- excellence or merit in objects of art, curios, and the like.
- (used with a plural verb) such objects or articles collectively.
- a taste for or knowledge of such objects.
Origin of virtu
Examples from the Web for virtu
Many are chosen, as you see, with little deference to the opinions of Virtu.The Works of Edgar Allan Poe
Edgar Allan Poe
By John Jones, Esq., pictures and virtu amounting to 240,000.Travels in South Kensington
Moncure Daniel Conway
On every side was to be seen rich hangings and articles of virtu.Old Broadbrim Into the Heart of Australia
Author of "Old Broadbrim"
That is a country replete with articles of virtu, the only thing is to find them.The Life of a Celebrated Buccaneer
For virtu, I have a little to entertain you—it is my sole pleasure.The Wits and Beaux of Society
Grace & Philip Wharton
- a taste or love for curios or works of fine art; connoisseurship
- such objects collectively
- the quality of being rare, beautiful, or otherwise appealing to a connoisseur (esp in the phrases articles of virtu; objects of virtu)
Word Origin and History for virtu
"excellence in an object of art, passion for works of art," 1722, from Italian virtu "excellence," from Latin virtutem (nominative virtus) "virtue" (see virtue). The same word as virtue, borrowed during a period when everything Italian was in vogue. Sometimes spelled vertu, after French, but this is unjustified, as this sense of the word is not in French.