How to speak Art Gallery (part 2)…..



PUTTO (POO-toe): Putti (note the plural) are those naked, chubby babies that cavort through Italian paintings, especially from the fifteenth century on. “Putto” means “little boy” in Italian, and originally the figure was derived from personifications of Eros in early Greek and Roman art; by extension, the term came to apply to any naked child in a painting. Putti were very popular in Renaissance and Baroque paintings, where they stood for anything from Cupid, to the pagan attendants of a god or goddess, to cherubim celebrating the Madonna and child.


MORBIDEZZA (MOR-buh-DETZ-uh): Literally, “softness,” “tenderness.” Used to describe the soft blending of tones in painting—by Correggio, for instance— or rounding of edges in sculpture, especially in the rendering of human flesh. On a bad day, could seem to degenerate into effeminacy and sickliness.

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