In the fine arts, the cartoon is a full-sized preliminary drawing for a work to be executed afterward in fresco, oil, mosaic, stained glass, or tapestry. Glass and mosaic are cut exactly according to the patterns taken from the cartoons, while in tapestry the cartoon is inserted beneath the warp to serve as a guide. In fresco painting, the lines of the cartoon are perforated and transferred to the plaster surface by pouncing (dusting with powder through the perforations). Italian Renaissance painters made very complete cartoons, and such works as Raphael's cartoons for the Sistine Chapel tapestries (Victoria and Albert Mus.) are considered masterpieces.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.