Definition of polychromy in English:



  • [mass noun] The art of painting in several colours, especially as applied to ancient pottery, sculpture, and architecture.

    ‘as a sculptor he experimented with polychromy’
    • ‘Aside from the removal of the original polychromy (presumably in the nineteenth century), the bust's level of preservation and condition overall is remarkably good.’
    • ‘Notable are three heads, finely carved and preserving traces of their original polychromy, found in the great sanctuary of Serapis, the dynastic patron deity, at Memphis.’
    • ‘Cennini's treatise describes methods for polychromy which can be recognized in surviving medieval polychromed sculpture, and generally its function was to add naturalistic colour to sculptures.’
    • ‘His work was influential in both Europe and America, notably in the revival of polychromy, in the use of new materials, and in pointing the way from the sculpture of solid form towards one of space and light.’
    • ‘From twelfth-century Auvergne comes a powerful Enthroned Virgin and Child, carved in walnut and with traces of what may well be original polychromy, on show courtesy of Paris dealer Bresset.’