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gesso Syllabification: ges·so
Pronunciation: /ˈjesō/

Definition of gesso in English:

noun (plural gessoes)

A hard compound of plaster of Paris or whiting in glue, used in sculpture or as a base for gilding or painting on wood.
Example sentences
  • By the fifteenth century, many Western artists were using it in frescoes or in gesso on wood panel paintings.
  • Emulating the old masters, he used tempera and oil over gesso on wood, then covered the surface with transparent glaze.
  • Executed in egg tempera and gesso on panel rather than the acrylics and oils for which the artist is best known, these new paintings exhibit a sensual luminosity not previously seen in his work.


Late 16th century: Italian, from Latin gypsum (see gypsum).



Example sentences
  • Other versions are realized in egg tempera on gessoed panels.
  • It transformed rich black walnut, oak, cherry and other hardwoods into plain, gessoed and gilded frames.
  • His highly crafted paintings consist of 30 to 50 smoothed and sanded coats of oil, graphite and pigment layered over gessoed wood.

Words that rhyme with gesso


Definition of gesso in:

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expensive and of high quality; luxurious