Violet (color)

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Violet
 
Amatista Laye 2.jpg
Chasublepurple.jpg
Manganese violet.jpg
Devon Violets. Viola odorata (33624079715).jpg
Spectral coordinates
Wavelength 380–450 nm
Frequency 790–666 THz
Gtk-dialog-info.svg    Color coordinates
Hex triplet #8000FF
sRGB B  (r,  g,  b)(128, 0, 255)
CMYK H  (c, m, y, k)(50, 100, 0, 0)
HSV     (h, s, v)(270°, 100%, 100%)
Source99Colors [1]
B: Normalized to [0–255] (byte)
H: Normalized to [0–100] (hundred)

Violet is the color of light at the short wavelength end of the visible spectrum, between blue and invisible ultraviolet. It is one of the seven colors that Isaac Newton labeled when dividing the spectrum of visible light in 1672. Violet light has a wavelength between approximately 380 and 450 nanometers. [2] The color's name is derived from the violet flower. [3] [4]

Contents

In the RGB color model used in computer and television screens, violet is produced by mixing red and blue light. In the RYB color model historically used by painters, violet is created with a combination of red and blue pigments and is located between blue and purple on the color wheel.

Violet is closely associated with purple. In optics, violet is a spectral color (referring to the color of different single wavelengths of light) and purple is the color of various combinations of red and blue (or violet) light, [5] [6] some of which humans perceive as similar to violet. In common usage, both refer to colors that are between blue and red in hue, with violets closer to blue and purples closer to red. [3] [4] Similarly, in the traditional painters' color wheel, violet and purple are both placed between blue and red, with violet closer to blue.

Violet and purple have a long history of association with royalty, originally because Tyrian purple dye was extremely expensive in antiquity. [7] The emperors of Rome wore purple togas, as did the Byzantine emperors. During the Middle Ages violet was worn by bishops and university professors and was often used in art as the color of the robes of the Virgin Mary.[ citation needed ] In Chinese painting, the color violet represents the "unity transcending the duality of Yin and yang" and "the ultimate harmony of the universe". [8] In Hinduism and Buddhism violet is associated with the Crown Chakra. [9] According to surveys in Europe and the United States, violet is the color people most often associate with extravagance and individualism, the unconventional, the artificial, and ambiguity. [10]

Etymology and definitions

The line of purples circled on the CIE chromaticity diagram. The bottom left of curved edge is violet. Points near and along the circled edge are purple. Line of purples.png
The line of purples circled on the CIE chromaticity diagram. The bottom left of curved edge is violet. Points near and along the circled edge are purple.

The word violet as a color name derives from the Middle English and Old French violete, in turn from the Latin viola, names of the violet flower. [3] [4] The first recorded use as a color name in English was in 1370. [11]

Violet and purple

Violet is closely associated with purple. In optics, violet is a spectral color: It refers to the color of any different single wavelength of light on the short wavelength end of the visible spectrum (between approximately 380 and 450 nanometers), [2] whereas purple is the color of various combinations of red, blue, and violet light, [5] [6] some of which humans perceive as similar to violet. In common usage, both refer to colors that are between blue and red in hue, with violets closer to blue and purples closer to red. [3] [4] In the traditional color wheel used by painters, violet and purple are both placed between red and blue, with purple is closer to red.

In humans, the L (red) cone in the eye is primarily sensitive to long wavelength light in the yellow-red region of the spectrum, but is also somewhat sensitive to the shorter wavelength violet light that primarily stimulates the S (blue) cone. As a result, when violet light strikes the eye, the S-cone is stimulated strongly and the L-cone is stimulated weakly. Accordingly, strong blue light mixed with weaker red light can mimic this pattern of stimulation, causing humans to perceive colors that the same hue as violet, but with lower saturation.[ citation needed ] Computer and television screens rely on this phenomenon. Because they use the RGB color model, they cannot produce violet light and instead substitute purple, combining blue light at high intensity with red light of approximately half the intensity.

