Definition of facture in English:



  • [mass noun] The quality of the execution of a painting; an artist's characteristic handling of the paint:

    ‘Manet's sensuous facture’
    • ‘She often leaves visible under-painting and fragments of preliminary drawing, emphasizing her paintings' facture and directing attention to the more articulated drama center-stage.’
    • ‘Though diverse in content and facture, all these works share a refinement of imagery, and their visual effects are possible only through printing or papermaking.’
    • ‘The Americans tend toward a flat, emblematic depiction of commercial imagery, whereas the British often favor an episodic approach to narrative that betrays a fondness for the facture of Abstract Expressionism.’
    • ‘Today he is admired for his psychological penetration, the flawless beauty of his painting of hands, the meticulously cool facture of his works, their illusionism and their virtuosity.’
    • ‘Enamored of brushy Spanish facture, Delacroix said (copying what he thought to be a Velazquez), ‘I'd like to spread some nice oily, thick paint across a brown or red canvas.’’
    • ‘The surfaces of these paintings are so resolved in facture that they discourage easy recognition of the manner of their making.’
    • ‘In the plaster couple the painterliness of facture is accentuated by applied highlights of color, while in the bronzes the verdant patina emphasizes the work's mass over its flickering surface.’
    • ‘They had in common the repudiation of such painterly qualities as expressive brush strokes and personalized facture.’
    • ‘In purely formal terms, these paintings are sophisticated arrangements of color and shape in the tradition of the Fauves, particularly Vlaminck with his wild facture.’
    • ‘While comparative scientific analysis may one day further clarify their relationship, visual examination indicates a similarity of facture suggesting near-contemporaneous production for at least three.’
    • ‘Seen in this light, transformations from one material to another are the subject, as well as the method of facture, of Cellini's art.’
    • ‘Like the best Minimalist works, her paintings possess a painstaking facture and structural rigor that invite slow, contemplative readings.’
    • ‘In the new work, Wachtel pays considerable attention to certain effects of painterly facture on the frictionless surfaces of wood panels.’
    • ‘To discover the paintings' intimate, nuanced facture is to experience the integral relation of process to meaning in his work.’
    • ‘The luxurious tones and melded colors demonstrate the paintings' slow facture and encourage contemplative viewing.’
    • ‘Employing at times such geometric fundaments as the grid and the cube, Hesse's sculpture often explored seriality and repetition through the deployment of industrial materials and modes of facture.’
    • ‘His facture is generally rough and quick, whatever the medium, and he treats contemporary art as a sort of lending library, borrowing from the work of Boetti, Clemente and Cragg, among others.’
    • ‘More often than not, the contributors treat works of art as schemata or categorical icons, leaving matters of facture, line, and color undiscussed.’
    • ‘The viewer's attention repeatedly returns to the paintings' facture, which is always on display but never showy.’
    • ‘In fact, we don't know exactly how to interpret this figure, so crudely carved and so intent on calling attention to the material facture of its surfaces.’


Late Middle English (in the general sense ‘construction, workmanship’): via Old French from Latin factura formation, manufacture, from facere do, make. The current sense dates from the late 19th century.