Talk:Violet (color)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
WikiProject Color (Rated Start-class, Mid-importance)
WikiProject icon This article is supported by WikiProject Color, a project that provides a central approach to color-related subjects on Wikipedia. Help us improve articles to good and 1.0 standards; visit the wikiproject page for more details.
Start-Class article Start  This article has been rated as Start-Class on the project's quality scale.
 Mid  This article has been rated as Mid-importance on the project's importance scale.

"Violet and purple" section, why dragon picture was changed?[edit]

In the Violet and purple section, the picture of the dragon with the red background was not originally that red. It looks like the original person who posted it, changed it a lot and the background was the same...then at the very last change, shifted the background color dramatically. If you look at the history of the image, you'll see what I mean.

My question is, "Why did they suddenly change the color of the background to a dark red?"...when they're claiming that the background color is "violet"? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:18, 28 March 2013 (UTC)

The background color here is not violet, but the color the French call pourpre, or purple. It is much more red than what Americans and British people call purple. Please look at the article on pourpre in the French language Wikipedia and you will see other examples. Also, the coordinates of RGB color model for the French version of purple contain a much larger proportion of red to blue than the American and British purple.SiefkinDR (talk) 12:48, 29 March 2013 (UTC)

Question about color pictures[edit]

On all the pictures for colors on wikipedia, I see 9 squares, are they all the same color, or are they surrounding colors on some spectrum. I want to know a certain name of one of the squares. In this case, the square on the right hand side of the center box. What is it?

Is Violet Purple?[edit]

This article equates violet with purple, which I think is wrong. For example, section 14 of Poynton's Color FAQ says that "the sensation of purple cannot be produced by a single wavelength". But the sensation of violet can be produced by a single wavelength (about 425 nm). --Zundark 22:42 Feb 25, 2003 (UTC)

The article confuses two concepts: spectral "violet" (really blue) and the color produced by mixing "red" (really magenta) and blue (i.e. spectral "violet"). :o)

MWAK-- 09:19, 22 Jul 2004 (UTC)

