sfumati

sfumato

[sfoo-mah-toh]
noun Fine Arts.
the subtle and minute gradation of tone and color used to blur or veil the contours of a form in painting.

Origin:
1840–50; < Italian, past participle of sfumare to gradate tone or color, equivalent to s- < Latin ex- ex-1 + fumare to smoke < Latin fumāre; see fume

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World English Dictionary
sfumato (sfuːˈmɑːtəʊ)
 
n
(in painting) a gradual transition between areas of different colour, avoiding sharp outlines
 
[from Italian, from sfumato shaded off, from sfumare to shade off, from Latin ex-1 + fūmāre to smoke]

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