Mona Lisa showing the use of sfumato, particularly in the shading around the eyes.]

Sfumato is the Italian term for a painting technique which overlays translucent layers of colour to create perceptions of depth, volume and form. In particular, it refers to the blending of colours or tones so subtly that there is no perceptible transition.

In Italian sfumato means "smoky" and is derived from the Italian word "fumo" meaning 'smoke'. Leonardo da Vinci described sfumato as "without lines or borders, in the manner of smoke or beyond the focus plane". [cite book|last=Earls |first=Irene |title=Renaissance Art: A Topical Dictionary |year=1987 |publisher=Greenwood Press |isbn=0313246580 |pages=p263]

Leonardo is closely associated with the technique, and one of the best-known examples is his "Mona Lisa". Critics and art historians have argued over whether or not the Mona Lisa is smiling. This debate is due to the use of sfumato around her mouth, making it a mystery as to whether the shadows are a result of a smile or if the smile is a result of the shadows. The painting is painted using tiny dots in several layers, around the eyes and mouth as many as 40 layers.

ee also



Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • sfumato — [ sfumato ] n. m. • 1758; mot it. « enfumé » ♦ Peint. Modelé vaporeux. Les sfumatos de Vinci. ● sfumato nom masculin (mot italien) En peinture, modelé vaporeux destiné à suggérer par les gradations de la couleur et de la lumière l échelonnement… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • sfumato — SFUMÁTO s.n. Mod de a estompa conturul în umbră al unei picturi, astfel încât imaginea pare văzută printr un văl de fum. – cuv. it. Trimis de LauraGellner, 22.07.2004. Sursa: DEX 98  sfumáto s. n. Trimis de siveco, 10.08.2004. Sursa: Dicţionar… …   Dicționar Român

  • sfumato — 1847, from It. sfumato, lit. “smoked.” …   Etymology dictionary

  • sfumato — sfumȃto pril. DEFINICIJA lik. način slikanja zamagljenim tonovima i rasplinutim obrisima; kao u izmaglici ETIMOLOGIJA tal. sfumato …   Hrvatski jezični portal

  • sfumato — (del italiano; pronunciamos esfumato ) sustantivo masculino 1. (no contable) Técnica pictórica que consiste en suavizar el contorno de las figuras mediante el uso de tonos vagos y los juegos de sombras: La técnica del sfumato fue creada por… …   Diccionario Salamanca de la Lengua Española

  • Sfumato — Sfu*ma to, a. [It.] (Paint.) Having vague outlines, and colors and shades so mingled as to give a misty appearance; said of a painting. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Sfumāto — (ital). rauchig, wolkig, mit weichen u. unbestimmten Umrissen gemalt …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • Sfumāto — (ital., von fumare, »verdunsten, verfliegen«), in der Malerei die Kunst, das Verschwimmen der Farben und Konturen in Luft und Licht darzustellen, die dadurch wie mit einem zarten, durchsichtigen Schleier umhüllt erscheinen. Diese Fertigkeit… …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • Sfumato — Sfumāto (ital.), rauchig, wolkig; mit unbestimmten Umrissen gemalt …   Kleines Konversations-Lexikon

  • Sfumato — Sfumato, ital., verraucht d.h. in unbestimmten Umrissen gemalt …   Herders Conversations-Lexikon

  • sfumato — (it.) m. Esfumado …   Enciclopedia Universal

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.