In science

Optics

Linear visible spectrum.svg

Violet is at one end of the spectrum of visible light, between blue light, which has a longer wavelength, and ultraviolet light, which has a shorter wavelength and is not visible to humans. Violet encompasses light with a wavelength of approximately 380 to 450 nanometers. Violet objects often appear dark, because human vision is relatively insensitive to those wavelengths.[ citation needed ]

Chemistry – pigments and dyes

The earliest violet pigments used by humans, found in prehistoric cave paintings, were made from the minerals manganese and hematite. Manganese is still used today by the Aranda people, a group of indigenous Australians, as a traditional pigment for coloring the skin during rituals. It is also used by the Hopi Indians of Arizona to color ritual objects.

The most famous violet-purple dye in the ancient world was Tyrian purple, made from a type of sea snail called the murex, found around the Mediterranean.

In western Polynesia, residents of the islands made a violet dye similar to Tyrian purple from the sea urchin. In Central America, the inhabitants made a dye from a different sea snail, the purpura, found on the coasts of Costa Rica and Nicaragua. The Mayans used this color to dye fabric for religious ceremonies, and the Aztecs used it for paintings of ideograms, where it symbolized royalty. [12]

During the Middle Ages, most artists made purple or violet on their paintings by combining red and blue pigments; usually blue azurite or lapis-lazuli with red ochre, cinnabar or minium. They also combined lake colors made by mixing dye with powder; using woad or indigo dye for the blue, and dye made from cochineal for the red. [12]

Orcein, or purple moss, was another common violet dye. It was known to the ancient Greeks and Hebrews, was made from a Mediterranean lichen called archil or dyer's moss (Roccella tinctoria), combined with an ammoniac, usually urine. Orcein began to achieve popularity again in the 19th century, when violet and purple became the color of demi-mourning, worn after a widow or widower had worn black for a certain time, before he or she returned to wearing ordinary colors. [13]

In the 18th century, chemists in England, France and Germany began to create the first synthetic dyes. Two synthetic purple dyes were invented at about the same time. Cudbear is a dye extracted from orchil lichens that can be used to dye wool and silk, without the use of mordant. Cudbear was developed by Dr. Cuthbert Gordon of Scotland: production began in 1758, The lichen is first boiled in a solution of ammonium carbonate. The mixture is then cooled and ammonia is added and the mixture is kept damp for 3–4 weeks. Then the lichen is dried and ground to powder. The manufacture details were carefully protected, with a ten-feet high wall being built around the manufacturing facility, and staff consisting of Highlanders sworn to secrecy.

French purple was developed in France at about the same time. The lichen is extracted by urine or ammonia. Then the extract is acidified, the dissolved dye precipitates and is washed. Then it is dissolved in ammonia again, the solution is heated in air until it becomes purple, then it is precipitated with calcium chloride; the resulting dye was more solid and stable than other purples.

Cobalt violet is a synthetic pigment that was invented in the second half of the 19th century, and is made by a similar process as cobalt blue, cerulean blue and cobalt green. It is the violet pigment most commonly used today by artists, along with manganese violet.

Mauveine , also known as aniline purple and Perkin's mauve , was the first synthetic organic chemical dye, [14] [15] discovered serendipitously in 1856. Its chemical name is 3-amino-2,±9-dimethyl-5-phenyl-7-(p-tolylamino) phenazinium acetate.

In the 1950s, a new family of violet synthetic organic pigments called quinacridone came onto the market. It had originally been discovered in 1896, but were not synthetized until 1936, and not manufactured until the 1950s. The colors in the group range from deep red to violet in color, and have the molecular formula C20H12N2O2. They have strong resistance to sunlight and washing, and are used in oil paints, water colors, and acrylics, as well as in automobile coatings and other industrial coatings.

