Art Term of the Day: Sfumato

Sfumato is an Italian term used in oil painting to describe the skillful blending of colors and tones such that they seem to melt into one another imperceptibly. It is often applied to the work of Leonardo da Vinci who was one of the first identified artists to use the atmospheric technique.

Definition: In oil painting, the creation of soft, delicately blended effects by the fusion of one tone into another, particularly in glazes. (*)

The technique was perfected during the renaissance period and would be employed by other artists such as Fra Bartolommeo (1472-1517), Giorgione (1477-1510), Corregio (1489-1534), and Federico Barroci (1528-1612).

(*) Mayer, Ralph. A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques, NY, HarperPerennial, 1981.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s