

Purple in Royalty[edit]

Actually Purple in royalty clothings is nos a violet-like color, but actually a blood-red shade

I think purple was found by the Phoenicians (Lebanese now)and you article Murex prove this, below is what your article say:

Costly and labor-intensive dyes Tyrian purple (or royal purple) and Tekhelet were historically made by the ancient Phoenicians using mucus from the hypobranchial gland of two species commonly referred to as "murex", Murex brandaris and Murex trunculus, which are the older names for Haustellum brandaris and the Hexaplex trunculus.

This dye was used in royal robes, other kinds of special ceremonial or ritual garments, or garments indicating high rank. That is since it is the only occurrence of the color purple in the natural world. It featured prominently in the ancient Temple in Jerusalem, the clothing of the High Priest (or Kohen Gadol) officiating there; it is sometimes still used by Jews today in the ritual fringes (tzitzit) on four-cornered garments.[1]

CMYK Colours[edit]

Seems to be wrong. They should be in the range 1-100, but seem to be in the range of 1-255

Even assuming they have been renormalised into a [0, 255] scale, the CMYK and RGB values do not correspond. --Phil | Talk 16:41, Apr 5, 2005 (UTC)

Yes, I noticed this several years ago. It is because an 8bit value can hold the range 0-255. However, Photoshop, amongst others, uses the scale 0%-100% for the ink coverage.

Should I edit the colours to include this range as well? Vryl 09:07, 18 September 2005 (UTC)

I want to see these boxes removed entirely, and removing the nonsense CMYK would be a good start, but I am having very little luck generating discussion on Wikipedia:WikiProject_Color. It is probably best not to change individual boxes outwith the project. Notinasnaid 10:28, 18 September 2005 (UTC)

Is there a cannonical list of colours anywhere on the web? I will go thru and make it sensible if something like this can be found Vryl 11:20, 18 September 2005 (UTC)

There should be no CMYK in these tables. See the project discussion for why I think why. I would like to go further and show no colors unless they are clearly described as only web colors. Notinasnaid 12:44, 18 September 2005 (UTC)

List of terms associated with the color purple[edit]

At least some of these should be incorporated into this article. anthony (see warning) 22:36, 16 Oct 2004 (UTC)

I was surprised to see no reference to the occult/psychics/mysticism/metaphysics in the key associations in the sidebar, yet homosexuality listed. I had no clue about that association, but am well-familiar with the use of purple as a symbol for those interested in metaphysics! —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:17, 8 January 2010 (UTC)

From where are we getting these meanings and associations? Isn't this original research? Bus stop (talk) 16:13, 22 March 2010 (UTC)

Purple vs. Violet[edit]

How often do people talk about using purple vs. violet in the sequence red-orange-yellow-green-blue-purple/violet?? 23:25, 31 Oct 2004 (UTC)

It would be nice if someone would write a purple vs. violet article -- neither purple nor violet (color) explains the difference. I was raised with box of Crayola crayons, so I've always considered them to be the same, preferring the term "purple" in my own speaking simply because I think of "violet" as a flower. --Birdhombre 20:11, 7 Mar 2005 (UTC)
The sequence is red-orange-yellow-green-blue-indigo-violet. Indigo and violet are both purple: indigo is more blue, violet is more red. HTH HAND --Phil | Talk 15:51, Apr 5, 2005 (UTC)
I agree: violet & indigo are both kinds of purple. Have a look here. Though a violet & indigo vs. purple article could be useful. Jimp 26May05
The article speaks as if violet were not a kind of purple. This should be corrected. Jimp 7Jun05
Violet is not purple. Violet is just violet.
Violet is actually closer to blue than purple. It would be more appropriate to call it a kind of blue than a kind of purple. But it's neither. It's just violet.
It doesn't look blue. It looks purple. This is why I'm in the habit of calling it a kind of purple. How about you? Why is it that you say violet is not a kind of purple? Jimp 15Jun05
Because it's just violet, just like mathematics is not a science, it's just mathematics. Many people though, think that purple and violet are synonyms.
Mathematics is not a science because it's truth-preserving and therefore is not falsifiable. Where's the logic behind saying violet is not a kind of purple. If there are many people who say it is, why are they wrong? Jimp 19Jun05

All this stems from a confusion between a technical term (Violet I): "violet as the most extreme colour of the spectrum" — also called "blue" (and indeed empirical research shows many people(s) call this blue) and a term from common usage (Violet II): "violet as a hue of purple that is more blueish". This confusion is made worse by the deplorable habit of artists to paint spectra that are grossly incorrect in that they show a purple (Violet II) hue sector next to the blue (Violet I) one and the deplorable nature of Nature to rarely show us a correct spectrum. Rainbows in particular can be very deceptive, often daring to flaunt a reddish purple ;o).--MWAK 05:44, 21 Jun 2005 (UTC)

I found the content of the page a bit confusing, and abbreviated it to highlight the distinction MWAK makes. I've also added discussion over on color wheel about Newton's color wheel. Nbarth 10:05, 24 February 2006 (UTC)

i have added a tag noting the absence of references for the supposed purple/violet distinction. to my limited knowledge, i have never seen any such distinction outside of wikipedia. the best (albeit loosest) explanation i have ever heard is that human brains do not or cannot distinguish between the visible color with the wavelength closest to UV and the color that arises from mixing blue and red.ctj (talk) 18:59, 3 October 2008 (UTC)

