Definition of lunette in English:



  • 1An arched aperture or window, especially one in a domed ceiling.

    • ‘Sitting under a rose and clematis arbour in one area, you see through a lunette in a pyracantha hedge to a pond, encircled by lavender, heleniums, hemerocallis, gaillardias and calamintha.’
    • ‘The lunette to the left in the chapel, located above the marble sarcophagus with an effigy carved in the likeness of the deceased courtesan reclining on top, shows Mary Magdalen Borne Up by Angels.’
    • ‘At S. Vitale, above the lunettes, flying angels hold up clipei, and it is angels in this position that are also found on the marble table altar made by Bernard Gelduinus, in Toulouse, probably about 1096.’
    • ‘Castlepark House has a central pedimented two storey breakfront, made all the more distinctive by the Venetian window on the first floor which has a small lunette window, almost like a halo, above it.’
    • ‘Still in their original oak frames, the importance of these lunettes lies not only in their intrinsic appeal, but also in their importance to a major interior in Beckford's last architectural project.’
    1. 1.1A crescent-shaped or semicircular alcove containing something such as a painting or statue.
      • ‘The frescoes by Giulio Romano and Penni in the lunettes and vault were retained and the altarpiece remained in place.’
      • ‘Unfortunately, the removal of this section of the picture was accompanied by the destruction of a frescoed lunette, depicting God the Father with Seraphim, which had originally surmounted the main field.’
      • ‘Gaspare Celio, writing in 1638, divides the work, stating that the altarpiece is by Giulio Romano and that all the paintings above the cornice (that is, in the lunettes and in the vault) are by Penni.’
      • ‘In the late cinquecento, Florentine patrons seized upon the cloister lunette fresco cycle as an ideal format for reformist didactic painting.’
      • ‘Several of Salomon's figures were obviously used as templates for the figures reclining on shells pulled by dolphins on the rear wall of the grotto, and the putti riding dolphins in the flanking lunettes.’
      • ‘The best known of Poccetti's lunette fresco cycles was also one of the last commissions he undertook before his death in 1612.’
      • ‘One of these interiors can now be better understood as a result of the rediscovery of four lunettes commissioned for the Sanctuary at Lansdown Tower.’
      • ‘A perennial concern is the reconstruction of subjects of the lost lunettes above the surviving tiers of the frescoes.’
      • ‘Giani wrote in his Preface that the Servite lunette paintings should serve as an example for narrative painting in general, and focused on their didactic function and their role as a visual stimulus to piety.’
      • ‘The document is dated 16 August 1531, and there is a further commission for a lunette from the two artists dared 11 January 1543.’
      • ‘One typically Tuscan form of revival with roots in the renaissance was the cloister lunette fresco cycle.’
      • ‘The ricordanze credit the Prior, Lorenzo Picciuoli, with the idea of painting the lunette fresco cycle with ‘the origin and progress of our [Servite] Order’ - a typical post-Tridentine theme in Tuscany.’
      • ‘Poccetti's second payment, on 10 December 1609, was for 60 lire, an amount which would have covered two more lunettes at his going rate.’
      • ‘Iacobini aptly draws a comparison between the representation of this church and that in the lunette mosaic of the southwest vestibule of Hagia Sophia.’
      • ‘His work includes a fresco, Autumn, in a lunette of the Royal Academy's restaurant, and he also painted landscapes, interiors, and historical scenes, but he is best known as a portraitist.’
      • ‘Now that a lunette's sinopia with faint sheep has come to light, the argument becomes stronger for the relief filling the chapel's remaining iconographical lacuna.’
      • ‘He does, however, specify the scenes occupying the lateral lunettes in the chapel as Mary Magdalen in the Desert and Mary Magdalen Borne Up by Angels, which is identified with the fresco fragment in London.’
      • ‘According to Mariette, the fresco in the lunette on the wall opposite (on the right in the chapel) depicted Mary Magdalen in the desert.’
      • ‘Mariette states that the fresco was in the lunette over the stained-glass, or leaded-glass, window above the altar.’
  • 2A fortification with two faces forming a projecting angle, and two flanks.

    • ‘The concealed top-lighting from lunettes in sliced-off semi-domes in Dance's library at Lansdowne House recalls Piranesi's designs for St John Lateran made when Dance was in Rome.’
    • ‘The last formed the main gun deck, while other cannon were mounted on the lower, semicircular lunettes (outer towers) set around the tower's exterior.’
    • ‘Brick stringcourses decorated rough stucco walls, while semicircular lunettes arched over the main floor windows.’
    • ‘On the ceiling Raphael painted the personifications of Theology, Philosophy, Jurisprudence and Poetry set within circular enclosures above the lunettes of the walls.’
    • ‘Four figures in the quadrants of the vault and the lunettes that began the Petrine cycle are irretrievably lost - victims of time and eighteenth-century renovations.’
  • 3Christian Church
    A holder for the consecrated host in a monstrance.

    • ‘An almost too perfect example of this anti-visual romance plot is that the first affectionate encounter between Lucy and Paul occurs when she breaks his precious lunettes.’
  • 4A broad, shallow, typically crescent-shaped mound of windblown material along the leeward side of a lake or dry lake basin.

    • ‘On their lee sides some pans have clay dunes or lunettes composed of sandy, silty, clayey, and salty materials blown out from the pan floor.’
  • 5A ring fixed to a vehicle, by which it can be towed.

    • ‘It is towed muzzle-first by a large lunette just under the muzzle brake with its trails folded under the barrel.’


Late 16th century (denoting a semicircular horseshoe): from French, diminutive of lune moon from Latin luna.