When I look at (spectral) violet light it certainly looks purple to me. I doubt that I'm alone here. The Cambridge Dictionary defines violet as "(having) a bluish purple colour".
Could it be that Poynton is wrong? Perhaps he's just got some technical idea of what purple is which is not exactly the same as the idea in common usage.
According to Wikipedia Purple is any of a group of colors intermediate between blue and red. This I think is what most people think of as purple. This includes violet. Poynton seems to only consider colours on the line of purple to be purple.
- Jimp a.k.a. Jim 23May05
Between blue and red on the RYGCBM color wheel, violet is near blue, magenta is farther away, and fuchsia is near red. Georgia guy 01:34, 24 May 2005 (UTC)
Yes, but as for purple, where is this? I'm suggesting that purple is a more general term to cover them all. The Cambridge Dictionary defines magenta as of a dark reddish purple colour, fuchsia as a pinkish-purple colour and indigo as (having) a bluish purple colour. Now, of course this one dictionary isn't necessarily the last word on the issue but I think it's pointing to something.
What I think it points to is the notion that it's not the RYGCBM colour wheel which is used in our everyday non-technical talking and thinking about colour but the traditional ROYGBP colour wheel. But, hey, it's the same wheel, isn't it? The only difference is that it's chopped up differently. The term purple, I'm suggesting, is one that describes a definite section of the wheel divided up in this traditional fashion.
Using red, yellow and blue as primary colours for mixing paint might not be very efficient but I don't agree that this means that the traditional colour wheel is wrong. It is correct to the extent that it reflects how we speak of colour in our ordinary unsophisticated daily lives.
Moreover, it seems to me that this is really a reflexion of how we actually percieve colour in our minds. Purple looks bluish and reddish. There's no way that yellow looks greenish and reddish. Nor does red look yellowish and magentaish ... or has our everyday usage of language and/or my primary school art lessons fooled me into so thinking?
Colour, it's a puzzle.
- Jimp 24May05
Regarding using the eye's perception of color to define colors, I think you should check out the color rant at (scroll down for the color rant.) The first part of it can be described as the opinion that the Gamecheetz webmaster had in 2002-2003 prior to taking computer graphics, based chiefly on the misnotion that the eye's perception of color decides which is the true color wheel. Then, in 2004, after taking computer graphics, the info below the text "RANT EDIT" showed a change in the webmaster's belief based on what he learned in computer graphics. The eye is not perfect. Georgia guy 13:45, 24 May 2005 (UTC)
Thanks, I'll check it out. ... Later ... Okay I've had a look at the rant.
It's interesting that not all of the errors in the first part were corrected in the second. He wrote Blue & Yellow only makes Green because the Yellow already contains Green in it. Blue cancels Yellow. Red & Green light make Yellow light because the Red and Green light each have Yellow in them already. This is not true. If you take pure spectral yellow; there's no red, no green, nothing but yellow in it. It's the same case with spectral red and spectral green: no yellow at all. Does he still think this or not? It's unclear.
He goes on, in the second part, to claim that the eye has has a 60 Hz framerate ... this is puzzling to say the least. Perhaps it's just poor phrasing but surely we don't see frame by frame as if we were watching a movie. I'd hazzard a guess that the maximimum framerate for games has something to do with 50 to 60 Hz's being the typical frequency for AC power outlets ... but what do I know about computer games? However, this is beside the point really.
His arguement is that the eye is not perfect. This is fair enough. No, it isn't perfect however does this mean therefore that "... the eye is obviously not a good instrument for deciding what color wheel is the true wheel ..."? My argument is that the idea that there exists a true or a correct colour wheel is misguided. Misguided at least in the sense that the traditional ROYGBP and the RYGCBM colour wheels are different wheels. In a sense you could call them the same wheel just sliced up differently.
He goes on to argue that The color wheel of light is the true color wheel. Okay, so what is the colour wheel of light? Is this colour wheel of light of his the RYGCBM colour wheel? It isn't clear whether is is or not he writes Well, let's try difining color. Color is a wavelength of light. Well, that decides it. So all we've really got is a spectrum wrapped into a wheel (presumably with the two ends joined up with some purple/magenta). Wouldn't this only be the unsliced wheel I've just mentioned?
What he hasn't mentioned is why red, green and blue should be the additive primaries nor why yellow, magenta and cyan should be the subtractive ones. There is, of course, no reason. These are not the primary colours. There are no such things. The thing is that these sets just happen to be the most efficient ... at least when it comes to mixing light and pigment respectively.
Enough of mixing light and pigment. How about mixing nouns and adjectives? What? Why, all of a sudden am I talking grammar? Georgia Guy, you mention defining colours. Yes, this is exactly what it's all about. Can we define violet as a kind of bluish purple? I say we can. More over, I say that this is the best definition for the typical layman who probably hasn't got an inferometer handy.
For better or for worse the way we describe colours in English is primarily based on the good old traditional ROYGBP colour wheel. Hence, when mixing neither pigments not lights but only mixing words the ROYGBP colour wheel is still in use. The adjectives orangish and purplish spring off the tongue before magentaish or cyanish ever would. Would you define violet as bluish magenta in a dictionary?
The ROYGBP colour wheel may be crap for mixing paint. It may give you ugly-as-sin pictures/graphics if you built a TV/computer sceen based on it. However, it is ingrained in our language and, as far as I know, most other languages too. At least to this extent it is true and correct. Why is this so? Isn't because our language is based on what our imperfect eyes tell us? Forget the technical details for a second and think of this. Is the traditional colour wheel not a reflexion of what we actually see?
Colour is in the mind. You don't need to mix pigments and lights. You dream in colour: no wavelengths, retinae and rods there (that you dream in black and white is an old wive's tale: too much black and white TV probably). It seems to me that the mind's primary colours are red, yellow and blue unless language and/or art lessons have fooled me as I suggested. - Jimp 25May05
The traditional wheel is not simply sliced up differently: in its common form magenta and cyan are not saturated — it shows a linear gradation from the lightest colour (yellow) to the darkest (violet). So colours that are real in the sense that they can both be perceived and imagined, are simply absent. So it's in a very real way defective and inadequate. It's very true the physical "eye" isn't the absolute measure of colour experience. But in a pragmatic/atomistic/instrumentalist way the rules gleaned by scientific research of the biology of colour perception "work" in describing and predicting our subjective experience and imagination — and if you're content to be a pragmatist/atomist/instrumentalist you might very well conclude that therefore primary colours are in the only sense that can be rationally given to that concept. If in contrast you choose not to stoop to the level of the idiot and you prefer a synthetic/dialectic/holist/coherentist interpretation of reality, then again the scientific system might satisfy you completely — or would you be astonished when the mixture of magenta and blue renders a bright purple and adding cyan to yellow creates a saturated green? Surely neither of these events is in any way counterintuitive? So the scientific theories seem to have at least a partial formal identity to a present system of colour experience.
But are you then simply fooled by language and art lessons? No. There is apparently a second system, connected to the first. When languages develop they almost invariably create their colour names in the same order: red first; either yellow second and green third or the other way round; blue fourth. Never a prescientific naming of magenta or cyan. This suggests there exists an innate secondary hierarchy of colour judgment. In this other system red, yellow green and blue are the important colours; and to lessen cognitive dissonance you feel they should be primary in the perceptual system also. That's why the traditional colour wheel is pleasing and "true" — and at the same time dull and incoherent as if the mind yearns for its solution in the higher truth of the new wheel. ;o)
--MWAK 07:15, 21 Jun 2005 (UTC)
So we come back to language and this is fitting because whether or not violet is a shade of purple really boils down to your definitions. MWAK, you mention a possible "innate secondary hierarchy of colour judgment" upon which we may have based our language. I've read that Brent Berlin and Paul Kay have described English as an eleven primary colour term language. This fits the way I'd describe colour. The mind may yearn for its "solution in the higher truth of the new wheel" but falls back on the given language's primary colour terms when it comes to speaking or writing about colour. I can talk of scarlet and crimson but in the back of my mind I know these to be shades of red, just as viridian is a shade of green and cerulean a shade of blue. What I'm suggesting is that purple is one of these primary colour terms in English and as such the term naturally would include indigo & violet. This is how things seem to me at least when it comes to everyday speech regardless of how the chromaticians may have wished to redefine the word. Jimp 06:54, 5 April 2007 (UTC)

Violet may be confused with purple as in French "Violet" haven't got the same meaning. The French "Violet" is both for pure-spectral and lights-addition purples. And French people often confused English "Purple" with their French "Pourpre" which is a bluish red or reddish purple. French color names are often used as Paris is supposed to be the Capital of Fashion. So French people won't help you to maintain the distinction.

I like this fight between hue wheel and wavelength axis ^^ This is like the brain have choose to loopback on its visible spectrum for optimisation.

Notice that the color web "violet" is a pure purple and have nothing to do with the violet as a light with a shorter wavelength than blue light. Purple is the only way to simulate Violet on RGB screens.