This all seems nonsense. When you mix blue and yellow, you get green, the color in the middle of the visible spectrum (also, the color immediately between yellow and blue on that spectrum, logically representing a blurring of those two colors and/or the transition between them). Same goes for orange, which comes between red and yellow in the spectrum, and represents a blurring or transition between them. As anyone with a normal, basic, 3-year-old's color wheel will tell you, purple (also known as violet) is the color between red and blue, also the color made by combining them. It's the same thing - combining colors or looking at the transition between them on the spectrum.
If violet and purple are completely separate concepts, i.e. one is a spectral color and one is not, then maybe there's a difference between red and crimson, between blue and azure, between green and verdure. Because ultimately, it's all about semantics. No word has an inherent meaning to it; only the meaning we associate with it.
We really need references and citations that there is a difference between purple and violet. I have never once in all that I have read, watched, heard, noticed any definitive separation being made. (talk) 21:31, 10 November 2008 (UTC)
Here are some places to look. Dicklyon (talk) 05:48, 11 November 2008 (UTC)

the article state that purple is a mixture of red and blue light, whereas violet is a spectral color. Therefore, purple and violet ARE different. Andrew sad1 —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 05:46, 2 February 2009 (UTC)

Consider poetry: "Roses are red[,] violets are blue"

Indigo and violet must be blues while one happens to be closer to purple.

Purple comes from Greek "porphyra." Yellow has been the imperial color through most of China's history as the color is tied to earth. Purple is the essence of divinity rather than earthly power as it is the color of radiance. The terms crimson and purple are interchangeable in English language device. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:47, 30 January 2015 (UTC)

Crayola made it up[edit]

One of my friends is rather adamant that "purple" is really a word that was created by Crayola to describe what would before have been called violet. Does anyone know of any uses of the word purple before Crayola? Or lack thereof? Mythmon 05:40, 10 December 2006 (UTC)

The word purple is much older than Crayola. E.g., Shakespeare uses it a number of times. If you check the OED, I'm sure you'll find even older examples. --Zundark 19:27, 9 February 2007 (UTC)


Some of the facts in this article seem to be against Wikipedia:No original research! Where are our sources for this info? - Ta bu shi da yu 10:41, 25 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Can you be specific, which parts? --Pjacobi 11:01, 2005 Feb 25 (UTC)

What does that mean?[edit]

The article states:

(the line of purples) represents one limit of human color perception. Is this really a limit of perception? The line of purples contains "colors" that actually don't exist as spectral colors, so i would say it is some sort of enhancement. Actually, the article Purple line could be created. Thanks, --Abdull 13:44, 21 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Yes, it's a limit, because you can't see anything beyond the line of purples. Line of purples would be a better name for the article. --Zundark 19:10, 21 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Which CMYK?[edit]

As I said in Talk:Cyan I am very dubious about the color boxes that have appeared. What algorithm was used to make the CMYK values here? Why that rather than another one? And if purple has been standardised in RGB, what is the standard used? Notinasnaid 14:24, 8 Apr 2005 (UTC)

In answer to your last question, purple is standardized as (128, 0, 128) in sRGB colour space in the HTML, CSS and SVG specifications. This is a different RGB triplet than the one in the colour box.
I would like to see these colour boxes removed, or at least fixed so that they make sense. The choice of RGB triplets is arbitrary, and the boxes don't even say which RGB colour space is intended. Similarly for CMYK, which in any case should be expressed as percentages. --Zundark 21:46, 11 Apr 2005 (UTC)


The picture is too blue. 17:38, 6 May 2005 (UTC)

Well, the most likely reason you say this is mentioned at Talk:Violet (color) under the heading "Color of picture" depending on the kind of screen your computer uses. Georgia guy 23:33, 6 May 2005 (UTC)

Purple in nature[edit]

Why is the color purple so rare in nature compared to other colors?? Georgia guy 01:19, 13 January 2006 (UTC)

My guess is that according to the chromaticity diagram, there are fewer shades of purple than any other color. By contrast, green, the color most common in nature, has more shades than any other color. Evan Robidoux 04:21, 24 February 2006 (UTC)

Why Purple was Limited to the Rich[edit]

the article mentions that it was limited to the rich but doesnt explain that it was so expensive because thousands of sea snails had to be crushed to get even a small amount of the pigment. unless someone replies to dispute this ill add it later.

Purple vs. Mauve[edit]

As well as the confusion between purple and violet, I've also encountered confusion between the words purple and mauve. My grandma refers to all shades of purple as "mauve". I've heard other people here in Britain, mostly elderly, doing the same thing. Infact I only just found out from reading the page mauve that there is a distinction, and that the two terms are not interchangeable. Why no mention of this confusion either here or at mauve? How common is this? --Krsont 22:46, 1 March 2006 (UTC)

I was surprised that this article did not also include at least one shade each of Mauve and Fuchsia, with links to the articles on those colors. Unlike Violet and Magenta, which are spectral colors (at least over part of their range) it would seem to me that both of those colors belong in the general article about purple. --Quadibloc (talk) 21:47, 21 May 2011 (UTC)

Purple/Violet Contradiction[edit]

Compare "But technically purple is the name of the colour group of many such as violet [...]" and "Technically, violet is a spectral color [...] while purple is [...] the only color [...] that is not a spectral color". (Quotes were greatly abbreviated.) The first says that violet is a type of purple. The second makes it clear that violet can't be a type of purple. I have no idea which is more correct, but something needs to be changed or clarified about these two "technical" statements. -- Zawersh 22:15, 8 March 2006 (UTC)

