Definition of decalcomania in English:


Line breaks: de|cal¦co|ma¦nia
Pronunciation: /dɪˌkalkə(ʊ)ˈmeɪnɪə


[mass noun]
  • 1The process of transferring designs from prepared paper on to glass or porcelain.
  • 1.1A technique used by some surrealist artists which involves pressing paint between sheets of paper.
    More example sentences
    • His range of effects is unusually eloquent; there is something of the monoprint to them, as well as elements of the Surrealist techniques of decalcomania and frottage.
    • In each, Krahenbuhl runs a dazzling gamut of painterly techniques: glazing, impasto, scumbling, decalcomania, fluid linear strokes and so on.
    • There are obvious associations to be made with Ernst's and Tanguy's wet-paint technique, decalcomania.


mid 19th century: from French décalcomanie, from décalquer 'transfer a tracing' + -manie '-mania' (with reference to the enthusiasm for the process in the 1860s).

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