Meaning of alla prima in English:

alla prima

Pronunciation /ˌalə ˈpriːmə/ /ˌalə ˈprʌɪmə/ /ˌɑːlə ˈpriːmə/


  • Without a preparatory layer of dead colour; without underpainting. Also occasionally as noun: this method of painting.


Early 19th century; earliest use found in London Literary Gazette. From Italian alla prima, lit. ‘at first, at once’ (apparently not recorded earlier as a technical term in painting in Italian) from alla + prima, feminine of primo.