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ABSTRACT  look up translate image
Art that looks as if it contains little or no recognizable or realistic forms from the physical world. Focus is on formal elements such as colors, lines, or shapes. Artists often "abstract" objects by changing, simplifying, or exaggerating what they see.
ABSTRACT ART  look up translate image
Ill-defined and very widely used term which in its most general sense describes any art in which form and colour are stressed at the expense, or in the absence of, a representational image. Also known as concrete art or non-objective art. See also Abstract Artists Ireland.
ACADEMIC ART  look up translate image
Literally, belonging to an Academy of art. Also: derogatory term meaning conventional, stereotyped, derivative.
ACRYLIC  look up translate image
Acrylic paint is made by suspending pigment in acrylic polymer emulsion. They can be diluted with water, but become water-resistant when dry. Acrylic paint is often used as a fast-drying alternative to oil paint.
ACRYLIC PAINT  look up translate image
Acrylic paint is made from suspending pigment in acrylic polymer emulsion. Acrylics are mostly soluble in water, fast-drying, and less translucent than oils.
ACRYLIC PAINTING  look up translate image
Uses a fast-drying, synthetic, water soluble paint that can be used on most surfaces. Made from colour pigments and a synthetic plastic binder, acrylic paint looks like oil and can be used in a variety of painting techniques.
AEGEAN ART  look up translate image
From various cultures around the eastern Mediterranean from c.2800 BCE to 1400 BCE, including Cycladic, Minoan (from Crete), and Mycenean.
AERIAL PERSPECTIVE  look up translate image
A way of suggesting the far distance in a landscape by using paler colours (sometimes tinged with blue), less pronounced tones, and vaguer forms in those areas that are farthest from the viewer. By contrast objects in the foreground are painted in sharply outlined, brilliant, and warm colours, and background objects are shown in muted, cooler colours.
AESTHETICS  look up translate image
Philosophy applied to art, which attempts to formulate criteria for the understanding of the aesthetic (rather than utilitarian) qualities of art.
AFRICAN ART  look up translate image
Guide to classical African sculpture, religious and tribal artworks and more.
AIRBRUSH  look up translate image
Instrument for spraying paint, propelled by compressed air. Invented in 1893, it has been much used by commercial artists, whether for fine lines, large areas, or subtle gradations of colour and tone.
ALABASTER  look up translate image
In Antiquity, a carbonate of lime used in Egyptian sculpture, especially for small portable pieces. Also: modern alabaster, a lime sulfate which can be highly polished but is easily scratched, popular in 14th-century Europe for tomb effigies.
ALL-OVER SPACE  look up translate image
Jackson Pollock was the first artist to use all-over space in his "drip" paintings. It refers to paintings where there is no focal point but where everything on the canvas has the same degree of importance.
ALLA PRIMA  look up translate image
Technique, commonly used in painting since the 19th century, whereby an artist completes a painting in one session without having provided layers of underpainting.
ALLEGORY  look up translate image
An allegory is the description of a subject in the guise of another subject. An allegorical painting might include figures emblematic of different emotional states of mind, for example envy or love, or personifying other abstract concepts, for example sight, glory, or beauty. These are called allegorical figures. The interpretation of an allegory therefore depends first on the identification of such figures, but even then the meaning can remain elusive.
ALTARPIECE  look up translate image
In Christian church architecture, the picture or decorated screen behind the altar. It may consist of a single painting or an elaborate group of hinged panels.
ANCIENT ART  look up translate image
Umbrella term encompassing early forms of creative expression from ancient Mediterranean civilizations, like Sumerian, Egyptian, Minoan, Mycenean, Persian.
ANIMAL STYLE  look up translate image
Type of nomad art originating with the Celts in the 7th century BCE in southern Russia and the Caucasus; it was characterized by the predominance of animal motifs (zoomorphs), frequently distorted, ornamenting all kinds of portable objects including metalwork, textiles, wood and bone.
ANIMALIER  look up translate image
Member of the 19th-century school of French bronze sculptors who specialized in small animal figures. Also: animal-painter.
ANIMATION ART  look up translate image
The creation of a motion picture from a series of still drawings.
ANTIQUITY  look up translate image
Greek and Roman civilization until the fall of the Roman Empire in the 5th century AD. Greek and Roman sculpture was admired during the Renaissance as an ideal art, and study of The Antique formed the basis of the curriculum in most art academics.
APPLIED ART  look up translate image
The designing and decorating of functional objects or materials to give them aesthetic appeal, e.g. printing type, ceramics, glass, furniture, metal work and textiles. The term is frequently used to differentiate this type of work from the fine arts (painting, drawing, sculpture) whose value is primarily aesthetic.
APPLIQUE  look up translate image
Textile decoration in which cut fabric shapes are stitched to a fabric ground as a design.
AQUATINT  look up translate image
A print produced by the same technique as an etching, except that the areas between the etched lines are covered with a powdered resin that protects the surface from the biting process of the acid bath. The granular appearance that results in the print aims at approximating the effects and gray tonalities of a watercolor drawing.
