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[French, probably from the Italian abozza, which, according to Vasari, was the roughing in of the final work on the prepared pictorial surface]

Ébauche was a term mainly applied to French art in the 19th century to denote the primary laying in of the rough outlines and tones of a composition, carried out in fairly monochrome colours before colours and glazes were laid on top. An ébauche could also be an independent studio exercise, for example the study of a model's head, but using the technique already described. The term can additionally be applied to sculpture, the ébauche being blocked out in terracotta or wax.

Subjects: Art.

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