Lacrymocéphale —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:09, 2 November 2007 (UTC)

True or false??[edit]

True or false: A better title for this article is Violet (color), to distinguish it from Violet (flower), and for Violet to be a dis-ambiguation page. 21:52, 29 Apr 2004 (UTC)

Neither use seems to me to be more prominant than the other so yes, that would be reasonable. But the article for the plant Violet is at Violet (plant), and if you are moving this to Violet (color) don't forget to make a redirect from Violet (colour) and to fix the links to this page (or at least list it at Wikipedia:disambiguation pages with links) -- sannse (talk) 22:04, 29 Apr 2004 (UTC)

But not like that :) - move using the move page function (logged in). I'll revert and move to preserve the history -- sannse (talk) 22:11, 29 Apr 2004 (UTC)

OK this is now at Violet (color) again. You may want to consider logging in so you can do moves like this yourself :) -- sannse (talk) 22:19, 29 Apr 2004 (UTC)
For the benefit of anyone re-reading this conversation, Violet (flower) is now Violet (plant) PhilHibbs 09:54, 1 Sep 2004 (UTC)

Violet Dispution[edit]

What about this article is disputed?? 17:55, 18 Sep 2004 (UTC)

I can see nothing. Perhaps it could be discussed here if the notice needs replacing -- sannse (talk) 19:04, 18 Sep 2004 (UTC)

List of terms associated with the color violet[edit]

At least some of these should be incorporated into this article. anthony (see warning) 22:38, 16 Oct 2004 (UTC)

Who associates violet with these terms? Which cultures are we talking about? How widespread is the association? How consistent is it? If these questions are answered then they probably would be a useful addition to the article. Otherwise... -- sannse (talk) 09:48, 17 Oct 2004 (UTC)


The April 2004 edit by Hankwang says that violet looks redish because it stimulates the red receptors in the eye. I have had the same idea, since the spectrum almost covers a full octave it seems like it might be related to why a 440Hz A sounds "like" an 880Hz A. But is there a source to back this fact up or is it speculation? BenFrantzDale 07:07, 14 Jan 2005 (UTC)

  • I removed this paragraph since it sounds dubious without a citation. BenFrantzDale 02:15, 17 Jan 2005 (UTC)
    • It is still an interesting notion but I doubt that there is anything more to it than coincidence that the spectrum covers "almost covers a full octave". My hypothesis is that violet gets its reddish look in the mind not by stimulating the (so-called) red receptors in the eye. I could be wrong, of course. - Jimp 24May05
this confuses two concepts: Violet I (the extreme colour of the spectrum) and Violet II (extraspectral purple of a more blueish hue). Violet II does look more reddish because of red receptor stimulation. Violet I looks more reddish than cyan because its conceptually closer to red (i.e. on the colour wheel); just as green is...--MWAK 07:15, 21 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Color of picture[edit]

Concerning the rectangle on the right, as my eyes move among various positions the rectangle on the right of the computer screen appears to change color from blue to dark violet depending on where I put my eyes. Why?? Georgia guy 01:58, 17 Jan 2005 (UTC)

Are you using a flat-panel screen? They are very directional, and shades change especially when you view from different angles. Stan 03:03, 17 Jan 2005 (UTC)
Consult a physician immediately. ;o) But then it could be caused by after-images or by innate asymmetric cone dispersion, so there's still hope :o). BTW the correct colour is the one you see when exactly in front of the colour spot; it's in fact quite blueish--MWAK 07:15, 21 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Spectral violet[edit]

Please explain how spectral violet is different from the nearest RGB color. Georgia guy 00:54, 19 July 2006 (UTC)

Assuming that by "RGB" you mean something like sRGB (which is based on CRTs), you can see the difference by looking at the diagram of a CRT gamut in the gamut article. Spectral violet is at the end of the spectral locus below the blue corner of the CRT gamut. The nearest RGB colour would be the blue corner (although this has the wrong hue, so a better approximation in some sense can be obtained by taking the point where a straight line from spectral violet to white meets the bottom edge of the CRT triangle). I don't know if it's worth adding anything like this to the article. Basically, it just comes down to the fact that spectral colours are too saturated to show on a CRT. --Zundark 08:08, 19 July 2006 (UTC)

I am confused. Is there no red in spectral violet? As far as I understand, spectral red and spectral violet are on the two extremes of visible light, so they are not "neighbouring colours". But I get the impression that violet is often used for colours that are close to blue, but contain some red as well. --Oddeivind (talk) 19:42, 24 March 2012 (UTC)

Shades of...[edit]

See discussion at Wikipedia_talk:WikiProject_Color#Shades_of..._Subsections. PaleAqua 21:05, 18 September 2006 (UTC)

"Cannot be represented in RGB" - nonsense[edit]

Any color, including violet, can be represented in RGB system, given a concrete RGB system with enough gamut. It is true that violet does not fit into sRGB and AdobeRGB, for example, but it does fit into Adobe Wide Gamut RGB. In the latter system (0, 0, 255) is the perfect violet color by definition. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 11:03, 15 December 2006 (UTC).

And what is blue using the same system?? Georgia guy 15:00, 15 December 2006 (UTC)
There is no such thing as "the perfect violet", and all RGB spaces that have real primaries necessarily have color triangles that do not include some colors. Live with it. Dicklyon 03:42, 10 May 2007 (UTC)

Which way forward?[edit]

A couple points for a POLL: Do we want to include the "Shades of Violet Color Comparison Chart" (the stripes)? Do want all the trapped white space that comes from aligning in the infoboxes with the sections, or a more conventional readable layout? My preferred ways just got undone, so we better look for what the consensus is. Dicklyon 03:46, 10 May 2007 (UTC)

  • No stripe chart and less trapped white space are my preferences. Dicklyon 03:46, 10 May 2007 (UTC)
  • No chart. Keep alignment, though this may be a moot point if proposals in Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Color are followed up, which would remove all or most color info boxes. Notinasnaid 08:59, 10 May 2007 (UTC)
  • My opinion is remove the chart, trim the non-notable shades, eliminate many of the info boxes, keep trapping where it makes sense for what remains. PaleAqua 09:25, 10 May 2007 (UTC)

OK, hearing no objection, I'll take out the chart. I'll leave the white-space formatting to others. Dicklyon 05:59, 11 May 2007 (UTC)

