graffito

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.

graffito

graffito (gräf-fē´tō). 1 Method of ornamenting architectural plaster surfaces. The designs are produced by scratching a topcoat of plaster to reveal an undercoat of contrasting and deeper color. The technique of graffito was used in ancient cultures including those of Egypt and Greece. It was refined in Italian decorative art of the 15th and 16th cent., being then used to treat the entire facades of buildings as great formal mural decorations. Around windows and doors were architectural borders depicting pilasters, colonnettes, and caryatids; remaining surfaces were covered with medallions, garlands, and arabesque bands. Fine examples remain, especially at Florence, and the medium has occasionally been revived in modern buildings. Graffito decoration is applied to pottery by coating an unfired piece with a contrasting color of clay and scratching a design through it to show the color underneath. The slip ware of the Pennsylvania Germans is a good example of graffito work. It is also spelled sgraffito.2 An irreverent inscription on a wall in a public place is also called a graffito (pl. graffiti). The term graffiti was first used in this sense by archaeologists to designate informal writings on tombs and ancient monuments. Today, as then, graffiti deal with a wide variety of subjects and are often satirical in tone. In the second half of the 20th cent. the term has been applied to many acts of property defacement involving paint and other graphic media.

See R. Schacter, The World Atlas of Street Art and Graffiti (2013); studies by E. L. Abel and B. E. Buckley (1977), C. Castleman (1982), and M. Cooper and H. Chalfant (1984); S. Corcoran and C. McCormick, ed., City as Canvas (2013).

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

graffito
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.