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(Italian, ‘a small piece of paper’)

A trompe-l'oeil device, used mainly in Renaissance and Baroque art, consisting of the inclusion in a composition of a piece of paper or parchment painted illusionistically and acting as a label. It may display the name of the artist or the sitter or, occasionally, an inventory number.

http://www.nationalgallery.org.uk/paintings/glossary/cartellino Description and illustration on National Gallery, London website.

Subjects: Art.

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