  • I object to removing the chart. The Color Comparison Chart displays the shades of a particular color in approximate order of their shades (from the lightest at the top to most saturated in the middle to the darkest at the bottom) rather than in alphabetical order as in the Shades Template at the bottom of the article. The purpose of these Color Comparison Charts is to enable the Wikipedia user to more easily pick out a particular color which they may need for a particular use. For example, if someone is going to design a website, repaint a room, paint their house, or purchase a new automobile, they can look at the Color Comparison Charts and choose which color is best for or is closest to the color they need. It is much easier to do this when the colors are arranged in order of their shade instead of being arranged in alphabetical order. In addition, they display colors such as Crayola colors which may not be in the regular color articles and thus allow the user a greater selection of colors to choose from. I have restored the shades of violet color comparison chart with an explanation as to its use and removing most of the colors and restricting it to only a small number of colors close to violet. Keraunos 09:55, 14 May 2007 (UTC)
  • Another factor is, my vote should count for more because I wrote almost all of the content of this article on violet in the first place. However, I did remove most of the colors from the color comparison chart and restricted it to only a small number of colors close to violet in an attempt at compromise. Keraunos 10:27, 14 May 2007 (UTC)
I feel I have to say that original authorship conveys no more rights at all. (See WP:OWN). Arguably, less, because an original author may not be objective as to the aims and needs of Wikipedia. Personally, I feel the existence of the color chart is what is at issue, not whether it is large or small. The large number of unsourced and original research colors are a key problem. I believe all except CSS colors should be removed, and a contingent is calling for them to go as well. Notinasnaid 10:44, 14 May 2007 (UTC)
Notinasaid, where can we find this discussion or contingent about CSS colors? Dicklyon 17:39, 14 May 2007 (UTC)


Keraunos, as the original author of lots of the color articles content, you are also more a part of the problem than of the solution. You have not responded to requests on your talk page for sources for the many factoids that you've added. I think you need to be more open to other wikipedia editors who would prefer that we move these articles toward being encyclopedic. Dicklyon 13:56, 14 May 2007 (UTC)

I've been adding sources for the colors in the color boxes. Not all of the factoids have been added by me, but for the ones that have been added by me, I'll start adding more references for them. Keraunos 10:18, 15 May 2007 (UTC)

Thanks, that will be very helpful. Dicklyon 14:21, 15 May 2007 (UTC)

Terrible Photo[edit]

Will someone please remove the photo or replace it with something else? I'm talking about the nearly black flowers (which I presume are "violets," which lends that much more silliness to the photo -- it looks as if one has come to the wrong Wikipedia page). Those flowers are way off from the color of violet. Thanks ~ Softlavender (talk) 06:29, 5 February 2008 (UTC)


The article says "violet may refer to a shade of purple".The article about purple says "purple refers to combinations of blue and red in various degrees, as violet has more narrow sence and violet is a spactrum colour." But looking at the bottom of the page, I see a category "shades of violet" I mean isn't better to call it "shades of purple" ??! Xr 1 (talk) 21:55, 13 February 2008 (UTC)

Please explain why "shades of purple" makes more sense than "shades of violet". Category:Shades of violet is an active category; Category:Shades of purple is not. Georgia guy (talk) 22:17, 13 February 2008 (UTC)
  • Firstly, - because purple has more general meaning as violet has a narrow meaning. (see above)
  • Secondly, Because in the category "Shades of Violet" purple is included -> purple is a shade of violet, but the article says something like "violet is a shade of purple".
  • Thirdly, beacuse colours like eggplant ("Eggplant is a brownish-purple color "), magenta ("Magenta is a purplish red color"), and orchid ("Orchid is a light purple color.") - variations of purple are included under this category.

Xr 1 (talk) 22:58, 13 February 2008 (UTC)

HTML color names are not in and of themselves good references[edit]

If some technician in the back halls of computer programming land slaps a moniker onto a hex code for a color, does that make it authoritative? Does that make it authoritative to the point that all of the centuries of skill that had been built up in the trades of painting and printing should be ignored and spilled upon the color stained floor of the computer revolution, in preference to the johnny-come-lately computer "experts" who happen to have been in the position to make the new protocol? No I say! Those new protocols, though perhaps old compared to the Web, should be held to the highest standards that Wikipedia requires for assertions of fact to be referenced. Or do only HTML programmers use color names? Sure, there is room for Wikipedia to be an HTML programmer's reference guide. Yet it should be an encyclopedia first to all readers, according to consensus views. Then, in appendix like sections toward the end of articles, it may cater to idiosyncratic fringe groups like HTML programmers, who, IMHO, have not as of yet done as good of a job with picking RGB codes for the respective color names as the mass of Wikipedia contributors may do over time. (Please copy the above manifesto of color freedom to other color name discussion pages, with or without attribution to me, its author.) Samuel Erau (talk) 02:13, 7 January 2009 (UTC)

P.S. Other arts, crafts, and cultural elements besides (the aforementioned) painting and printing have established and continue to exert cultural momentum for the meaning of color names. Those include but are not limited to: textiles, plastics, glass works, photography, television, botany, chemistry, and vast arrays of documented artifacts that will fade in color over time. Samuel Erau (talk) 02:26, 7 January 2009 (UTC)
I think we should strive to implement wikipedia's policies such as WP:V and WP:RS. That means that if we quote hex codes for a color, then we need a source for those hex codes. The named web color sets like HTML/CSS and X11 are among the few sources for such things. That doesn't mean we can't include all kinds of other sourced color information, but we shouldn't be asserting a connection between and name and hex code where there's no source to verify it in; and we shouldn't resort to unofficial and self-published (unreliable) sources just to get hex codes; we don't need them. Dicklyon (talk) 06:06, 7 January 2009 (UTC)

purple vs violet[edit]

this article needs to either focus ONLY on the shade of purple: violet or it needs to be merged with the purple article. RCNARANJA 18:39, 29 March 2009 (UTC)

