Pentimento

Sister

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Alabama
I learn something new everyday, but today was exceptional. "Pentimento" was my vocabulary word for the day. I met an antique dealer (which I am, too) who's business name is Pentimento. She explained the meaning to me, and then I did a search and came up with the following for starters.

Pentimento is an art term meaning to obscure what was once there, such as painting a new picture over an older one on a canvas. But as it ages, oil paint on canvas can become transparent and slowly, what was there before can be seen again and the whole truth of the picture, once lost and obscured, can be rediscovered.

(p n´´t m n´t ) (KEY) , painter’s term for the evidence in a work that the original composition has been changed. Often the opaque pigment with which the artist covered a mistake or unwanted beginnings will, with time or injudicious cleaning, become transparent, and a revelation of original intentions will become visible through the finished composition. A celebrated example is Caravaggio’s Lute Player (Metropolitan Museum of Art) in which X-ray photography was used to uncover evidence of the painter’s original intention.

pentimento n. An underlying image in a painting, as an earlier painting, part of a painting, or original draft, that shows through, usually when the top layer of paint has become transparent with age.

Have any of you actually seen this on an old canvas painting? I think this is the neatest thing to be on the lookout for. :cool:
 

FramerDave

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I always thought it was the things in an olive.

But seriously, I seem to remember a wonderful passage, I think from Eudora Welty's "One Writer's Beginning" that expounded on pentimento in a beautiful metaphor.

Related to it would be a palimpsest:

A manuscript, typically of papyrus or parchment, that has been written on more than once, with the earlier writing incompletely erased and often legible.
An object, place, or area that reflects its history: “Spaniards in the sixteenth century... saw an ocean moving south... through a palimpsest of bayous and distributary streams in forested paludal basins” (John McPhee).


Now pentimento is bugging me. I'm off to the bookstore to find it.
 

Sister

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I now have two vocabulary words for the day. Thanks, FramerDave. Palimpsest is a cool word with its meaning--I am off to find the correct pronunciation of it. Also, I can see (or hear) myself saying pimento before trying to say pentimento. I feel a lispe coming on. Good to hear from you.
 
G

Gumbogirl

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Thanks to you both. I love new vocabulary words- in fact, THAT should be a never ending thread!
 

Phoneguy

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New Westminster, B.C. Canada
How about an octothorpe?

It is probably not in the dictionary anymore. Based on an English measurment of land, being a thorpe,

It is this on the keyboard....................


#


So, now never again call it the pound sign!

James

just looked it up in the handmedown monster dictionary. Octothorpe isn't there but thorp(e) is:

thorp, thorpe, n, {......a village, a hamlet}. A group of houses standing together in the country; a hamlet; a village
 

Phoneguy

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Originally posted by Phoneguy Canuck:
How about an octothorpe?

It is probably not in the dictionary anymore. Based on an English measurment of land, being a thorpe,

It is this on the keyboard....................


#


So, now never again call it the pound sign!

James

just looked it up in the handmedown monster dictionary. Octothorpe isn't there but thorp(e) is:

thorp, thorpe, n, {......a village, a hamlet}. A group of houses standing together in the country; a hamlet; a village
dictionary.com:

http://dictionary.reference.com/search?q=octothorpe
 

Baer Charlton

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On FB
And if you want to get a word or two sent right to your email... Go here

Todays word is Tumid.

tumid \TOO-mid; TYOO-\, adjective:
1. Swollen, enlarged, or distended; as, "a tumid leg."
2. Bulging; protuberant.
3. Swelling in sound or sense; pompous; inflated; bombastic.

Oedema -- swelling of the tissues caused by fluid retention -- had left his face pouchy and tumid.
--Ian Thomson, "Bringing my father home," Independent, December 14, 2003

Give me your tumid, your sore, your glutted tummies, churning with hot dogs and ice cream...
--David Nevers, "Chicken Soup in the Melting Pot," The Record, August 27, 1994

The faults throughout are the same, a tumid style, generality of emotion, imprecision of image and no definite location of anything.
--T. S. Eliot, letter to J.V. Healy, November 22, 1932
 

HannaFate

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Corrales, New Mexico
I have not only see pentimento on old paintings, I have seen it on my own.

A grad school trick for padding your portfolio inexpensively was to slap a nice "expressionist" painting on a canvas, make a slide of it, and then paint right over that to make another slide.

When you got a nice thick coat of paintings, you started scraping, scrubbing, or dissolving the layers back off, and made more slides.
 

Rick Granick

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Sounds like the classic grade school art project of laying down a colorful crayon background, covering that with black ink or tempera, then scraping through to reveal your design in colors from beneath.
:cool: Rick
 
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