Zoology

Botany

In history and art

Prehistory and antiquity

Violet is one of the oldest colors used by man. Traces of very dark violet, made by grinding the mineral manganese, mixed with water or animal fat and then brushed on the cave wall or applied with the fingers, are found in the prehistoric cave art in Pech Merle, in France, dating back about twenty-five thousand years. It has also been found in the cave of Altamira and Lascaux. [16] It was sometimes used as an alternative to black charcoal. Sticks of manganese, used for drawing, have been found at sites occupied by Neanderthal man in France and Israel. From the grinding tools at various sites, it appears it may also have been used to color the body and to decorate animal skins.

More recently, the earliest dates on cave paintings have been pushed back farther than 35,000 years. Hand paintings on rock walls in Australia may be even older, dating back as far as 50,000 years.

Berries of the genus rubus, such as blackberries, were a common source of dyes in antiquity. The ancient Egyptians made a kind of violet dye by combining the juice of the mulberry with crushed green grapes. The Roman historian Pliny the Elder reported that the Gauls used a violet dye made from bilberry to color the clothing of slaves. These dyes made a satisfactory purple, but it faded quickly in sunlight and when washed. [17]

The Middle Ages and the Renaissance

Violet and purple retained their status as the color of emperors and princes of the church throughout the long rule of the Byzantine Empire.

While violet was worn less frequently by Medieval and Renaissance kings and princes, it was worn by the professors of many of Europe's new universities. Their robes were modeled after those of the clergy, and they often wore square violet caps and violet robes, or black robes with violet trim.

Violet also played an important part in the religious paintings of the Renaissance. Angels and the Virgin Mary were often portrayed wearing violet robes. The 15th-century Florentine painter Cennino Cennini advised artists: "If you want to make a lovely violet colour, take fine lacca, ultramarine blue (the same amount of the one as of the other)..." For fresco painters, he advised a less-expensive version, made of a mixture of blue indigo and red hematite. [18]

18th and 19th centuries

In the 18th century, violet was a color worn by royalty, aristocrats and the wealthy, and by both men and women. Good-quality violet fabric was expensive, and beyond the reach of ordinary people.

Many painters of the 19th century experimented with the uses of the color violet to capture the subtle effects of light. Eugène Delacroix (1798–1863) made use of violet in the sky and shadows of many of his works, such as his painting of a tiger.

The first cobalt violet, the intensely red-violet cobalt arsenate, was highly toxic. Although it persisted in some paint lines into the twentieth-century, it was displaced by less toxic cobalt compounds such as cobalt phosphate. Cobalt violet appeared in the second half of the 19th century, broadening the palette of artists. Cobalt violet was used by Paul Signac (1863–1935), Claude Monet (1840–1926), and Georges Seurat (1859–1891). [19] Today, cobalt ammonium phosphate, cobalt lithium phosphate, and cobalt phosphate are available for use by artists. Cobalt ammonium phosphate is the most reddish of the three. Cobalt phosphate is available in two varieties — a deep less saturated blueish type and a lighter and brighter somewhat more reddish type. Cobalt lithium phosphate is a saturated lighter-valued bluish violet. A color similar to cobalt ammonium phosphate, cobalt magnesium borate, was introduced in the later twentieth-century but was not deemed sufficiently lightfast for artistic use. Cobalt violet is the only truly lightfast violet pigment with relatively strong color saturation. All other light-stable violet pigments are dull by comparison. However, the high price of the pigment and the toxicity of cobalt has limited its use.

Vincent van Gogh (1853–1890) was an avid student of color theory. He used violet in many of his paintings of the 1880s, including his paintings of irises and the swirling and mysterious skies of his starry night paintings, and often combined it with its complementary color, yellow. In his painting of his bedroom in Arles (1888), he used several sets of complementary colors; violet and yellow, red and green, and orange and blue. In a letter about the painting to his brother Theo, he wrote, "The color here...should be suggestive of sleep and repose in general....The walls are a pale violet. The floor is of red tiles. The wood of the bed and the chairs are fresh butter yellow, the sheet and the pillows light lemon green. The bedspread bright scarlet. The window green. The bed table orange. The bowl blue. The doors lilac....The painting should rest the head or the imagination." [20]

