THATKid Tuesday: Sfumato!

THATKid Tuesday is a monthly dose of Art History for kids, running the 1st Tuesday of each month. In this series we’ll be blogging about different terms from the THATKid glossary we’ve created to help kids understand some of the art history terms that pop up in our hunts.

This time we’re going to look at Sfumato!

This is a technique where the painter avoids using sharp lines. Instead, colours shade gradually into each other to give soft blurred outlines. Leonard da Vinci used this to great effect. Take a look at the Mona Lisa, one of the Louvre’s most famous pieces:

Take a look at her face in the image below. You can see how sharp lines were avoided and shading was used to make the image more believable.

The word itself comes from the Italian verb Sfumare which means to evaporate, like smoke!

Any questions about Sfumato? Feel free to leave any comments or queries below!

The idea for THATKid Tuesday stemmed from the Kid Pack’s glossary. The Kid Pack has supplemental exercises for after your Louvre hunt, from a Michelangelo Connect-the-Dots and a Mona Lisa sticker-puzzle to a Botticelli Spot-the-Difference. Good for train rides or long French dinners, kids can also pick up on some terms like composition, perspective and the lot. As THATMuse has grown to include the British Museum, the Victoria & Albert and Musée d’Orsay, THATKid Tuesday’s blog version has grown to include other examples.

Tune in the first Tuesday of the month if you’d like another art history dose of THATKid.

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