The problem seems to me that most color articles are written from instinct rather than research, and converge on an uneasy balance between intuition and color science. This would largely be solved if people followed the Wikipedia rules and cited sources for everything. Notinasnaid 10:37, 9 March 2006 (UTC)
Until the sources ended up contradicting each other. Yeah, I'd noticed that too. I'm not a colour scientist but my instinct tells me that violet is a kind of purple. Might it be wrong? It's a question of definition. What's the definition of purple? The word predates Newton. Jimp 17:29, 27 March 2006 (UTC)
There's really no problem with contradictory sources either. The article can present (without taking favourites) the range of information in the sources. Makes an article more interesting. You're right that this is a lot to do with definitions; bear in mind it may be a purely English language problem, as other languages may not even have different words, or may define them differently. Notinasnaid 18:07, 27 March 2006 (UTC)
Absolutely. As an example of sources' disagreeing, Cambridge defines purple as "of a dark reddish blue colour" and violet and indigo as "(having) a bluish purple colour". The American Heritage Dictionary, on the other hand says purple is "Any of a group of colors with a hue between that of violet and red. ...", violet is "The hue of the short-wave end of the visible spectrum, evoked in the human observer by radiant energy with wavelengths of approximately 380 to 420 nanometers; any of a group of colors, reddish-blue in hue, that may vary in lightness and saturation." and indigo is "The hue of that portion of the visible spectrum lying between blue and violet, evoked in the human observer by radiant energy with wavelengths of approximately 420 to 450 nanometers; a dark blue to grayish purple blue." Jimp 06:52, 28 March 2006 (UTC)

I would take objection to the phrase "violet light varies solely by wavelength", which seems to imply that violet is a single wavelength. Violet is any spectral distribution the bulk of whose wavelengths are shorter than those characteristic of blue light. Also there is no hard line between violet and purple -- violet gradually shades into purple as long (red) wavelengths gradually enter the spectrum, becoming red when the short wavelengths become negligible. It should also be noted somewhere that, at least for primates, perceptual color space is only a tiny 3-dimensional subspace of infinite-dimensional spectral color space -- the projection of the latter onto the former identifies many physically distinct colors that are perceptually identical. Some birds perceive four dimensions, other creatures only two or even one (brightness perception only). It is difficult to reason reliably about the nature of color without a good grasp of these distinctions. Vaughan Pratt 18:30, 16 August 2006 (UTC)

Purple is a shade of red, violet a shade of blue. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:02, 7 November 2014 (UTC)

Words that rhyme with purple[edit]

This section seems to be unnecessary and made up entirely of nonsense words. --Serogi 07:57, 28 May 2006 (UTC)

Well, I want you to check out the Orange (word) article and see that there are now 2 colors with names like this. Georgia guy 13:40, 28 May 2006 (UTC)
That's Orange (word), not Orange (color) . Also, Orange is notable for being a word that has no rhyme in the English language, hence the analysis. There's no reason for it on Purple, nor does a Purple (word) article exist. wikipediatrix 19:19, 28 May 2006 (UTC)
But, how is orange notable for being a word that doesn't rhyme but purple is not?? How is purple different from orange?? Georgia guy 19:38, 28 May 2006 (UTC)
1. Because there are words that rhyme with Purple. 2. Also because Orange being the only color that has no rhymes is inherently notable to literary types, for whom this is a well-known phenomenon. 3. This phenomenon is what makes the nonsense words that people have used to force a rhyme with Orange notable. 4. The nonsense words that someone added for purple have no sources cited. It's not enough to just say that "blurple" or "ghdgdgzurple" rhymes with Purple, one has to have an encyclopedic reason for their inclusion. One could just easily go to, say, the Tom Cruise article and mention that his name rhymes with "bruise" or "ghdgdgzruise", but it's not relevant information for an encyclopedia. wikipediatrix 00:21, 29 May 2006 (UTC)
Name some real words that rhyme with purple. Georgia guy 00:24, 29 May 2006 (UTC)
It depends on how strictly you want the rhyme: vowel-based or strictly consonant-based. If vowel-based, then "girdle", "turtle" and "verbal" rhyme with Purple. If strictly consonant-based, then "hirple" and "curple" rhyme with Purple. However, all this is completely beside the point, for reasons I have already explained. wikipediatrix 00:33, 29 May 2006 (UTC)

Non-parseable sentence[edit]

I think someone accidentally cut a line out of the following:

  "Purple as one of the liturgical colors in Christian symbolism can express sorrow and mourning.(symbolized by blue and red,    
  respectively), as opposed to the more common coalitions of the Christian center-party with one of the other two. From 1994–2002 there 
  have been two purple cabinets—see also Politics of the Netherlands and Paars (the Dutch word for "purple")."

This maks no sense!

Another poorly worded statement[edit]

After some thought, i figured out what is meant by the final sentence under Aubergine:

  "It is interesting to note that the red and blue values of this color are an opposite mirror to those of the color 'generic purple' shown above.

What this means is that Generic Purples RGB values are flipped to get Aubergine. This statement adds very little, if any, value to the article since RGB space is neither an absolute nor linear color space. This is only of interest in a numerological sort of way, i.e. pseudoscience. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 21:20, 5 December 2006 (UTC).

Personal computer (Apple?!)[edit]

Why is it relevant to assert that the personal computer was introduced by Apple Computer, Inc?! It's quite a stretch to say that this is the first machine that ever was capable of producing these colours...

Between blue and red[edit]

The lead sentence uses the phrase "between blue and red", but that assumes a model of color ordering. On the spectrum, after all, the colors between blue and red are green, yellow, and orange. I think the real meaning may be a reference to human perception, where purples (including violet) are colors seen as similar to blue and red; or maybe it is just referring to the color wheel (a concept based on human perception also). Probably something more verbose is required. 07:57, 13 December 2006 (UTC)

medieval history of purple[edit]