AQUATINT ETCHING  look up translate image
Process whereby acid is allowed to bite into a copper plate prepared with resin which is then inked and printed.
ARABESQUE  look up translate image
Motif based on interlaced plant forms, found in the fine and decorative arts, in architecture, and especially typical of Islamic design.
ARCHAIC GREEK ART  look up translate image
Greek art of the mid 12th century BCE to c.480 BCE; one of four convenient divisions of Greek art, the others being Geometric, Classical and Hellenistic.
ARCHITECTURE  look up translate image
Science or art of building. Also: the structure or style of what is built. See Architecture: History/Styles.
ARCHIVAL QUALITY  look up translate image
A designation for paper or inks of high permanence and durability, "Archival" is a non-technical term used to denote material that will last over long periods of time with minimal deterioration because of its chemical stability and physical durability.
ARMATURE  look up translate image
Framework or skeleton on which a sculptor molds his clay.
ARMORY SHOW  look up translate image
International exhibition of modern art held in New York in 1913 in the 69th Regiment Armory building. Exhibits included the work of the more Avant-Garde US artists and of the School of Paris. The exhibition was enormously popular and marked the birth of a real interest in modern art in 20th-century America.
ART  look up translate image
The completed work of an artist which is the expression of creativity or imagination, or both that portrays a mood, feeling or tells a story; works of art collectively.
ART BRUT  look up translate image
A term used to describe drawings, paintings and any other form of art done by untrained or amatuer artists. Could be applied to drawings done by children, people who are mentally ill or anyone who is does not describe themselve as an "artist" or who are not painting commercially.
ART DECO  look up translate image
A style of design and decoration popular in the 1920's and 1930's characterized by designs that are geometric and use highly intense colors, to reflect the rise of commerce, industry and mass production.
ART EVALUATION  look up translate image
How to judge the aesthetics, craftsmanship and artistic technique of a painting.
ART NOUVEAU  look up translate image
A decorative art movement that emerged in the late nineteenth century; art characterized by dense asymmetrical ornamentation in sinuous forms, it is often symbolic and of an erotic nature.
ART SCHOOLS  look up translate image
The term usually refers to tertiary colleges offering Bachelor of Fine Arts Degrees (BFA), Bachelor of Design Degrees (BDes), as well as BAs in applied art subjects.
ARTIFACT (OR ARTEFACT)  look up translate image
Any object of human workmanship. Also: (archeology) an object of prehistoric or aboriginal art, as distinguished from a similar but naturally occurring object.
ARTIST  look up translate image
A practitioner in the arts, generally recognized as a professional by critics and peers.
ARTIST PROOF  look up translate image
An Artist's Proof is one outside the regular edition, but printed at the same time or after the regular edition from the same plates without changes. By custom, the artist retains the A/Ps for his personal use or sale. Typically, 10% of the edition total is designated as A/P, or in the case of a small edition, five graphics are usually so designated.
ARTS AND CRAFTS MOVEMENT  look up translate image
Mid-19th-century artistic movement in England, inspired by John Ruskin and William Morris; it attempted to raise the standards of design and craftsmanship in the applied arts, and to reassert the craftsman's individuality in the face of increasing mechanization.
ASSEMBLAGE ART  look up translate image
Modern form consisting of objects collected and assembled together; the components are pre-formed, not made by the artist, and not intended originally as "art material".
ATELIER  look up translate image
French term for "printer's workshop."
AUTOMATISM  look up translate image
Drawing and painting method associated with Surrealism in which the artist does not consciously create but doodles, allowing the subconscious mind and virtually uncontrolled movement of the hand to produce an image.
AVANT-GARDE  look up translate image
A group active in the invention and application of new ideas and techniques in an original or experimental way. A group of practitioners and/or advocates of a new art form may also be called avant-garde. Some avant-garde works are intended to shock those who are accustomed to traditional, established styles.
BACCHANAL  look up translate image
Mythological scene popular in paintings of the Renaissance and 17th century depicting the revels of Bacchus, Roman god of wine.
BACKGROUND  look up translate image
Scene in painting which provides setting for main figures or design; sometimes used synonymously with ground.
BAMBOCCIANTI  look up translate image
Group of painters who specialized in bambocciate (Fr. bambochades): low-life and peasant scenes, popular in the Netherlands and Italy in the 17th century. The name derives from Pieter van Laer (1592-1642), a Dutch painter nicknamed "Il Bamboccio" ("Big Baby").
BANKETJEA OR BANQUET PIECE  look up translate image
Banketjea is a Dutch word which means "little banquet". A Banketjea is the name given to a still life painting which features a range of luxury foods and expensive serving pieces.
BAROQUE CLASSICISM  look up translate image
classical style - exemplified in the paintings of Nicolas Poussin and the architecture of Carlo Fontana which flourished during the Baroque period.
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Fine art glossary
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Created on 2011-05-29 19:05:52
Number of terms 477
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