Friday, March 2, 2018

The Color Connotations of Purple

The Color Connotations of Purple
The color purple is used by Christian churches during the Lenten period, tying it to the passion of Christ. It is linked both with sobriety and with moderation in general, a symbolism based on the idea that it is midway on the color spectrum between the red of passion and the blue of intellectualism. 
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The Roman custom of wearing cooling wreaths of violets at banquets may have influenced this perception. There were Greek precedents, judging by the name given to the quartz gemstone amethyst which literally means “not intoxicated.” Its temperate violet or cool purple hue made it the stone of Catholic bishops.(Amethyst Gemstone meaning. Crystalline quartz in shades of purple, lilac or mauve is called amethyst, a stone traditionally worn to guard against drunkenness and to instill a sober mind. The word amethyst comes from the Greek meaning "without drunkenness" and amethyst is believed to protect one from poison.)

 Purple brings to mind wealth and pageantry. Purple and violet are considered luxurious and royal shades because of the great cost in ancient days for cloth dyed with scarce seashells along the Mediterranean seacoasts. In some cases, its cost was equivalent to the price of gold.(Purple's elite status stems from the rarity and cost of the dye originally used to produce it. Purple fabric used to be so outrageously expensive that only rulers could afford it. The dye initially used to make purple came from the Phoenician trading city of Tyre, which is now in modern-day Lebanon.)
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The Roman emperor Nero forbade any of his subjects to wear his special color.
Females designated purple as their favorite color in a poll recently while men named it their least favorite color.

Decorators and psychologists tell us that purple is a color to be used sparingly. It is considered a “heavy” color, and long exposure to purple may become depressing to some.