One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
Without a preparatory layer of dead colour; without underpainting. Also occasionally as noun: this method of painting.
Early 19th century; earliest use found in London Literary Gazette. From Italian alla prima, lit. ‘at first, at once’ (apparently not recorded earlier as a technical term in painting in Italian) from alla + prima, feminine of primo.
alla prima/ˌalə ˈpriːmə//ˌɑːlə ˈpriːmə//ˌalə ˈprʌɪmə/
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