Vernissage - varnishing day

DEFINITION

The French word for Varnishing Day, which was a frequently used term in the 19th Century for private openings or previews of artwork. At these events the artists would gather with an audience a day prior to the Exhibition opening, such as the Paris Salons, to varnish their works so that a select few could see the application of the finishing touches. However, neither the term nor the tradition has been commonly used since the 19th century. Varnishing Day has been replaced by "Openings" or "Previews". Sources: Artlex.com with permission of Michael Delahunt; Kimberley Reynolds and Richard Seddon, "Illustrated Dictionary of Art Terms" (LPD)

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