im·​pas·​to | \ im-ˈpa-(ˌ)stō How to pronounce impasto (audio) , -ˈpä- \
plural impastos

Definition of impasto

1 : the thick application of a pigment to a canvas or panel in painting also : the body of pigment so applied
2 : raised decoration on ceramic ware usually of slip or enamel

Other Words from impasto

impastoed \ im-​ˈpa-​(ˌ)stōd How to pronounce impasto (audio) , -​ˈpä-​ \ adjective

Examples of impasto in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The greatness of Kossoff’s work is revealed in how his images emerge from the impasto – the accumulations of thick layers of paint — forcing the viewer to negotiate and cycle back and forth between the image depicted and the paint itself. Tom Teicholz, Forbes, 17 Mar. 2022 Jaeger-LeCoultre’s master painter faithfully reproduced the artist’s strong sense of perspective, signature brush stroke and heavy impasto, a technique that uses thick layers of paint that raise above the canvas. Carol Besler, Robb Report, 25 Oct. 2021 Here are paintings, heavy on the impasto, that are intended to calm the soul, soothe the mind, that would look good hanging above the I.T. guy’s couch. Saïd Sayrafiezadeh, The New Yorker, 24 May 2021 In addition to heavy impasto, Aguirre further thickened the surface of the painting by applying scrapings of paint from his palette that curl like flower petals or snippets of ribbons. Steven Litt, cleveland, 18 Apr. 2021 The scientists discovered the presence of a mineral called plumbonacrite in the impasto layer—an uncommon element in paints from that period. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, 2 Dec. 2020 In the fifties, the United States already had a pocket of conceptual art, but the star painters were the Abstract Expressionists, above all Jackson Pollock and Willem de Kooning, with their effortful drips and impastos. Joan Acocella, The New Yorker, 1 June 2020 This material obliged a 1920s avant-garde aesthetic — angular, abstract forms, a simple palette, no fancy flashes like impasto, and simple subject matter. Brian T. Allen, National Review, 14 Dec. 2019 Art brut was a source of inspiration for the painter and sculptor Jean Dubuffet’s own work, which ranged from primitive-looking drawings scratched into impasto to a totemic figure composed only of two unmodified grapevine roots and a block of slag. Nicole Rudick, The New York Review of Books, 7 Nov. 2018 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'impasto.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of impasto

1784, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for impasto

Italian, from impastare

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The first known use of impasto was in 1784

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Last Updated

27 Mar 2022

Cite this Entry

“Impasto.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 May. 2022.

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