Violet is not only a perceived color but is also one end of the spectrum of visible electromagnetic radiation, between ultraviolet and blue. As a color impression, violet is a blueish purple. Purple, on the other hand, is a color impression only, with no relation to a specific wavelength interval. KoenB (talk) 06:38, 22 May 2009 (UTC)
Can someone explain, then, why both purple (with emission in blue and red) and violet (with purely short-wavelength emission) look so similiar? Is 380nm light somehow stimulating the red receptors? —Ben FrantzDale (talk) 15:34, 9 March 2011 (UTC)
They don't look similar. 380nm light is barely detectable. It can't be represented on a computer display, for sure. Because human vision is based on combining responses 3 types of detectors, rather than in any simple relationship to wavelength, a combination of blue and red light sources can have the same hue as one narrow-band violet source though. –jacobolus (t) 19:15, 9 March 2011 (UTC)
Right. So I guess my question is: at like 420nm, is the red cone being stimulated or not? Looking at Tristimulus_value#Color_matching_functions, there's a graphic indicating that red is stimulated at short wavelengths (or at least if you want to display an image of something in the low 400nms you'd use some red); on the other hand, Color_vision#Physiology_of_color_perception shows a similar graph with no second bump for red in the short wavelengths. So, does 400-500nm stimulate the red receptor significantly? —Ben FrantzDale (talk) 21:42, 9 March 2011 (UTC)
(a) The color-matching functions are not the same as cone responses: they were found experimentally in the 20s, before there was any reasonable way to find the separate cone responses directly. (b) A lot of complex processing happens between initial cone responses and the experience of "color"; "red" doesn't mean "stimulates the L cone", but instead means something like "stimulates the sum of L and S cones more than the M cone, and also stimulates the sum of L and M cones about the same as the S cone" (in some radically simplified model). If you want to show a stimulus that appears "uniquely" red (that is, with no yellow or blue in it), then you need to combine shorter and longer wavelengths: a monochromatic light source in the 650–700 nm range is always on the orange side of "pure red". –jacobolus (t) 03:09, 10 March 2011 (UTC)
I disagree. Anything longer than 660 nm is what I'd call pure red, like a red LED. Anything shorter than about 410 is pure violet. And 420 will not significantly stimulate the L cones, to answer the previous question. See curves at cone cell (which aren't actually too clear on that point, so I waffle a bit). Dicklyon (talk) 03:44, 10 March 2011 (UTC)
Hi Dicklyon, it sounds like you are saying that the fact that violet looks like a combination of red and blue light is due not to stimulation of L cones but to a higher-level interpretation. In fact, looking at color vision, blue light (440–490 nm) stimulates all three cones some whereas deep violet (~400 nm) stimulates S but basically not M or L. This suggests to me that violet is the perception of pure S cone whereas perception of "pure blue" is actually a mix of S, M, and L. Does that sound right? If so, it is very interesting. Still, it seems curious/odd that the perception of violetey/purpleyness can be triggered by quite distinct spectra and tristimulous values, particularly both a 400 nm laser and a mix of blue and red. I had been assuming this was because those two spectra produced the same tristimulus values; it sounds like the "they look the same" effect actually happens at a higher level of perception... —Ben FrantzDale (talk) 12:51, 10 March 2011 (UTC)
Yes, that's about right. I'd say blue involves stimulation of S and M cones; not necessarily L, but perhaps a little, and dending on where you draw the boundary. You need to consider the way color is encoded in the retina (not exactly higher level), which involves a transformation from tristimulus values to opponent color values, a 2D chromaticity space with a hue angle. I'm not so sure that a red plus blue can look violet (as Jacobolus pointed out), but it can certainly be at the same hue angle in chromaticity. Dicklyon (talk) 15:57, 10 March 2011 (UTC)
You’re right, except for one bit: The “they look the same” effect happens when they produce the same tristimulus values (modulo some inter-observer variability, and assuming laboratory conditions with other variables equalized). –jacobolus (t) 18:43, 10 March 2011 (UTC)
“Anything longer than 660 nm is what I'd call pure red, like a red LED” — The point is though that a red LED or a similar source also has an impact on the vision system's blue–yellow opponent response; such a source appears more yellow than blue, on the orange side of “pure red”. –jacobolus (t) 18:12, 10 March 2011 (UTC)
Well what defines "pure red" then, if not these long wavelengths? And how is the opponent thing defined such that you're sure it's on the yellow side? Dicklyon (talk) 19:43, 10 March 2011 (UTC)
You figure that out by sitting a bunch of people down in various experimental setups and ask them to point out a "red" that contains no hint of yellow or blue. This has been done in dozens or maybe hundreds of different experiments, and there are lots of papers written about it. As one example, quite a bit of experiment went into the NCS. The CIE has a current Technical Committee working on collating unique hue data. How am I sure that a red LED is on the yellow side of pure red? Because pretty much every experiment done on the subject says so. –jacobolus (t) 21:48, 10 March 2011 (UTC)
OK, that's a side of color science I'm not familiar with (obviously). Can you point out some good sources? Dicklyon (talk) 22:22, 10 March 2011 (UTC)
I'm not much of an expert myself – it would be nice if there was a clear literature review or textbook someplace – but just doing a google scholar search turns up a number of widely cited papers. Different fields have come at the question from different directions, and use slightly different terminology. There are anthropological/linguistic studies which have cross-cultural comparisons of color names; these usually refer to “basic colors” or “focal colors” or “focal hues”. In vision science “unique hue” seems to be the main term. The NCS uses the term “elementary hues”, and some CIE-related documents seem to adopt this term. Here are some possibly useful links: [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] [8] [9]. –jacobolus (t) 10:57, 11 March 2011 (UTC)

violet vs. purple[edit]

According to the article, violet is synonymous with a bluish purple, but the colour shown in the article on purple is more blueish than the one on violet. Have they been mixed up? --Oddeivind (talk) 09:20, 24 March 2012 (UTC)

The color called purple by the French is what the British and American call Crimson?[edit]

First of all, I've never done this before, but reading this kind of shocked me, since I am French myself. The french purple (pourpre) is far from being crimson. It is in fact closer to being red-violet or simply violet. Indeed, alot of French people do not make a lot of difference between purple and violet. Purple contains less blue than violet, but still remains far from being any close to crimson. I think that because of the reference that was added to the statement and the lack of French people reading the english article, this statement was never removed, but it is clearly false. Pourpre in French is a violet that's closer to the red.