The article says "(The working class wore mainly green and brown.)". It's a minor point, but a major misconception that green dye was easy to obtain and thus cheap enough for the working class. Good greens such as Lincoln green were obtained by overdying yellow dye with blue dye (woad/indigo) or vice-versa. Thus such good greens were more expensive than blue, which was in itself one of the more expensive colours, second only to purple and some rich reds. Grey was the medieval term for undyed, which was the cloth most peasants would wear. Next rung of cheapest colours are yellows, of which there are many sources in nature (weld and dyers greenweed were the main commercial ones). Madder red was a bit more expensive, but could probably be afforded by theworking classes for their better tunic, especially washed out reds such as could be obtained from exhausted dye baths. There are some herbs which will produce greenish dye (as opposed to the "good green" I discussed earlier), producing a greenish yellow, brownish green, or grey-green, that would be available to farmwives, but it seems more likely yellows were preferred as they produce clearer colours. Brown is a colour that covered a much wider spectrum of shades in medieval times than now, as far as I can tell. With purple referring only to tyrian purple, other colours, like that obtained by overdying red with blue (which definately happened, especially with woad + logwood or brazilwood), might be referred to as brown, while we would refer to it as purple. So there would be cheap browns - naturally brown coloured wool, and expensive browns, and probably all kinds of expenses in between. So I guess brown isn't an easy thing to say the working class wore either. "The working class wore undyed garments and colours like yellow, orange, pale red." might be better.

There also is medieval dye orchil, which makes a shade of mauve or lilac (and sometimes even magenta). Made from lichen (+ammonia), it is more likely to have been available to farm wives as well as to the rich. But they never would have called it purple, although I do today. It is found a lot in clothing from "viking" Dublin.

I'm sorry I can't provide references for this, it's information garnered from a variety of sources, a bit here, a bit there, and like most medeival studies, is only generalisms, since no one practise was used everywhere.

The concept of when purple became a colour instead of a shade might be worth exploring here too.


Is this [5] [6] worth a mention in the literature section? I believe it is a well known poem, though I understand not everything referencing the colour purple need be mentioned. ( 09:31, 23 February 2007 (UTC) User AlmostReadytoFly)

I agree. Handsomeransom (talk) 17:09, 15 September 2012 (UTC)

RGB and HSV[edit]

The HSVs are nowhere near what the RGBs land on. Each one is wrong. Why? -lysdexia 23:18, 12 March 2007 (UTC)

External Link[edit]

Sometimes you vandalism fighters are freaks. I added in an external link to a site wholy relevant to the subject matter and non-commercial. 5 minutes later, gone. Well done you class 1 boiled potatoes. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs).

You mean the link to which is a contentless site that is nothing to do with the article at all? Or where you thinking of another external link you added? Gwernol 21:14, 19 April 2007 (UTC)
Thanks for your comments. I didn't remove it, but I certainly would have. Why would we want a link to a blank purple page? Why would it be "used by techs to see if internet access is working"? If there is something unique about it, the link commentary needed to say so. Notinasnaid 21:15, 19 April 2007 (UTC)

I don't think is worth a mention in the main article since, as noted above, it is basically a blank purple page and doesn't actually add anything to a person's understanding of the color or word. It might (or might not) belong in an article about troubleshooting internet access or internet devices. The previous post (from over seven years ago) asked why techs would use the site to see if internet access is working. As one of those techs, I can answer that question, but I do not have any external references that can be cited. There are several reasons why is used for this purpose: First, the site is easy to type and spell. This is useful when we want a customer to test internet connectivity -- we need to be sure that the name of the test site was not misspelled, and the word is very easy to spell, and is difficult to misunderstand. Second, when troubleshooting internet access, we want to be sure that we are not seeing a cached website, and the odds that a customer has ever visited are very low. Yes, there are other ways to do this, such as clearing the cache, but that can have unintended consequences (like a ten-minute side-conversation explaining to a novice computer user what this does and how to find the right setting to do it). In addition to this, the site (as it currently appears, and has appeared for many years) is not full of ads, scripts, or other content that use up bandwidth, so even the slowest of devices and connections will quickly show a purple screen if it is working correctly. This is especially helpful when we are troubleshooting devices over the phone and need the customer to tell us what they see. Etamni (talk) 22:14, 3 December 2014 (UTC)

What about the colour Plum and Raisin?[edit]

I'm surprised there is no entry of the shade Plum or Raisin under shades of purple and red. Could someone find the right coordinates for those colours and add that into the article? Thanks. 07:06, 21 June 2007 (UTC)

Content removal?[edit]

Referring to this edit

It appears to me that a good part of the removals were trivia and indeed deserved to be removed. However I am concerned that certain areas that might be notable, such as cryptography, food, music as well as military related, have been removed. I realise that by only mentioning these few fields, in fact this entire concern could be labelled WP:ILIKEIT, however I am simply referring to areas where the information was well supported by the actual articles, for example murasaki, Purple Heart and the music references.

Could another editor have a look at the page and figure out if any of those removals should actually be re-included?

Thanks,xC | 03:58, 28 July 2007 (UTC)

In most cases, what is required is a link on the disambiguation page. Which, you will note, is generally present. Again, what is required is key significance of the color, which isn't present in the links you just provided. --Eyrian 04:39, 28 July 2007 (UTC)

Inconsistency concerning artist's red-violet, pigment violet, and process magenta[edit]

In the section "Historical development of purple," subsection "Artists Pigment Purple (Red-Violet) (web color Medium Violet Red): 1930s", the article says that "artist's red-violet" lies between "pigment violet" and "process magenta." A similar statement appears in the main article on the color red-violet. However, these statements contradict the HSV (and so RGB) values listed in these and other articles: Hue(artist's red-violet)=322°, Hue(pigment violet)=282°, and Hue(process magenta)=320°. It seems to me that the most likely source of the inconsistency is the assertion that the web color red-violet (Hex triplet #C71585) is in fact the same as the color that Munsell color system calls purple (where artists use the word purple the way Munsell does). Can anyone check if web color red-violet on the one hand and Munsell's color purple on the other are, in fact, the same color—or, as I suspect, not? If they are in fact the same, then how should we resolve the inconsistency mentioned above?

