[mass noun] The technique of allowing tones and colours to shade gradually into one another, producing softened outlines or hazy forms.
- ‘The smoky outlines - sfumato - were adopted by countless painters with no interest in Leonardo's profoundly considered basis for them.’
- ‘He creates rocky landscape backgrounds with misty atmospheric perspective, using sfumato and chiaroscuro to describe colour transitions.’
- ‘The landscape is idealised from Leonardo's studies of nature, portrayed with techniques of sfumato and aerial perspective.’
- ‘The famous smile was achieved through the use of a tonal technique sfumato.’
- ‘Fragments of the numbers seem to emerge from or recede into the gestures and sfumato of the ground.’
Mid 19th century: Italian, literally shaded off, past participle of sfumare.