Thank you for your comment; but with all respect, I think French purple is quite close to crimson. Please look at the French wikipedia article on pourpre, and see their illustration, which a dark red, very different from that of the color purple in the English Wikipedia, or violet in the French Wikipedia. The Petit Robert definition of purple (pourpre) is "Couleur rouge foncé, tirant sur le violet," or a dark red, leaning toward violet. The Petit Robert definition of crimson (cramoisi) is 'D'une couleur rouge foncé, tirant sur le violet", the same definition as their definition of purple. That's also the definition of crimson in the Petit Larousse. LaRousse defines purple as d'un beau rouge violacé, or of a fine violet-red. The Harraps Standard French and English Dictionary translates pourpre as "a crimson, rich red."
The Petit Robert and the LaRousse both define violet as "le melange du bleu et du rouge," a mixture of red and blue, which is the standard English definition of purple. It sounds like the English word "purple" is better translated in French as violet. SiefkinDR (talk) 11:22, 4 February 2013 (UTC)
WP-fr even says, Attention, dans de nombreux films ou livres, le mot « pourpre » est en fait une mauvaise traduction de l'anglais « purple », qui signifie « violet ».
It's more what I'd call maroon, or even magenta, than crimson, but all of those can approach pourpre depending on who's defining the color. — kwami (talk) 11:40, 4 February 2013 (UTC)
French vocabularies agree with SiefkinDR’s interpretation that fr:Pourpre ≈ our Crimson. BTW, I recently found that the word "purple" is notoriously problematical in translations between European languages: I discovered and replaced with “purple” at least one long-standing translation of German: Purpur into “red”. See also de:Wikipedia Diskussion:WikiProjekt Farbe #Farbenlehre (Goethe): Rot, Purpur, Violett, Blau(English). Incnis Mrsi (talk) 13:01, 4 February 2013 (UTC)
The mixtures in that wheel are the opposite of the description. You can see that the three primaries are at 12 o'clock, 4 o'clock, and 8 o'clock: what look like red, yellow, and blue to me. At 2 o'clock the red and yellow overlap; at 6 o'clock the yellow and blue overlap, and at 10 o'clock the blue and red overlap. This can be seen at the edges, where there are two colors of paint in the orange, green, and violet sectors, but only one color in the red, yellow, and blue sectors. — kwami (talk) 13:36, 4 February 2013 (UTC)
Now I'm not that sure about French, but I'm pretty sure the statement that it would be more red for Germans sounds wrong. The French word "pourpre" DOES translate to "Purpur"; so far the text is right. But then it misses something important: German has two words for purple, being "Purpurrot" (leaning towards the red) and "Purpurblau" (leaning towards the blue). Usually you refer to both of them just as "Purpur" (purple), when you don't care. Thus I would suggest that the German "Purpur" or "Purpurblau", is not any more red than the British or American purple. I guess the misinterpretation may come from the Catholic Church, who still calls the color of their Cardinal robes "Purpur" out of tradition. Except that the purple mantle this refers to is a historic thing and no longer part of the clothing. Today they just wear red. (talk) 11:06, 7 February 2014 (UTC)
I guess the misinterpretation may also be amplified by certain IP that confuses a Cardinal with a bishop. Incnis Mrsi (talk) 14:28, 7 February 2014 (UTC)

New material added to lead[edit]

Consensus is fairly clearly against the additions. Number 57 15:30, 21 July 2014 (UTC)

The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

An IP has been editing and refusing to take the material to the talk page, so I will start the discussion.

First, they are changing the wavelength data from 380–450 nm to instead show 310–450. While some studies have shown that under the right conditions, some children can see 310, it's just not in the normal range. Likewise, they are changing the frequency data from 667–789 THz to instead show 967–666. While under the right conditions the range might extend that far, their addition is outside the normal range. There additions are the extremes, rare and unique cases, and are not the ranges that are most widely supported in third-party sources as being the normally defined ranges.

The material they are adding contains some usable content (particularly the studies on light sensitivity), but it doesn't belong in the lead. At best, it needs to be rewritten and incorporated into the body of the article. The lead should just be a summary of the body of the article (per WP:LEAD). The material they are adding that adds the qualifiers "spiritual, imaginative" is better already addressed in the section related to "In culture – symbolism and associations" - such cultural associations are given undu weight when added to the lead section. --- Barek (talkcontribs) - 17:31, 13 June 2014 (UTC)

discussion of new content in lead[edit]

For reference: version without the change vs version with the change PaleAqua (talk) 21:15, 14 June 2014 (UTC)

Are the changes to the infobox and lead (outlined at Talk:Violet (color)#New material added to lead) appropriate, or should it be reverted to the original version. --- Barek (talkcontribs) - 03:58, 14 June 2014 (UTC)

As the IP has ignored requests to discuss the changes on the talk page, I am requesting input from others to clarify consensus on this edit. --- Barek (talkcontribs) - 04:01, 14 June 2014 (UTC)