Reuqr 02:55, 30 August 2007 (UTC)

They can't possibly be the same, since Munsell colors are not RGB colors like Web colors are. Like most junk in color articles, this stuff is all unsourced, just somebody's interpretations of what they see. Dicklyon 05:05, 30 August 2007 (UTC)
I'm not sure I understand what you say in your first sentence. As best as I can tell, you may be saying one of two things.
(1) Are you saying that it would be a miracle if the people who were choosing web colors just happened to pick exactly (i.e. to within three significant digits in, say, sRGB space) a color from Munsell's atlas? If this is what you mean, then let me modify my original question: just how far off are Munsell's purple and web red-violet, say in terms of the differences between their HSV (as computed from sRGB) hue degrees and S and V percentages? For example, process magenta's hue (as it is reported in magenta article) is only 2° away from red-violet's.
(2) Or are you saying something more radical: that no web color can even in principle be the same as a Munsell color, because they somehow refer to different things—in other words, because there is a fundamental incomensurability between any CIE-based standard like sRGB on the one hand and the Munsell standard on the other? If that's your statement, then I guess I disagree. After all, as early as 1919 the National Bureau of Standards performed measurements of 15 chips from Munsell's 1915 atlas, and CIE tristimulus values were calculated at a later date. Then in 1926 additional 70 samples were measured, with CIE values computed by 1946. The 1929 Munsell Book of Color and the various subsequent "renotations" were very much studied, and connections to CIE tristimulus values—even under diverse viewing conditions—are known. All this is from Rolf G. Kuehni, Color Space and Its Divisions: Color Order from Antiquity to the Present (Wiley, Hoboken, N.J., 2003), pp. 274-279. The only way sRGB can fail to describe a Munsell color (to within uncertainties coming from variations of viewing conditions) is if that Munsell color is out of sRGB gamut. On the other hand, I suppose if we are talking about the 1919 atlas, there is also the issue that we would need to interpolate if the color in question is not one of the 85 measured ones.
Note that the issue is not that red-violet's 322° is not strictly within the 282°-320° interval; it would be almost as bad if red-violet's hue were 318°, and so strictly within the interval. The issue is rather that red-violet does not seem to be even close to being in the middle of the interval between pigment violet and process magenta. Reuqr 19:42, 31 August 2007 (UTC)

I'm saying more like the second. You can't say whether a given RGB color is the same as a given Munsell color, without more specific specifications. If the X11 color, rendered according to sRGB spec, is the same chromaticity as the Munsell chip under a D65 illuminant, or something like that, that would be interesting to know, but it seems unlikely. Is there a source? Dicklyon 20:13, 31 August 2007 (UTC)

At the very least, there are many sources that study the reflectance spectra of Munsell chips. One that is in the public domain is at [7]. The server was awfully slow when I tried to access the links with the ASCII data files; I had better luck with [8]; click the squares for reflectance data. This website is cited in, for instance,
Fernando Ayala, José F. Echávarri, Pilar Renet, and Angel I. Negueruela, "Use of three tristimulus values from surface reflectance spectra to calculate the principal components for reconstructing these spectra by using only three eigenvectors," J. Opt. Soc. Am. A 23, 2020-2026 (2006) (abstract: [9]; the article cites the website above as Ref. 24).
One of the classic sources—also cited in the paper above—seems to be
Kenneth L. Kelly, Kasson S. Gibson, and Dorothy Nickerson, "Tristimulus specifications of the Munsell book of color from spectrophotometric measurements," J. Opt. Soc. Am. 33, 355-376 (1943) (abstract: [10]).
The Kuehni book I mentioned above lists a bunch of other sources. You can browse it ("search inside"), if you have an account (used at least once to purchase something from itself), here: [11].
Incidentally, I now realize that these sources may give enough information to settle the very question I posed. But to really settle it, I would first need the answer to the following: was I wrong in the identification of the Munsell's color in my initial posting? That is,
What is the identity—in the Munsell system—of the Munsell color to which the Wikipedia article is referring? Is it in fact 5RP 5/12?
Having realized my probable mistake above, now I don't understand something else. Look at this statement in the article:
…professional artists, following Munsell color system… regard purple as being synonymous with the red-violet color shown at right, in order to clearly distinguish purple from violet…
In what sense are artists supposed to be "following Munsell" here? Obviously not in nomenclature. Is it the case that the artists do use Munsell's colors in their work, but change the names (e.g. Munsell's purpleartist's violet, and Munsell's red-purpleartist's purple)? I'd rewrite this if I understood what is attempted to be said here.
Reuqr 04:52, 1 September 2007 (UTC)
There is a fundamental problem in comparing colors produced by different additive combinations of red, green, and blue light to the color of an object. It is true that a standard illuminant must be specified. However, usually there is a standard illuminant which is used, so that the Munsell colors do, in fact, have CIE chromaticity values assigned to them.
Since these pages will be displaying on CRTs or LCD screens, if we illustrate Munsell colors, we have no choice but to convert them to RGB color, and there is an accepted way of doing this. --Quadibloc (talk) 21:54, 21 May 2011 (UTC)

Offensive and false.[edit]

"Psychology The term porphyrophobia means an irrational fear of the color purple."

