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Bistre

Bistre (or bister) can refer to two things: a very dark shade of grayish black (the version shown on the immediate right); a shade of brown made from soot, or the name for a color resembling the brownish pigment. Bistre's appearance is generally of a dark grayish brown, with a yellowish cast.

Beechwood was burned to produce the soot, which was boiled and diluted with water. Many Old Masters used bistre as the ink for their drawings.

The first recorded use of bistre as a color name in English was in 1727; another name for the color bistre is soot brown. __NOTOC__

The Collaborative International Dictionary

Bistre

Bistre \Bis"tre\, n. See Bister.

Bistre

Bister \Bis"ter\, Bistre \Bis"tre\, n. [F. bistre a color made of soot; of unknown origin. Cf., however, LG. biester frowning, dark, ugly.] (Paint.) A dark brown pigment extracted from the soot of wood.

Wiktionary

bistre

n. 1 A brown pigment made from soot. 2 A mid-to-dark brown color resembling the pigment.

WordNet

bistre

n. a water-soluble brownish-yellow pigment made by boiling wood soot [syn: bister]

Usage examples of "bistre".

He found that bistre and bitumen, which most painters were abandoning, made his colouring ripe and mellow.

The Breton of pure blood has a long head, light yellow complexion of bistre tinge, eyes black or brown, stature short, and the black hair of the Cabyle.

My eyes, when they settled, were that color the poets call bistre, a deep and lustrous darkness, like a forest pool under the shade of ancient oaks.

He was an artist, who first softened your face with hot cloths, then covered it with emollient creams, smoothed it, freed it of every impurity, and finally covered the wrinkles with cosmetics, lightly treating the eyes with bistre, making the lips delicately rosy, depilating the ears, to say nothing of what he did to the chin and the head.

The latter, enormous work was still a drawing, but the austerity of the bistre monochrome seemed fitting for the devotional austerity of the mood and somehow reinforced the enormous compositional pull of the work towards its patriotic center, where light played on the head of Sylvain Bailly commanding the oath.

He was tired of worshipping or tyrannizing over the bistred or umbered beauties of mingled blood among whom he had been living.

The eyes, dark and shrewd, looked a little tired and were bistred about the orbits, as though anxiety were not unknown to them.

He was an artist, who first softened your face with hot cloths, then covered it with emollient creams, smoothed it, freed it of every impurity, and finally covered the wrinkles with cosmetics, lightly treating the eyes with bistre, making the lips delicately rosy, depilating the ears, to say nothing of what he did to the chin and the head.