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Saturday & Sunday Word: Bravura & Bivouac

These words are from a recent J. M. W. Turner (1775–1851) exhibit at San Francisco's De Young Museum. You may also learn more about the artist in the film Mr. Turner, staring Timothy Spall.


bra·vu·ra [brah-voo-rah]:
origin: [1750] Italian bravare= with great spirit; show off (from bravo= brave)

noun or adjective
1. To exhibit mastery and boldness in a particular performance or craft; to be showy.
2. To be showy. *especially, though not strictly, in a musical performance.

"Ruskin’s prose gave the lie to the common misconception among contemporary reviewers that Turner’s bravura handling of paint was the result of affectation rather than feeling; a tendency to ‘fly off into mere eccentricities’." [Sothebys Auctions]



biv·ouac [ˈbɪvʊˌæk; ˈbɪvwæk]:
origin: [1819] German; biwacht= night + watch

noun
An improvised camp without cover, meant to last a short time, used frequently by soldiers and mountain climbers. Bivouac shelters date back to the Napoleonic Wars, referring to a guard on night watch duty, inside any kind of improvised shelter.

verb
To stay in the type of camp described above, "Due to the change in weather, our group chose to bivouac for a night upon the mesa."



  
Tags: adjective, b, french, german, italian, noun, verb, wordsmith: theidolhands
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