Painting, anyone? This week we present words from the world of art.
putto (plural putti) – a representation of a naked child, especially a cherub or a cupid
– Irving Stone, The Agony and the Ecstasy: A Biographical Novel of Michelangelo
abbozzo – a rough, preliminary sketch (not necessarily pictorial; could be a sketch of an opera)
An interesting thought in today's quotation.
– Alexander Nagel, Michelangelo and the Reform of Art
Lest you think all art words are Italian, here's one from the Dutch for "paint stick".
maulstick; mahlstick – a light stick on which a painter supports and steadies his brush hand, for detail work, without resting the hand on wet paint
See here. One end of the stick is placed on a dried part of the painting. It is typically leather-covered so as not to scratch the paint.
– George Du Maurier, Trilby (translation)
chiaroscuro – the interplay of light and shade in drawing and painting; a work stressing that interplay
[Italian chiaro ‘clear, bright’ + oscuro ‘dark, obscure’]
Our second quote is a stunning example of using the term figuratively, for another complex combinations of contrasting elements.
– George Packer, The Assassins' Gate: America in Iraq
Matthews maintained that he had been incarcerated because of a government conspiracy to silence him. … there was truth in his accusation. Negotiating his way through Matthews' swirling chiaroscuro of sanity and madness, [biographer] Jay reveals that while the Air Loom was an extravagant delusion, Matthews actually had been working on a secret British government mission to secure peace with France.
– Spectator, Jun 28, 2003
Here's a word that's too new to be in most dictionaries but has over 5 million google hits.
glicée – a high-quality copy of a painting, etc., made by digital scanning and ink-jet printing onto canvas or archival paper [French glicer to spray or squirt]
– NewswireToday, Sussex, United Kingdom, Sept. 1, 2006
a process called “giclée,” in which high-resolution digital scans are printed with archival quality inks for better color accuracy.
– Nashville Scene, Aug. 9, 2006
lithography – printing with a plate whose areas are chemically treated to retain or repel ink
serigraphy – silk-screening: ink forced through silk mesh, parts of which have been impermeably coated
Two words today.
stipple – to paint, etc. in dots or short strokes (or otherwise produce that flecked or speckled effect: a field stippled with purple weeds – Flannery O'Connor) [noun: the technique, or the effect produced]
– Alan Brennert, Moloka'i
– Daniel Mendelsohn, The Elusive Embrace
He was standing casually at the door, contrapposto, looking directly at the spy-hole, as if he knew she was there looking out at him.
– Denise Mina, Garnethill: A Novel of Crime
I am in the process of purchasing some giclees from a woman who grew up near my library and is now a children's book illustrator. Very cool. Wish we'd had this word a few months ago so I wouldn't have had to say "what is a giclee?"
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