Part of speech: noun
Origin: French, early 20th century
A network of fine cracks in the paint or varnish of a painting.
Examples of Craquelure in a sentence
"The painting’s craquelure helped preservationists estimate its age."
"Some of the fissures in the canvas were a result of craquelure."
This word comes from the French “craqueler,” meaning “to chap,” plus “-ure,” a suffix forming abstract nouns of action. The suffix is from Old French “-ure,” originally from the Latin “-ura.”
Did you Know?
Craquelure is very useful to art historians and appraisers. The kind that develops on a painting’s surface over time has a different pattern from craquelure induced through chemical processes over a shorter period of time — the latter occurs in regular patterns, while the former shows is much more irregular. Craquelure is one of several factors appraisers analyze to determine the age and authenticity of a work — and ultimately its value.