I find that offensive, my fear is not "irrational" infact, I say anybody who is not frightened by purple is mindless and insane. Purple is responsible for all car accidents and stangulations. Also is it mere coincidence violet become "Violent" with a simple "n" added? No. Find a violent TV scene with no purple in the background. You can't. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:44, 1 October 2007 (UTC)

  • In terms of clinical psychology, your fear of purple would only be considered irrational if the reasons you gave for fearing it were judged delusional or willfully incorrect. Otherwise, you wouldn't be diagnosed with a phobia. This is similar to the way that people who fear vicious feral dogs are considered mentally healthy, but people who feel the same fear for small, tame dogs are diagnosed with a phobia. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Inhumandecency (talkcontribs) 22:16, 2 March 2009 (UTC)
I have strong doubts that the IP is being serious ... --Florian Blaschke (talk) 19:55, 5 April 2013 (UTC)

wtf you're scared of a color? That's like... really a thing? btw purple doesn't cause car accidents and strangulations. People do. Btw you seem to be nuts. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:28, 26 May 2013 (UTC)

Porphyrophobia is an intense fear of something that poses no actual danger. While adults with Porphyrophobia realize that these fears are irrational, they often find that facing, or even thinking about facing, the feared situation brings on a panic attack or severe anxiety. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:32, 26 May 2013 (UTC)

Why is this article so long?[edit]

there are even sections on video games and psychedellic drugs...... is this how it is in other articles about colours? AbsoluteZero255 03:55, 25 October 2007 (UTC)

Pretty much so. Feel free to remove anything that's unsourced. Dicklyon 04:05, 25 October 2007 (UTC)
Thank you for your advice. I removed some non-important sections AbsoluteZero255 04:13, 25 October 2007 (UTC)
I have removed the games section and edited the article down several times. The reason people keep adding games to these articles is:
  1. They love the game they play too much.
  2. The game's marketers are trying to exploit google searches, linking as many pages to the article about the game as possible, and further onto the game's web site.
  3. These articles lend themselves to abuse by trivia knowledge.
Getting rid of the trivia section can be a long and drawn out process. I have spent hours going around reversing links from articles like Hwacha and ended up in heated arguments with the contributors of trivia. --OO(talk)(useless text here) 11:16, 17 June 2011 (UTC)

Shades of Purple[edit]

When you think purple, is it lavender or violet? dark or light? the range of this color is highly large and you should make sure you are positive about the type of purple you want. The same goes for all colors. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:03, 17 May 2008 (UTC)


It surprises me that homosexuality is not one of the words in the top info box under the "Commonly Represents" section. This was actually the first and most strongest representation of purple that came to mind upon entering the page. Davey5505 (talk) 08:37, 31 May 2008 (UTC)

If you have a source that makes that distinction, then please add it, along with your reference. fcsuper (How's That?, That's How!) (Exclusionistic Immediatist ) 19:30, 21 November 2008 (UTC)
Umm, I was under the impression that homosexuality is pink. Purple is bisexuality. (talk) 10:46, 5 June 2010 (UTC)

Picture for mulberry[edit]

Could somebody please upload [this] picture to the section "mulberry"? Chimchar monferno (talk) 03:07, 15 June 2008 (UTC)

Please don't - that image is copyrighted and cannot be uploaded to Wikipedia. Thanks, Gwernol 03:12, 15 June 2008 (UTC)

Tokyo Purple[edit]

Will someone with firsthand knowledge straighten out the discrepancy in the Toyko Purple section?

The original upload of Image:Flag of Tokyo.svg resembles the color swatch shown in this section; the current image was uploaded with the comment Corrected the color according to the real flag images. Well, the current flag image shows a shade very near to Royal Purple, #6B3FA0 -- so close that it is gratuitous to have a distinct section for it. Tokyo needs no more publicity; we all know where it is.

Either restore the flag to the color shown in this article for Tokyo Purple, #5A004A, or acknowledge the hucksterism and remove the section entirely. — Xiongtalk* 17:20, 6 October 2008 (UTC)

Other rhymes with purple[edit]

Besides curple, there is hirple. It means to limp. It's in the OED and dates from the fifteenth century. Scottish in origin, just like the other one. Since Orange has rhymes with quorange and grorange, this should make purple and orange even... I have to note though that there is also "purple nurple" where nurple is a quorange to stand in for a "nipple." There is also "urple" which is slang for purple prose fan fiction. Those should put Purple in the lead over orange, but I assure you, they both have rhymes. You can also rhyme orange with the French origin... "l'orange" and "d'orange" or even au orange. So purple *does* rhyme as does "orange" you just need to know where to look.--Hitsuji Kinno (talk) 15:41, 14 January 2009 (UTC)

Purple in Academic Dress[edit]

The article says that purple is associated with divinity in academic dress. However, the article on academic dress says that purple is associated with law. I had also believed it is associated with law. Are there citations for it representing divinity? --Generalcp702user talk 12:32, 25 July 2009 (UTC)

Japanese colour of death?[edit]

I've heard that the purple colour is a colour of death in Japan. Is it true or not? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:28, 1 September 2009 (UTC) No, Not true. Black is a color of death in Japan used for a funeral. Purple has been a color of nobility in ancient Japan and China, because color of purple for clothes was expensive. However, the colors are royal purple and deep purple which is not redish purple.

Purple in color therapy a healing color?[edit]

No mention of "Color Therapy useing co,lors to heal. Purple has a healing effect suppossely! Merci'NONDEPLUME (talk) 01:07, 27 October 2009 (UTC)(sentmnPMOct26,200921stcent.E.Andre'J.) Yes, Purple has an effect of curing depression. Why didn't nobody mention about that? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:16, 10 March 2012 (UTC)

Microbiology: retinal.[edit]

This subsection says that retinal is a purple pigment, whereas its WP page (correctly) states that retinal is orange. The "purple" claim is actually a correct report of the article in the reference; however, I suspect that the science in the referred-to article is incorrectly reported. It's possible that the researchers in fact meant to refer to retinal-opsin complexes, which are purple (see rhodopsin). How should we resolve this? --Kay Dekker (talk) 20:21, 15 December 2009 (UTC)

Persian blue and sangria[edit]

Why are Persian blue and Sangria counted as being purple when persion blue is blue and sangria is red? RSVP Dannyboy1209 (talk) 18:59, 8 July 2010 (UTC)

No more "generic purple" please[edit]

I took the section out. All the sited sources were random web pages showing a variety of colors called purple, some with the adjective "generic" nearby. A book search turned up no evidence of a color called "generic purple". Dicklyon (talk) 01:21, 25 October 2010 (UTC)

Agreed. Doctorfluffy (robe and wizard hat) 02:27, 25 October 2010 (UTC)

No mention of Super Purple?[edit]

Super Purple is the color halfway between blue and violet.

