Definition of gesso in English:


Line breaks: gesso
Pronunciation: /ˈdʒɛsəʊ

noun (plural gessoes)

[mass noun]
A hard compound of plaster of Paris or whiting in glue, used in sculpture or as a base for gilding or painting on wood: the surface must first be given several coats of gesso [as modifier]: gesso panels
More 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).

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