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

  • adj. Of, relating to, or characteristic of a painter; artistic.
  • adj. Having qualities unique to the art of painting.
  • adj. Of, relating to, or being a style of painting marked by openness of form, with shapes distinguished by variations of color rather than by outline or contour.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Characteristic of a painter or paintings.
  • adj. Having clear brush-strokes.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Like a painter's work.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Like a painter. Sir P. Sidney, Arcadia, i.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adj. having qualities unique to the art of painting


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • But now rehabilitation is complete and we see Sargent as an exultant master of characterisation and empathy, of colour and light, of shadow and the contre-jour effect (the subject seen against the light), and of the fat substantial paint to which the word painterly properly belongs.

    Evening Standard - Home

  • Although Allard is considered a documentary photographer, this is an example of what photo critics would call "painterly" - a word usually reserved for fine art, not necessarily photojournalism.

    NPR Topics: News

  • Hals makes his loose, gestural approach, termed "painterly" by the Swiss-German art historian Heinrich Wölfflin, look so effortless that it is often assumed that he worked quickly, making what would now be called "one shot" paintings; in fact, he built up his vibrant images with traditional layering techniques, trusting—just as Rubens, his near-contemporary and fellow master of the painterly, did—that his last flourishes would bring the result to vivid life.

    Picture-Perfect Rogues' Gallery

  • Perhaps the biggest challenge comes when the experts in Chinese classical art sit down with the experts in American painterly modernism to hash out their discreetly entwined artistic legacies still much in denial by both camps.

    G. Roger Denson: China Takes Top Spot in Art Auction Sales Away From the US & UK -- What It Means for Global Culture

  • His films have also been called painterly and - with their present-at-the-creation intimations of organic and molecular forms, solar flares and shifting planetary bodies - cosmological.

    NYT > Home Page

  • The way the vocals are smeared against the instruments strikes me as painterly, which is appropriate given Marzette was a great visual artist as well as musician.

    destination: OUT

  • They are the same kind of painterly flowers that have over-grown on my button down shirt.

    Yazmany Arboleda: Bringing Marina Flowers

  • His art may indeed be "unsettling," but this by no means constitutes evidence of any kind whatever about Rubens's "feelings," his "hungers," or even his "taste" for anything other than his own kind of painterly imagery.

    The State of Criticism

  • Nor should the influence of Norman Raeben be forgotten: he taught Dylan painting in 1974 and "some of the stanzas" on some of the songs featured on the tour are "painterly".

    Bob Dylan in America by Sean Wilentz

  • There is a world of difference between what Tor art director Irene Gallo has done with John Scalzi's Old Man's Warcovers - which do indeed feature spaceships and planets, albeit beautifully rendered in John Harris 'very "painterly" style - and the sort of archetypal cheesy metal bikini and Bug Eyed Monster cover that is sometimes associated with the worst of genre illustration.

    The Big Book Cover Post: Wizards & Spaceships


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