It's hex code is #4000FF. James1011R (talk, contribs, log, boxes) 12:31, 29 March 2011 (UTC)

I've never heard of that term. Is there any definition of a super color?? Georgia guy (talk) 15:59, 29 March 2011 (UTC)

I'm talking about this color.

Hex Code: #4000FF
RGB: 64, 0, 255
HSV: 255°, 100%, 100%
James1011R (talk, contribs, log, boxes) 02:36, 31 March 2011 (UTC)

I found a near-Super Purple at Ultramarine listed as "Electric Ultramarine" with the hex code #3F00FF. It near-correctly lists it as a combination of blue and violet. (Super Purple is made from atom-smashing those two colors.) James1011R (talk, contribs, log, boxes) 22:18, 9 June 2011 (UTC)

Clean up[edit]

Now underway as the article was something of a mess - unsourced speculation, image overkill and excessive trivia. It should be encyclopedia standard, and by that logic sports teams that feature purple as part of their colour crest and Mace Windu don't get a mention. Regards PurpleHeartEditor (talk) 03:05, 29 September 2011 (UTC)

Further to this, the mass revert by Keraunos has been reverted on the grounds that no attention whatsoever was paid to the many flaws in the article. Note that passion for a subject is a fine thing, but must be tempered with reason - hence the necessary adherence to Wikipedia policies. Please discuss here.

PurpleHeartEditor (talk) 04:09, 8 November 2011 (UTC)

I have a response to this, see below.(Mercurywoodrose) (talk) 23:55, 12 December 2013 (UTC)

This should link to the French page "violet", not "pourpre"[edit]

The proper translation of the English "purple" is "violet" in French. "pourpre" to which it currently links isn't the same color, as can easily be seen by comparing this page and that one. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:10, 10 November 2011 (UTC)

Source it and no problem! PurpleHeartEditor (talk) 04:56, 10 November 2011 (UTC)
Since when do interwiki links need sources? Worse still, where should the source be added? (To say nothing of the new system that has been introduced recently, long after the comments above were made!) --Florian Blaschke (talk) 19:58, 5 April 2013 (UTC)


Every other color page has a symbolism section, or has their culture section go morein depth with it's symbolistic value and meanings.

Here, it's just a bullet point list. Can we correct this? (talk) 20:47, 14 December 2011 (UTC)

Cleanup needed[edit]

I am concerned by the amount of trivia, lists, and sections that add no useful information in the section of Purple "In culture and society." For example:

  • Do we need a quote by Alice Walker saying "Womanist is to feminist as purple is to lavender?" What does that mean? What is the context? What does it say about purple? I think this belongs in an article on feminism, but not here.
  • Do we need a list of every song or record company that includes the word Purple? What does this have to do with the color? It's just a long list of trivia.
  • Do we need to know that there is a woman in Tiburon, California who is called "The Purple Lady?" I like the town of Tiburon, but I think this is trivia and has nothing to do with the color itself.
  • Do we need three different references to Prince and Purple Rain three different sections? I think in the history section is enough. This belongs in the article on Prince, not the article on purple.
  • Do we need a list of every sports team, college and university that has purple as a team color? This is information about those teams, not about the color. Again, this is a list of trivia and doesn't belong in this article.
  • Do we need a separate section that tells us that a chart made by Timothy Leary in 1976 uses a shade of purple? What does that have to do with the color?
  • Do we need a list of eight public transport lines that use the color purple, with details about each line? What does this have to do with the color?

I tried to do cleanup of this section so that it was comparable to the articles on other colors, but my edits were reverted by editor Keraunos, with no explantation. I wish he would explain why he feels the information above should be in this article. I also hope we can all work together to improve this article, and make it focus on the color and its history, uses and meaning, not an assortment of trivia and lists of everything with the word 'purple' in its name. Please write here if you agree, and if you have other ideas to improve this article. Thank you! SiefkinDR (talk) 14:03, 28 January 2013 (UTC)

Violet and Roman Purple Crimson[edit]

A lot of the images on this page should be under the page "Violet" instead of Purple. Also this page should mention that Roman Purple is now called Crimson, since the Romans called it Purple it is accurate to put on this page but I think that it should be mentioned just so readers have an idea what Roman Purple looked like.SouthernResidentOrca (talk) 06:17, 12 February 2013 (UTC)

Good Observations. There is a lot of duplication in images between the purple and violet page, because the cultural difference isn't as clear as the scientific difference. A lot of colors commonly called purple are really violet, but that's part of the history of purple, and far more people read the page about purple than read the page about violet. As to the Tyrian or Roman purple, I think it varied widely in color from dark purple to crimson. The paintings and mosaics illustrating a Roman and Emperor Justinian and Empress Theodora show it as a dark bluish purple. The illustration of the swatch of color made from murex recently shows it as a much lighter color, but not what I would call crimson exactly. I've been looking for a contemporary Roman or Byzantine image that shows Tyrian purple as a crimson color but I haven't found one yet. The French definition of purple is much closer to crimson than the British-American version. SiefkinDR (talk) 10:22, 12 February 2013 (UTC)

To my eyes Catholic bishops wear magenta robes, not purple. I guess this just shows how personally and culturally subjective colour perception is, making it difficult to write encyclopaedic articles. Gymnophoria (talk) 11:53, 8 August 2016 (UTC)

name of Japanese flower[edit]

The current page has the following error: "The word for purple Is murasaki, which is also the name of the wisteria flower". While the word for purple is murasaki, the flower of that name is the purple gromwell ( The word for wisteria is "fuji". Crayonsinnose (talk) 15:28, 5 March 2013 (UTC)

Since this request my account was autoconfirmed and I made the necessary change. Crayonsinnose (talk) 11:09, 10 March 2013 (UTC)

Already done by the user. Torreslfchero (talk) 09:48, 12 March 2013 (UTC)

Edit request on 13 March 2013[edit]

There's a typo in the last sentence of the 3rd paragraph of the "Tyrian Purple" section:

The exact hue varied betweewwn crimson and violet, but it was always rich, bright and lasting.

