Wednesday, February 10, 2010

What's a limn? Part II


Leave it to The New Yorker.

I was catching up on some recent issues yesterday and read Peter Schjeldahl's terrific review of the Bronzino exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. ("Then and Now," February 1, 2010, The New Yorker.)

Schjeldahl is a wonderful writer whose prose remains accessible while giving glimpses of his genius. Since he writes about the art world, it makes complete sense for him to use the word "limn." (See this previous posting for a definition.)

Sure enough, about three-quarters of the way through his article, talking about the Italian Mannerist Bronzino's drawings on paper, Schjeldahl writes:
A telltale feature is the thin, continuous line that contours his figures, divorcing them from the negative space of the paper: they were limned to be integrated elsewhere.
This is a case of the right word for the right subject by the right writer. My hat is off to Schjeldahl.

(Cover image copyright The New Yorker)

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