In 1856, a young British chemist named William Henry Perkin was trying to make a synthetic quinine. His experiments produced instead an unexpected residue, which turned out to be the first synthetic aniline dye, a deep violet color called mauveine, or abbreviated simply to mauve (the dye being named after the lighter color of the mallow [mauve] flower). Used to dye clothes, it became extremely fashionable among the nobility and upper classes in Europe, particularly after Queen Victoria wore a silk gown dyed with mauveine to the Royal Exhibition of 1862. Prior to Perkin's discovery, mauve was a color which only the aristocracy and rich could afford to wear. Perkin developed an industrial process, built a factory, and produced the dye by the ton, so almost anyone could wear mauve. It was the first of a series of modern industrial dyes which completely transformed both the chemical industry and fashion. [21]

20th and 21st centuries

Five presidents in the oval office. The two more recent presidents, George W. Bush and Barack Obama, are wearing violet ties. Five Presidents Oval Office.jpg
Five presidents in the oval office. The two more recent presidents, George W. Bush and Barack Obama, are wearing violet ties.

Violet or purple neckties became popular at the end of the first decade of the 21st century, particularly among political and business leaders.[ citation needed ]

In culture

Cultural associations

In Western culture

Popularity of the color
  • In Europe and America, violet is not a popular color; in a European survey, only three percent of men and women rated it as their favorite color, ranking it behind blue, green, red, black and yellow (in that order), and tied with orange. Ten percent of respondents rated it their least favorite color; only brown, pink and gray were more unpopular. [10]
The color of royalty and luxury
  • Because of their status as the color of Roman emperors, and as colors worn by monarchs and princes, the colors violet and purple are often associated with luxury. Certain luxury goods, such as watches and jewelry, are often placed in boxes lined with violet velvet, since violet is the complementary color of yellow, and shows gold to best advantage.
Vanity, extravagance, and individualism
  • While violet is the color of humility in the symbolism of the Catholic Church, it has exactly the opposite meaning in general society. A European poll in 2000 showed it was the color most commonly associated with vanity. [22] As a color that rarely exists in nature, and a color which by its nature attracts attention, it is seen as a color of individualism and extravagance.
Ambiguity and ambivalence
  • Surveys show that violet and purple are the colors most associated with ambiguity and ambivalence.

In Asian culture

A Japanese woman in the kimono style popular in the Heian period (794-1185) with a violet head covering. Jidai Matsuri 2009 161.jpg
A Japanese woman in the kimono style popular in the Heian period (794–1185) with a violet head covering.
  • In Japan, violet was a popular color introduced into Japanese dress during the Heian Period (794–1185). The dye was made from the root of the alkanet plant (Anchusa officinalis), known as murasaki in Japanese. At about the same time, Japanese painters began to use a pigment made from the same plant. [23]

New Age

Religion

Politics

The Susan B. Anthony stamp (1936), was the reddish tone of violet known as red-violet since violet was a color that represented the Women's Suffrage movement. Susan B Anthony-3c.jpg
The Susan B. Anthony stamp (1936), was the reddish tone of violet known as red-violet since violet was a color that represented the Women's Suffrage movement.

Social movement

Violet flowers and their color became symbolically associated with lesbian love. [32] It was used as a special code by lesbians and bisexual women for self-identification and also to communicate support for the sexual preference. [33] [34] This connection originates from the poet Sappho and fragments of her poems. In one poem, she describes a lost love wearing a garland of "violet tiaras, braided rosebuds, dill and crocus twined around" her neck. [35] In another fragment, she recalls her lover as having "put around yourself [many wreaths] of violets and roses." [36] [37]

Flags

See also

Related Research Articles

Black Darkest color, resulting from the absence or complete absorption of light

Black is the darkest color, the result of the absence or complete absorption of visible light. It is an achromatic color, a color without hue, like white and gray. It is often used symbolically or figuratively to represent darkness, while white represents light. Black and white have often been used to describe opposites such as good and evil, the Dark Ages versus Age of Enlightenment, and night versus day. Since the Middle Ages, black has been the symbolic color of solemnity and authority, and for this reason is still commonly worn by judges and magistrates.

