Welcome to my page of quotations about purple — the color of violets, grapes, lavender sprigs, amethyst, the edge of a rainbow!
Violet inclines to purple, and so seems to conceal under an ashy blue the pride and passion of red. ~Charles Blanc, “Personal Adornment: Colours and Their Expression,” Art in Ornament and Dress, 1875, translated from French
And yet in terms of unbridled revelry, if Bacchus ever had a colour he could claim for his own it should surely be the shade of tannin on drunken lips, of John Keats’s “purple-stained mouth,” or perhaps even of Homer’s dangerously wine-dark sea. ~Victoria Finlay, “Violet,” Colour, 2002
Mauve is just pink trying to be purple. ~James Abbott McNeill Whistler (1834–1903), unverified
Purple is the most retiring of all rich colors. It is symbolical of dignity, state, and regal power and is expressive of gravity, sorrow, and sadness. ~W. J. & G. A. Audsley, Taste versus Fashionable Colours: A Manual for Ladies on Colour in Dress, 1863
purple does something strange to me… ~Charles Bukowski, “Purple Glow,” The People Look Like Flowers At Last, 2007
Pink, mauve and violet jostle each other from red to black. ~Derek Jarman (1942–1994), “Purple Passage,” Chroma: A Book of Colour — June ’93, 1994
Purple is a highly poetical colour. ~George Field, Chromatography, 1835
God love everything you love — and a mess of stuff you don’t. But more than anything else, God love admiration… I think it pisses God off if you walk by the color purple in a field somewhere and don’t notice it. ~Alice Walker, The Color Purple, 1982
Roses are red
Violets are blue.
Poor violet violated for a rhyme.
~Derek Jarman (1942–1994), “Purple Passage,” Chroma: A Book of Colour — June ’93, 1994
The brook valley below Green Gables overflowed with asters of ethereal purple… ~L. M. Montgomery, “The Shadow of Change,” Anne of the Island, 1915
All the other colors are just colors, but purple seems to have a soul — when you look at it, it’s looking back at you. ~Terri Guillemets, “Pretty things,” 2001
great science, good thought
I, fortunate discoverer of mauve dye:
for colour, chemistry, industry —
encouraged, lived, rewarded, success
~Blackout poetry by Terri Guillemets of a speech by William Henry Perkin, 1906 July 26th, London [Perkin (1838–1907) was a British chemist who, at age 18, serendipitously discovered the first synthetic dye — mauveine, a.k.a. aniline purple or Perkin’s mauve — turned it into a business, and revolutionized the clothing industry.
The chief glory of the old masters is their drawing and characterization. I find their color for the most part purely conventional… With all its excesses, the modern impressionistic movement has given us one discovery, the color violet. It is the only discovery of importance in the art world since Velázquez. ~Joaquín Sorolla (1863–1923), quoted in William E. B. Starkweather, “Joaquín Sorolla: The Man and His Work,” 1909
Purple is passionate, maybe violet becomes a little bolder and [f*@%s] pink into purple. Sweet lavender blushes and watches. ~Derek Jarman (1942–1994), “Purple Passage,” Chroma: A Book of Colour — June ’93, 1994
Original post date: 2013 Mar 26
1st major revision: 2018 Mar 14