Just saw this after reverting the most recent revert they made, otherwise would have waited. The frequency stuff and sources might be worth considering, but the other stuff doesn't seem like a good fit for a lead, especially the interpretation of colors as "spiritual, imaginative." If such symbolism or interpretations are covered they should be hooked back to sources of the opinion. PaleAqua (talk) 05:11, 14 June 2014 (UTC)
That 'recent revert' was the undoing of the destruction of my contribution. Editing from my IP (rather than my username) doesn't mean it should be disdained as vandalism. There are references for those connotations of violet being spiritual and imaginative if anybody wants them - but I have thought including those for something so intuitive was needless, is all (talk) 13:43, 14 June 2014 (UTC)
While it might be useful to include having it as the first sentence of the lead seems to be giving it too much weight. The revert were not because of we thought your edits to be vandalism btw, but part of the WP:BRD process. Objections to your edit were brought up, so the normal process is to revert them discuss and then go from their, just putting the edits back without discussions is considered edit warring. If you have such references the best place to add it is the "In culture" section. PaleAqua (talk) 14:35, 14 June 2014 (UTC)
There weren't any objections brought up about the substance of my edit in the edit summary. to begin with the deleter didn't leave ANY mesasage whatsoever, much less attempt to cooperate. That isn't unconstructive edit warring to you? Then when I resisted the steamrolling they began to go on about 'consensus' and 'talk'
The intro should show how people actually see color, the feeling it gives them. I have introduced more of the artistic into the lead, to achieve this. For example, adding info about connotations of violet in the East (the same for the West was already present). The part about spirituality and imagination was the common area of agreement between the Eastern and Westertn perspectives, so I included it in the lead. (talk) 16:21, 14 June 2014 (UTC)
On reverts: The parent section of this subsection has some of the objections. I've listed more in my comments above. Yes VMS Mosaic and Barek, could have started more in there first reverts comments, but that's not really required as part of BRD. The normal process is someone is Bold and adds stuff without asking to an article to improve it ( being bold is good an important in many cases ), then someone else decides that the content doesn't belong or disagrees some how and Reverts. While it is nice here for the person that reverts to post more detailed reasoning, the next step is for the person that wants the change to Discuss it on the talk page and then to get consensus for any change; not to just revert the revert. Yes I can see how the reverts of your revert reverts felt like steamrolling; but when something is objected to it needs to be discussed. PaleAqua (talk) 21:06, 14 June 2014 (UTC)
On lead: Do people see the color the same way, while original research and just a single point, violet isn't a spiritual color to me, that is more blue, and orange is the color that seems more imaginative to me. I think a lot of connotations of colors is cultural and so we need to be careful of presenting one view over another. PaleAqua (talk) 21:06, 14 June 2014 (UTC)
'steamrolling' is the first revert, deleting all the new info with nothing meaningful offered instead, no acknowledgement and no reason (only a message accusing the contributor (me) of 'unconstructive editing'). is that even for real
The lead sentence should be beautiful. The amazing examples of Blue and Yellow inspired me to do this. They are poetic. The lead of Violet should be poetic
I know what you're saying about the different views of color connotations and people seeing color differently, though what you said about violet sort of doesn't make sense to me. you're taking those qualities away from it, it's as though you're... not seeing it as anything at all...? You say the connotations of color are often cultural - this is why I pointed out that the (broadly collective) Eastern and Western perspectives share a common ground, which is the spirituality and imaginativeness of violet.
Also, saying it is a spiritual (in the sense of the Spirit being the source of all), imaginative color allows for all other qualities also (talk) 23:45, 14 June 2014 (UTC)

I don't think the articles on colors should contain anything about cultural or emotional associations in the lede. That goes beyond what is being discussed here to also include the "according to surveys" paragraph. Several other color articles do have this sort of information in the lede; I don't think it belongs, but again it's a bigger issue than this edit. The lede includes an explanation of the name, information about what colors mix to form it, and information on what violet light actually is. These things are all objective and important. Important things are left out, such as the fact that violet is a tertiary color or a cool color. So nothing unimportant should be in the lede. However — The chakra-based way of perceiving violet really shouldn't be in the lede unless it's balanced by a neuron-based explanation of how violet is perceived. The crown chakra is already mentioned with appropriate weight in the section on Hinduism. Colors cannot be spiritual or innocent. They can appear spiritual but they can't be spiritual. This will be jarring to some readers. Support revert to old version (and I also support removing the para about associations). Roches (talk) 01:58, 15 June 2014 (UTC)

The lead should summarize the main points in the article. The lead should have a brief definition of what violet is, and where it fits in with other colors; its principal occurrences in nature, and a very brief summary of the history and most common associations, A large part of the article is about the history and most common associations os the color, so they should be mentioned in the lead, but the associations have to have reliable citations, based on public opinion surveys (like Eva Heller book) or other good sources. . A discussion of violet in Eastern culture {with citations) would be appropriate, but it should be down in the appropriate section of the article, not in the lead. SiefkinDR (talk) 07:14, 15 June 2014 (UTC)

If the lead summarizes the main points of the article, that includes the artistic humanitarian aspects of violet. Other color articles summarize this info in the lead - and with very good reason - this is a very important part of what color is. Color is in the eye and soul of the beholder. The associations of violet should be mentioned with even handedness to both the Eastern and Western cultural perspectives, too. (talk) 12:07, 15 June 2014 (UTC)

Meant to post this yesterday but forgot - the revised addition is up, with extra references (talk) 11:59, 17 June 2014 (UTC)

The lead of the article is meant to be a brief summary of the content of the article below. You might want to add information and citations about the symbolism of violet ini Asian culture to that section, and to the section on religion, not just to the lead. SiefkinDR (talk) 14:50, 17 June 2014 (UTC)

The new information about violet in Japanese is very nice, I like it. But why don't you add this information to the article? There's very little information in the article about violet in Asian cultures, but right now almost half of the lead is devoted to it. SiefkinDR (talk) 17:33, 17 June 2014 (UTC)

"The intro should show how people actually see color, the feeling it gives them." This declaration lacks support in Wikipedia policy. As "feelings" are purely subjective, such statements cannot possibly be verifiable. The best we can do is cite what experts on various cultures have written on the matter, but Wikipedia cannot say in its own voice which if any of those are correct or even prevailing. And due to the necessary "well, this culture says this, expert Q on culture Z says Y" back-and-forth, this is simply not suitable material for the lede. Jeh (talk) 19:08, 20 June 2014 (UTC)
I will agree to the addition of this "feelings" material to the main article body, as long as each statement of fact is properly referenced. Then, since the lede is supposed to be a summary, not a restating, the most you could summarize about it in the lede would be equivalent to "different cultures differ about how they feel about violet." Jeh (talk) 22:20, 22 June 2014 (UTC)