Blue A primary colour between purple and green

Blue is one of the three primary colours of pigments in painting and traditional colour theory, as well as in the RGB colour model. It lies between violet and green on the spectrum of visible light. The eye perceives blue when observing light with a dominant wavelength between approximately 450 and 495 nanometres. Most blues contain a slight mixture of other colours; azure contains some green, while ultramarine contains some violet. The clear daytime sky and the deep sea appear blue because of an optical effect known as Rayleigh scattering. An optical effect called Tyndall scattering explains blue eyes. Distant objects appear more blue because of another optical effect called aerial perspective.

Green Additive primary color visible between blue and yellow

Green is the color between blue and yellow on the visible spectrum. It is evoked by light which has a dominant wavelength of roughly 495–570 nm. In subtractive color systems, used in painting and color printing, it is created by a combination of yellow and blue, or yellow and cyan; in the RGB color model, used on television and computer screens, it is one of the additive primary colors, along with red and blue, which are mixed in different combinations to create all other colors. By far the largest contributor to green in nature is chlorophyll, the chemical by which plants photosynthesize and convert sunlight into chemical energy. Many creatures have adapted to their green environments by taking on a green hue themselves as camouflage. Several minerals have a green color, including the emerald, which is colored green by its chromium content.

Red Color

Red is the color at the end of the visible spectrum of light, next to orange and opposite violet. It has a dominant wavelength of approximately 625–740 nanometres. It is a primary color in the RGB color model and the CMYK color model, and is the complementary color of cyan. Reds range from the brilliant yellow-tinged scarlet and vermillion to bluish-red crimson, and vary in shade from the pale red pink to the dark red burgundy.

Yellow Color

Yellow is the color between green and red on the spectrum of visible light. It is evoked by light with a dominant wavelength of roughly 570–590 nm. It is a primary color in subtractive color systems, used in painting or color printing. In the RGB color model, used to create colors on television and computer screens, yellow is a secondary color made by combining red and green at equal intensity. Carotenoids give the characteristic yellow color to autumn leaves, corn, canaries, daffodils, and lemons, as well as egg yolks, buttercups, and bananas. They absorb light energy and protect plants from photodamage. Sunlight has a slight yellowish hue when the Sun is near the horizon, due to atmospheric scattering of shorter wavelengths.

Purple Range of colors with the hues between blue and red

Purple refers to any of a variety of colors with hue between red and blue.

Brown color

Brown is a composite color. In the CMYK color model used in printing or painting, brown is made by combining red, black, and yellow, or red, yellow, and blue. In the RGB color model used to project colors onto television screens and computer monitors, brown is made by combining red and green, in specific proportions. In painting, brown is generally made by adding black to orange.

Magenta color visible between red and purple; subtractive (CMY) primary color

Magenta is a colour which can vary from deep pink to saturated purple. On colour wheels of the RGB (additive) and CMY (subtractive) colour models, it is located exactly midway between red and blue. It is one of the four colours of ink used in colour printing by an inkjet printer, along with yellow, black, and cyan, to make all the other colours. The tone of magenta used in printing is called "printer's magenta".

Pigment material that changes the color of reflected or transmitted light

A pigment is a colored material that is completely or nearly insoluble in water. In contrast dyes are typically soluble, at least at some stage in their use. Generally dyes are often organic compounds whereas pigments are often inorganic compounds. Pigments of prehistoric and historic value include ocher, charcoal, and lapis lazuli.

Orange (colour) Color, located between red and yellow in the spectrum of light

Orange is the colour between yellow and red on the spectrum of visible light. Human eyes perceive orange when observing light with a dominant wavelength between roughly 585 and 620 nanometres. In painting and traditional colour theory, it is a secondary colour of pigments, created by mixing yellow and red. It is named after the fruit of the same name.

