Definition of decalcomania in English:



mass noun
  • 1The process of transferring designs from prepared paper on to glass or porcelain.

    1. 1.1A technique used by some surrealist artists which involves pressing paint between sheets of paper.
      • ‘His range of effects is unusually eloquent; there is something of the monoprint to them, as well as elements of the Surrealist techniques of decalcomania and frottage.’
      • ‘In each, Krahenbuhl runs a dazzling gamut of painterly techniques: glazing, impasto, scumbling, decalcomania, fluid linear strokes and so on.’
      • ‘There are obvious associations to be made with Ernst's and Tanguy's wet-paint technique, decalcomania.’
      • ‘Ernst also later practised decalcomania, a process developed by Oscar Dominguez around 1936, which involved rubbing paint arbitrarily between two sheets of paper.’
      • ‘Other imaginative techniques of which he was a leading exponent were frottage (which he invented in 1925) and decalcomania.’


Mid 19th century from French décalcomanie, from décalquer ‘transfer a tracing’ + -manie ‘-mania’ (with reference to the enthusiasm for the process in the 1860s).