The above is simply discussion. Without !votes, it will be difficult to close. I am adding a Survey below. Please !vote Include additions or Omit additions or something similar. Robert McClenon (talk) 14:28, 22 June 2014 (UTC)


  • Omit additions - We should be providing the usual wavelengths in the lede, not the maximum range. The spiritual context is not universal and should be in the article rather than the lede. Robert McClenon (talk) 14:28, 22 June 2014 (UTC)
  • Omit additions and changes to lead for now though the problem of 3 edits by an IP is hardly at the point where an RFC is called for. Just work with him; undo his changes to the lead until they summarize things that have attained consensus in the article. He's new, but can probably learn how this works. Dicklyon (talk) 17:25, 22 June 2014 (UTC)
Correction: I see it goes back about 10 days with a dynamic IP address. Still the first talk about it on the article's talk page shouldn't be an RFC, especially in the case of a dynamic IP, because he has probably not seen much if any of the feedback at the various IP talk pages. With four editors reverting him already, the ball is clearly in his court to discuss per BRD, and nobody is likely to be put into a 3RR situation because of him, except himself; have him blocked for 3RR/edit warring if you can't get his attention some other way. Dicklyon (talk) 17:29, 22 June 2014 (UTC)
  • Omit from lead I think the formality of an RfC is overkill and a survey even more so, but as stated above I don't believe the additions belong in the lead, let alone to have precedence over other material already there. PaleAqua (talk) 17:53, 22 June 2014 (UTC)
  • Omit additions and changes to lead as I justified previously with cites of WP verifiability policy. Jeh (talk) 22:04, 22 June 2014 (UTC)
  • Omit additions - and follow the usual standards for the opening section, summarizing the article and providing reliable sources. SiefkinDR (talk) 05:08, 23 June 2014 (UTC)

The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

New material added to lede - IP editing against consensus, again[edit]

See this edit. I certainly thought that the above section established consensus to "omit additions", and the text the IP just reverted to is exactly the additions we were talking about. Now what? Jeh (talk) 05:17, 22 August 2014 (UTC)

Mistake in color of velvet[edit]

According to § The color of royalty and luxury, the velvet is violet. In real life isn't violet slightly on the blue side of purple but the velvet appears to be slightly on the red side of purple. The color of that velvet is not even in the triangle of colors with verticies at white, violet and black. A bluish purple with the right proportion of blue even is not a true violet but a slightly greyish violet. Just because the people there called the velvet violet doesn't mean it's defined to be violet in American English. § Violet and purple probably more correctly shows what the colors in the triangle with corners at white, violet and black look like. Blackbombchu (talk) 17:07, 5 May 2015 (UTC)

I agree. Unfortunately there are a good many pictures in this article that contain no violet, but only purple or even red (or in one case blue). I'm going to delete them all. Loraof (talk) 13:46, 20 May 2016 (UTC)
True violet cannot be reproduced by RGB displays, so this is a difficult call to make in some cases. Jeh (talk) 14:53, 20 May 2016 (UTC)
Right, but we should not be showing something that does not appear anywhere near violet as an example of violet. Readers have to judge what violet looks like based on what they see on their screen, not what the object looked like in person when the picture was taken. Anyway, I've left in plenty of pictures that look violet or close to it. Loraof (talk) 16:48, 20 May 2016 (UTC)

Tyranian Purple irrelevant[edit]

OK, I accept that much of the article is explaining the difference between violet and purple, but what is the Tyranian purple section doing - it has nothing to do with violet at all, unless the dye is actually a violet, not purple, colour. As the information is repeated virtually verbatim under Purple I propose to delete the repeated section from violet. (talk) 12:18, 8 August 2015 (UTC)

Done. Loraof (talk) 13:43, 20 May 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. Violet is absent at this ISO. S-Ene (talk) 10:42, 4 November 2016 (UTC)

Removed unsourced claims about "unnatural and diabolic" mixing of colors in "Medieval times"[edit]

I removed the following unsourced paragraphs:

Mixing of two different colors to dye clothing was considered unnatural and diabolic in Medieval times. Those who dyed blue fabric and red fabric were members of different guilds, and were forbidden to dye any other colors than those of their own guild. Most violet fabric was made by the dyers who worked with red, and who used dye from madder or cochineal, so Medieval violet colors were inclined toward red.

Violet dyes for the clothing of common people from the Middle Ages onward were also made from the blackberry or other red fruit of the genus rubus, or from the mulberry. All of these dyes were more reddish than bluish, and faded easily with washing and exposure to sunlight.

A popular new dye which arrived in Europe from the New World during the Renaissance was made from the wood of the logwood tree (Haematoxylum campechianum), which grew in Spanish Mexico. Depending on the different minerals added to the dye, it produced a blue, red, black or, with the addition of alum, a violet dye. It made a fine color, but, like earlier dyes, it did not resist sunlight or washing.

I first noticed the unsourced claim that "Mixing of two different colors to dye clothing was considered unnatural and diabolic in Medieval times". This is problematic for several reasons (when and where exactly was it considered unnatural, and by whom?), but most of all it's unsourced. I went back through this history and found that this claim was added as part of this edit:

As well as the other quoted paragraphs from above that I removed. None of it was sourced at the time. And it has stayed unsourced, except for the original sentence:

Another common violet dye, known to the ancient Greeks and Hebrews, was made from a Mediterranean lichen called archil, or dyer's moss (rocella tinctoria), combined with an ammoniac, usually urine.

Which has been slightly modified and added to a paragraph that does now end with a citation. I'm not able to check the cited work, so I'm going to let it stand. But this whole section is pretty terrible and probably needs an entire rewrite.

Onlynone (talk) 16:20, 15 November 2016 (UTC)