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n. pl. pen·ti·men·ti (-tē)
An underlying image in a painting, especially one that has become visible when the top layer of paint has turned transparent with age, providing evidence of revision by the artist.

[Italian, correction, pentimento, from pentire, to repent, from Latin paenitēre.]
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


n, pl -ti (-tiː)
1. (Art Terms) the revealing of a painting or part of a painting that has been covered over by a later painting
2. (Art Terms) the part of a painting thus revealed
[C20: Italian, literally: correction]
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014


(ˌpɛn təˈmɛn toʊ)

n., pl. -ti (-tē).
1. the reemergence in a painting of an image that has been painted over.
2. the image itself.
[1900–05; < Italian, =penti(re) to repent (< Latin paenitēre to regret) + -mento -ment]
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.pentimento - the reappearance in a painting of an underlying image that had been painted over (usually when the later painting becomes transparent with age)
painting, picture - graphic art consisting of an artistic composition made by applying paints to a surface; "a small painting by Picasso"; "he bought the painting as an investment"; "his pictures hang in the Louvre"
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.
References in periodicals archive ?
That is called pentimento, because the painter 'repented,' changed his mind.'
"La duda y el pentimento", en Escritos sobre literatura argentina, Buenos Aires, Siglo XXI, pp.
Based on the book Pentimento, "Julia" won three Oscars including best adapted screenplay, best actress in a supporting role (Vanessa Redgrave) and best actor in a supporting role (Jason Robards).
The signs of taking away--sanding, scraping, and rubbing, sometimes to the point of puncturing the canvas--are as significant as the marks themselves, the techniques together yielding a surprisingly well-integrated sense of pentimento. Everett's work has developed significantly over recent years, and even while here defaulting to more conventionally stretched wall-hung canvases--as opposed to his earlier experiments with free-flowing fabrics and extended paintings draped over frames and racks--it feels accomplished, thoughtful, and continuously inventive.
(16) Rebecca Moore Howard, "A Plagiarism Pentimento," Journal of Teaching Writing 12, no.
Various subplots in the story--the girls' pediatrician aunt, their friends, budding love interests, and the desperate girl who caused the fatal accident--all seem like pentimento, painted lightly over Giselle's struggle to accept being untwinned and untwined.
My reconsideration is well described in the words of playwright Lillian Hellman, in the introduction to her biographical reflection entitled 'Pentimento.'" [Hellman wrote].
Hellman's most notorious lie was that she had risked her own life by passing material to "Julia," her supposed anti-fascist friend in pre-war Austria depicted in her memoir Pentimento (1973).
In the painting "Sudan," he explained, "figures are juxtaposed with other figures that seem to be from a different time period, like a pentimento. The subjects are then 'displaced' in an image, or they appear to be displaced because they look like no race or ethnic group we have seen."
Like what painters call "pentimento," an underlying shape or image that peeks through the top layers of paint, an amended life can be hauntingly beautiful.