Painterly refers to the application of paint in a 'loose' or less than controlled manner, resulting in the appearance of visible brushstrokes within the finished painting

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  • John Singer Sargent, 'Claude Monet Painting by the Edge of a Wood' ?1885
    John Singer Sargent
    Claude Monet Painting by the Edge of a Wood ?1885
    Oil on canvas
    support: 540 x 648 mm
    frame: 618 x 734 x 70 mm
    Presented by Miss Emily Sargent and Mrs Ormond through the Art Fund 1925
  • Francis Bacon, 'Study for a Portrait of Van Gogh IV' 1957
    Francis Bacon
    Study for a Portrait of Van Gogh IV 1957
    Oil on canvas
    support: 1524 x 1168 mm
    frame: 1600 x 1225 x 90 mm
    Presented by the Contemporary Art Society 1958© Estate of Francis Bacon
  • Pierre Bonnard, 'In the Bathroom' 1907
    Pierre Bonnard
    In the Bathroom 1907
    Oil on board
    support: 1060 x 710 mm
    Lent by a private collector 2005© ADAGP, Paris and DACS, London 2002

The term painterly can apply both to the approach or the technique of the artist, as well as the look of the finished work.

Works characterized as painterly can be produced using any painting media.