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[ver-nuh-sahzh; French ver-nee-sazh] /ˌvɛr nəˈsɑʒ; French vɛr niˈsaʒ/
noun, plural vernissages
[ver-nuh-sah-zhiz; French ver-nee-sazh] /ˌvɛr nəˈsɑ ʒɪz; French vɛr niˈsaʒ/ (Show IPA)
Also called varnishing day. the day before the opening of an art exhibition traditionally reserved for the artist to varnish the paintings.
a reception at a gallery for an artist whose show is about to open to the public.
Origin of vernissage
1910-15; < French: literally, a varnishing, touching up (of paintings). See varnish, -age Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for vernissage
Historical Examples
  • The spring came at last, and with it vernissage at the Salon.

    The Beautiful Miss Brooke

    Louis Zangwill
  • You can't imagine how impatient I was to get back in time for vernissage.

    The Beautiful Miss Brooke

    Louis Zangwill
  • We had not heard of his arrival until we ran across him at the vernissage in the New Salon.


    Elizabeth Robins Pennell
  • Ledoyen's has attained a particular celebrity as the restaurant where every one lunches on the vernissage day of the Salon.

  • By ten o'clock the night of the "vernissage" all his acquaintances and intimates in Paris had brought him their felicitations.

    Fairfax and His Pride Marie Van Vorst
British Dictionary definitions for vernissage


a preview or the opening or first day of an exhibition of paintings
another term for varnishing day
Word Origin
French, from vernisvarnish
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
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