Definition of pentimento in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /ˌpɛntɪˈmɛntəʊ/

noun (plural pentimenti /ˌpɛntɪˈmɛnti/)

A visible trace of earlier painting beneath a layer or layers of paint on a canvas: scientific examination of his drawings has revealed pentimenti [mass noun]: is it chiaroscuro or pentimento?
More example sentences
  • The rapid delineation of muscles and sinews, the visible pentimenti and the variable thickness of the chalk lines indicate a purposeful exploration of the physical possibilities of the medium in accurately depicting the human body.
  • In fact, drawing is prominent in the paintings, whether jerkily outlining colored patches or visible as the pentimenti of earlier, barely erased marks.
  • She does not follow the design by rote, as revealed by the pentimenti of alterations made during the painting process.


Early 20th century: from Italian, literally 'repentance'.

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: penti|mento

Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.