from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The use of an object such as a curtain extremely close up to the picture plane in a painting. This originates from Baroque paintings and is used to create depth.


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • Note the repoussoir figure on horseback at the extreme left.

    Forgotten Master: Gyula Benczúr

  • The French word “repoussoir” refers to an object placed in the foreground of a composition that enhances the illusion of distance with other objects.


  • As I sketched, I found myself unconsciously wanting to invent a repoussoir element in the foreground to give the viewer something to hang onto.

    Archive 2008-05-01

  • According to Odile Chilton, visiting professor of French at Bard College, “repoussoir” also conveys the sense of “strong or vigorous color or tone to make the clear and luminous parts of a painting more visible.”


  • There was no rain; there was only, all the afternoon, a mild, moist wind and a sky magnificently black; which made a _repoussoir_ for the paler cliffs of the fountain.

    A Little Tour of France

  • The eldest daughter acts as a dark repoussoir to concentrate our attention on the infant heir in white, and the younger daughter supports the brat in his bold full-frontal pose

    Evening Standard - Home

  • Shadows chiaroscuro repoussoir the material’s ghosts which are stiffening the arrangement the scenery the Cave

    Archive 2009-09-01


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