Costly paint and make-up (Plin. HN 35,44) manufactured from the mixture of heated purple sap and silver clay (or silver chalk, creta argentaria); purpurissum became brighter the more silver clay was added. As a painter's pigment, purpurissum was highly esteemed for its vivid colour (Plin. HN 35,30; 35,44 f.; 35,49). Women used purpurissum together with white lead (cerussa) to colour their cheeks and lips (cf. Plaut. Mostell. 258, 261; Plaut. Truc. 290).
Cite this pageHurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg), “Purpurissum”, in: Brill’s New Pauly, Antiquity volumes edited by: Hubert Cancik and , Helmuth Schneider, English Edition by: Christine F. Salazar, Classical Tradition volumes edited by: Manfred Landfester, English Edition by: Francis G. Gentry. Consulted online on 18 January 2021 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/1574-9347_bnp_e1014880>
First published online: 2006
First print edition: 9789004122598, 20110510
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