Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. The position of a figure in painting or sculpture in which the hips and legs are turned in a different direction from that of the shoulders and head; the twisting of a figure on its own vertical axis.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The position of a figure whose hips and legs are twisted away from the direction of the head and shoulders.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. In pictorial or sculptural composition, the crossing of limbs and contrasting of masses which is especially pronounced in the works of Michelangelo.

Etymologies

Italian, past participle of contrapporre, to set opposite, contrast, from Latin contrāpōnere : contrā-, contra- + pōnere, to place; see apo- in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Italian (Wiktionary)

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