Pink any of the colors between bluish red (purple) and red, of medium to high brightness and of low to moderate saturation

Pink is a pale shade of red that is named after a flower of the same name. It was first used as a color name in the late 17th century. According to surveys in Europe and the United States, pink is the color most often associated with charm, politeness, sensitivity, tenderness, sweetness, childhood, femininity and romance. A combination of pink and white is associated with chastity and innocence, whereas a combination of pink and black links to eroticism and seduction.

Complementary colors pairs of colors which, when combined, cancel each other out

Complementary colors are pairs of colors which, when combined or mixed, cancel each other out by producing a grayscale color like white or black. When placed next to each other, they create the strongest contrast for those two colors. Complementary colors may also be called "opposite colors."

Umber brown or reddish-brown earth pigment

Umber is a natural brown or reddish-brown earth pigment that contains iron oxide and manganese oxide. Umber is darker than the other similar earth pigments, ochre and sienna.

Grey Intermediate color between black and white; color of a cloud-covered sky, ash and lead

Grey or gray is an intermediate color between black and white. It is a neutral color or achromatic color, meaning literally that it is a color "without color," because it can be composed of black and white. It is the color of a cloud-covered sky, of ash and of lead.

Scarlet (color) Color shade of bright red

Scarlet is a brilliant red color, sometimes with a slightly orange tinge. In the spectrum of visible light, and on the traditional color wheel, it is one-quarter of the way between red and orange, slightly less orange than vermilion.

White Color

White is the lightest color and is achromatic. It is the color of fresh snow, chalk and milk, and is the opposite of black. White objects fully reflect and scatter all the visible wavelengths of light. White on television and computer screens is created by a mixture of red, blue and green light. In everyday life, whiteness is often conferred with white pigments, especially titanium dioxide, of which is produced more than 3,000,000 tons/y.

Shades of purple Variations of the color purple

There are numerous variations of the color purple, a sampling of which are shown below.

Synthetic colorant


A colorant is any material which can be used to change the spectral transmittance or reflectance of a material. Synthetic colorants are those which have been created in a laboratory or industrial setting. The production and improvement of colorants was a driver of the early synthetic chemical industry, in fact many of today's largest chemical producers started as dye-works in the late 19th or early 20th centuries, including Bayer AG(1863). Synthetics are extremely attractive for industrial and aesthetic purposes as they have they often achieve higher intensity and color fastness than comparable natural pigments and dyes used since ancient times. Market viable large scale production of dyes occurred nearly simultaneously in the early major producing countries Britain (1857), France (1858), Germany (1858), and Switzerland (1859), and expansion of associated chemical industries followed. The mid-nineteenth century through WWII saw an incredible expansion of the variety and scale of manufacture of synthetic colorants. Synthetic colorants quickly became ubiquitous in everyday life, from clothing to food. This stems from the invention of industrial research and development laboratories in the 1870s, and the new awareness of empirical chemical formulas as targets for synthesis by academic chemists. The dye industry became one of the first instances where directed scientific research lead to new products, and the first where this occurred regularly.

This article explains the history of the color red.

References

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  3. 1 2 3 4 "violet, n.1". OED Online. Oxford University Press. Retrieved 6 April 2020.
  4. 1 2 3 4 "Violet". Webster's Third New International Dictionary, Unabridged. Retrieved 6 April 2020.
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  9. https://web.archive.org/web/20170508232015/http://www.color-wheel-artist.com/meanings-of-violet.html
  10. 1 2 Eva Heller, Psychologie de la couleur: effets et symboliques. p. 4. "La plus individualist et extravagant des coulours." (associated by 26 percent of respondents to survey with "extravagance", by 22 percent with "individualism" , 24 percent with "vanity", 21 percent with "ambiguity".
  11. Maerz and Paul A Dictionary of Color New York: 1930 McGraw-Hill Page 207
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