Sfumato meaning

sfo͝o-mä'tō
The blurring or softening of sharp outlines in painting by subtle and gradual blending of one tone into another.
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An effect, as in oil painting, of the tones shading into one another so that there are no sharp outlines.
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In painting, the application of subtle layers of translucent paint so that there is no visible transition between colors, tones and often objects.
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Origin of sfumato

  • Italian from past participle of sfumare to evaporate, fade out s- from (from Latin ex- ex–) fumare to smoke (from Latin fūmāre fumatory)
    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition
  • Italian sfumato, 'shaded, toned down' (1909)
    From Wiktionary