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Crackle glaze
MFA# 65.2271


Photo credit: Vergès-Belmin

A term used to describe network of fine cracks that may occur on paintings, ceramics, glazes, glass, and lacquer. The crackle pattern sometimes provides an indication of the points of stress. For example, a radiating pattern (bull's eye or spider web) may indicate a central point of impact, while linear damage may be due to creasing, bending, or stretching. The direction, regularity, size, and shape of the islands between the cracks have been studied and related to painting styles and materials used during different time periods by Bucklow (1997).

Synonyms and Related Terms

reticulation; craquelure (Fr.); crazing

Resources and Citations

  • S.Bucklow, "The description of craquelure patterns", Studies in Conservation, 42: 129-140, 1997.
  • Richard Buck, Inspecting and Describing the Condition of Art Objects, Museum Registration Methods, AAM, Washington DC, 1979
  • The American Heritage Dictionary or Encarta, via Microsoft Bookshelf 98, Microsoft Corp., 1998

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