Should be between.


Owengibbs (talk) 15:14, 13 March 2013 (UTC)

Owengibbs (talk) 15:14, 13 March 2013 (UTC)

Fixed--L1A1 FAL (talk) 15:31, 13 March 2013 (UTC)

[[Tint | shade]][edit]

[12] [13]

Two questions:

  1. What did actually mean the Oxford English Dictionary when described the purple as
  1.  ? (Hint: is electric magenta actually a tint or shade of something?)
  2. What will think a reader when the word “shade”, thanks to Red Slash, displayed a popup box with the word Tint?

Incnis Mrsi (talk) 09:40, 6 June 2013 (UTC)

The full definition of purple in the OED is: "of the colour purple, of a deep rich shade between crimson and violet." I added a new reference to two other definitions as well. But purple is certainly a color, even if its not a color of the spectrum. SiefkinDR (talk) 13:10, 6 June 2013 (UTC)

  • well, to #1, I have no earthly idea, but tints and shades is probably the closest. Number two, I don't know. I made the redirect shade (color) the other day, and maybe that works better. I have no idea whatsoever about what precisely constitutes a shade and so I thought a wikilink would really help. You tell me, but we shouldn't leave a technical term like that unwikilinked. Red Slash 19:59, 6 June 2013 (UTC)
    See what SiefkinDR said above. The word “shade” is either erroneous or superfluous, depending on what exactly thought the author, and does not help to understand what “purple” is. The purple is primarily a hue, but sources like OED avoided this term because it is less-known. If you explain how the concept of shade (color) can help to understand the OED’s “definition”, then you may install this link. Incnis Mrsi (talk) 03:45, 7 June 2013 (UTC)

Unsourced statements[edit]

Every single unsourced statement of fact should be removed, placed here on the talk page, and kept here until a source is found. its not as urgent as unsourced statements in biographies of living persons, but it still needs to be done. removing them to the talk page at least keeps them as reminders of a possible addition to the article, and thus the idea is not "lost". hopefully, no editor would reinsert such statments into the article without adding a source. even the most obvious statements should be sourced.(mercurywoodrose) (talk) 23:54, 12 December 2013 (UTC)

Purple indicates withstanding of oppression[edit]

A noteworthy use of purple was that of the South African police to put down protest gatherings and capture the protesters no matter where they fled to. Not only was the crowd sprayed with high-pressure jets of water, as happened in the American South during the Civil Rights campaign, but purple dye was added to the water, which kept fast to the clothing. As purple was not a very popular wardrobe color, they could be spotted as having participated, and subsequently arrested. I wonder if this has anything to do with Prince's "Purple Rain" works. (talk) 15:47, 21 June 2014 (UTC) [West Concord Library]

Statement about violet and indigo being "between red and blue"[edit]

I just saw this unsourced statement in the subsection "In science and nature"/"The optics of purple": "The spectral colors violet and indigo are not purples according to color theory but they are purples according to common English usage since they are between red and blue." That last part of the sentence contradicts the previously stated fact that violet and indigo are not between red and blue but rather true colors at the end of the color spectrum. I suggest either removing this sentence because it is unsourced, or finding some sources and rephrasing it so that the statement no longer clashes with the rest of the article. Revolution9000 (talk) 17:11, 24 November 2014 (UTC)

=The new montage[edit]

Thank you, Andros, for the new montage, it's vivid and great improvement over the old one. The idea of the new montages for the other colors is to illustrate the role of the colors in art, history, science and human culture. In the other montages, almost all the images come directly from the article. The idea of those montages is to draw the reader into the article, to draw his attention to the the history and symbolism of the color. Almost all the images in the other montages are taken directly from the article, so the reader can find them by looking down through the article. I just have two suggestions on this montage; why the red onions? They don't look particularly purple, and they're not mentioned in the article. How about an eggplant or another more purple fruit or vegetable? Or maybe grapes are enough as far as fruits and vegetables. Also, I don't see the importance of Prince's costume. What does that tell us about the color and its uses? Why not an image from history, or about royalty, or about purple as a symbol of the feminist movement, or about another topic discussed in the article? Thanks again for your good work, and best regards, SiefkinDR (talk) 19:15, 29 April 2016 (UTC)

Prince is mentioned in the article and is notable for the color purple, so I thought it would be relevant. As for the red onions, I personally thought both a fruit and a vegetable should be included, since there is a section about plants in general. I personally think the Prince outfit should stay, but the red onions could perhaps be replaced by something else. ANDROS1337TALK 23:54, 29 April 2016 (UTC)

Purple is spectral color[edit]

Wavelength range of purple is 360...450 nm in accordance with ISO 21348 Definitions of Solar Irradiance Spectral Categories. S-Ene (talk) 10:44, 4 November 2016 (UTC)

Purple Kimono[edit]

I don't think this is a Heian era kimono. The archetypal kimono worn at that time period consists of multiple, vast layers. The woman is also sporting a large obi, which is also past the Heian period. The woman walking with her is wearing a mostly contemporary kimono. The caption on the original photo only indicates it was taken at the Jidai Matsuri, a festival of historical clothing and nothing about the time period of the garment. Ehgarrick (talk) 01:39, 16 December 2016 (UTC)