- the subtle and minute gradation of tone and color used to blur or veil the contours of a form in painting.
Origin of sfumato
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for sfumato
The gods were everything and nothing; they got lost in a sfumato.The Oriental Religions in Roman Paganism
All the secrets of richness, softness, and morbidenza, all the mysteries of pastoso and sfumato were his.Selections from the Poems and Plays of Robert Browning
It is like a picture, or a succession of pictures, painted in what the Italians call the sfumato, or "smoky" manner.The Life and Genius of Nathaniel Hawthorne
Frank Preston Stearns
- (in painting) a gradual transition between areas of different colour, avoiding sharp outlines
from Italian, from sfumato shaded off, from sfumare to shade off, from Latin ex- 1 + fūmāre to smoke
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Word Origin and History for sfumato
1847, from Italian sfumato, literally "smoked," from Latin fumus "smoke" (see fume (n.)).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper