Definition of scagliola in English:



mass noun
  • Imitation marble or other stone, made of plaster mixed with glue and dyes which is then painted or polished.

    as modifier ‘scagliola columns’
    • ‘The splendid scagliola columns are repaired and polished to their eighteenth-century condition.’
    • ‘The Egyptian dining room had been painted over, but when stripped it revealed a vast expanse of scagliola (18th-century plaster marbling).’
    • ‘Neapolitan workshops also produced scagliola, a composition substance that could closely imitate pietre dure decoration.’
    • ‘There were a number of unusual features - the proportion of gilding to porphyry, the use of scagliola, the use of liners, the lack of comparable design: these points largely arise from Petitot's design.’
    • ‘Based in Shropshire, and almost entirely self-taught, he is the only craftsman in the UK making figurative scagliola (the taste for crafts runs in the family; his father, Hugh, makes armour for elephants).’
    • ‘The execution of these scenes in scagliola is a triumph, but it is scarcely less astonishing than Mr Kennedy's virtuoso inscription around the rim.’
    • ‘The glass reflects the warmth emanating from the cleaned up yellow scagliola wall panels.’
    • ‘First, the house's painted Chinoiserie wallpaper suggested a palette for the scagliola: soft shades of terracotta, green, buff, lilac and dusty blue.’


Mid 18th century from Italian scagliuola, diminutive of scaglia ‘a scale’.