im·​pas·​to | \im-ˈpa-(ˌ)stō, -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

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Other Words from impasto

impastoed \im-​ˈpa-​(ˌ)stōd, -​ˈpä-​ \ adjective

Examples of impasto in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

What Hicks’s images convey is the impasto layering of changing generational taste that makes this house, like so many other storied British homes, a place of such endless delight and discovery. Noor Brara, Vogue, "Inside Buckingham Palace’s Resplendent, Never-Before Seen Rooms," 4 Oct. 2018 Each artist’s work employs the impasto technique, in which paint straight from the tube, by paint stick, or by finger is applied, slathered, or encrusted in a technique that makes the application process part of the art. Nancy Shohet West,, "For the birds: Music and poetry honor avian life," 23 Mar. 2018 In each frame, the team of artists mimicked the thick layers of oil paint that Vincent mixed on his canvases with his palette knife and hands through a technique called impasto. Jackie Mansky, Smithsonian, "How the Creators of Loving Vincent Brought the First Fully Painted Animated Film to Life," 20 Feb. 2018 Beyond explanation is the art itself. Animating Van Gogh’s bold impasto, already kinetic on the canvas, could have been merely superfluous. Sheri Linden,, "Mystery of Van Gogh explored in visually distinctive, hand-painted animation in 'Loving Vincent'," 28 Sep. 2017 Her color palette and impasto technique make for deep texture, in some cases with paint an inch thick coming off the canvas., "4 cool new shops and galleries to discover around New Orleans," 8 July 2017 The famously grotesque impasto of Jane’s makeup (Davis’s own invention) matches her roaring theatrical flamboyance; Blanche, plainspoken and sculpturally stark, is reduced to muddled deceptions in order to elude Jane’s clutches. Richard Brody, The New Yorker, "What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?," 10 May 2017 Some of his creations have the depth of relief sculptures while others look like plasticy impasto paintings. Joseph Flaherty, WIRED, "3-D Printed Paintings Make Jackson Pollock Look Plain," 10 Oct. 2013 Todd Bienvenu paints both oil and acrylic in a faux-naïf style of broad approximate strokes, bright high-contrast colors and heavy impasto. New York Times, "What to See in New York Art Galleries This Week," 13 Apr. 2017

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.

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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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Last Updated

12 Nov 2018

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Time Traveler for impasto

The first known use of impasto was in 1784

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a soft lustrous wool fabric with mohair

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