Jun 27, 2014

Color Me Purple

Purpura is the Latin name of a particular kind of shellfish which, when ground up, produces a bright purple dye, which in turn was taken from the Greek word porphura to describe the same sea creature. The word purpura later began to refer to the dye, and eventually the color of this dye. This dye was very expensive, and purple was considered a color of royalty throughout Europe. When this dye was exported to England, the word purple was imported into English as well. Today "purpura" is used by doctors to describe purplish discolorations of the skin.

The Egyptian queen Cleopatra loved purple. To obtain one ounce of Tyrian purple dye, she had her servants soak 20,000 Purpura snails for 10 days.
In Thailand, purple is worn by a widow mourning her husband's death.
A “purple heart” is a U.S. military decoration for soldiers wounded or killed in battle.
Purple is a royal color.
Purple robes are an emblem of authority and rank.
“Purple speech” is profane talk.
“Purple prose” is writing that is full of exaggerated literary effects and ornamentation.
Leonardo da Vinci believed that the power of meditation increases 10 times when done in a purple light, as in the purple light of stained glass.
Purple in a child's room is said to help develop the imagination, according to color theory.
Richard Wagner composed his operas in a room with shades of violet, his color of inspiration.