craquelure krăklo͝or´ [key], hairline surface cracking of paintings into characteristic patterns determined by age, climatic conditions, and the materials used in the work. Cracking was so common in works by 18th-century English painters that it became known as craquelure anglaise. Forgers and restorers often imitate craquelure to enhance the look of authenticity in their works.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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