Understanding Art Glossary

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49 terms · Understanding Art Glossary Lois Fichner-Rathus

ABSTRACT ART

A FORM OF ART CHARACTERIZED BY SIMPLIFIED OR DISTORTED RENDERING OF AN OBJECT THAT HAS THE ESSENTIAL FORM OR NATURE OF THAT OBJECT (ABSTRACTED); A FORM OF ART IN WHICH THE FORMS MAKE NO REFERENCE TO VISIBLE REALITY (NONOBJECTIVE)

ABSTRACT EXPRESSIONISM

A STYLE OF PAINTING AND SCULPTURE OF THE 1950S AND 1960S IN WHICH ARTISTS EXPRESSIONISTICALLY DISTORTED ABSTRACT IMAGES WITH LOOSED, GESTURAL BRUSHWORK

ACADEMIC ART

A NEO-CLASSICAL, NONEXPERIMENTAL STYLE PROMOTED BY THE ROYAL FRENCH ACADEMY DURING THE 18TH AND 19TH CENTURY

ACHROMATIC

WITHOUT COLOR

ACQUISITION

BUY (A WORK OF ART)

ACROPOLIS

THE FORTIFIED UPPER PART OF A GREEK CITY; LITERALLY, "A CITY ON A HILL"

ACRYLIC PAINT

A PAINT IN WHICH PIGMENTS ARE COMBINED WITH A SYNTHETIC PLASTIC MEDIUM THAT IS DURABLE, SOLUBLE IN WATER, AND QUICK-DRYING

ACTION PAINTING

A CONTEMPORARY METHOD OF PAINTING CHARACTERIZED BY IMPLIED MOVEMENT IN THE BRUSHSTROKE AND THE SPLATTERING AND DRIPPING OF PAINT ON THE CANVAS

ACTUAL BALANCE

EQUALITY IN AMOUNT OF WEIGHT. CONTRAST WITH PICTORIAL BALANCE

ACTUAL LINE

THE PATH MADE BY A MOVING POINT; A CONNECTED AND CONTINUOUS SERIES OF POINTS. CONTRAST WITH IMPLIED LINE

ACTUAL MASS

THE PHYSICAL MASS OF AN OBJECT, AS DETERMINED BY ITS WEIGHT. CONTRAST WITH IMPLIED MASS

ACTUAL MOTION

THE PASSAGE OF A BODY FROM ONE PLACE TO ANOTHER. CONTRAST WITH IMPLIED MOTION

ACTUAL TEXTURE

THE TEXTURE OF AN OBJECT OR PICTURE, AS DETERMINED BY THE SENSE OF TOUCH. CONTRAST WITH VISUAL TEXTURE.

ADDITIVE PROCESS

A PROCESS IN WHICH A SCULPTURE IS CREATED BY ADDING OR ASSEMBLING MATERIALS, AS IN MODELING AND CONSTRUCTING. CONTRAST WITH SUBTRACTING PROCESS

ADOBE

AN UNBURNT, SUN DRIED BRICK

AFTERIMAGE

THE LINGERING IMPRESSION MADE BY A STIMULUS THAT HAS BEEN REMOVED. THESE OF COLORS ARE THEIR COMPLEMENTS

ALLEGORY

A NARRATIVE IN WHICH PEOPLE AND EVENTS HAVE CONSISTENT SYMBOLIC MEANINGS; EXTENDED METAPHOR

ALTAR

A RAISED PLATFORM OR STAND USED FOR SACRED CEREMONIAL OR RITUAL PURPOSES IN A PLACE OF WORSHIP

ALTERATE A-B-A-B SUPPORT SYSTEM

AN ARCHITECTURAL SUPPORT SYSTEM IN WHICH EVERY OTHER NAVE WALL SUPPORT SENDS UP A SUPPORTING RIB THAT CROSSES THE VAULT AS A TRANSVERSE ARCH

ALTERNATE SUPPORT SYSTEM

AN ARCHITECTURAL SUPPORT SYSTEM IN WHICH ALTERNATING STRUCTURAL ELEMENTS BEAR THE WEIGHT OF THE WALLS AND LOAD OF THE CEILING

AMBULATORY

IN A CHURCH: A CONTINUATION OF THE SIDE AISLES OF A LATIN CROSS PLAN INTO A PASSAGEWAY THAT EXTENDS BACK BEHIND THE CHOIR AND APSE AND ALLOWS TRAFFIC TO FLOW TO THE CHAPELS, WHICH ARE OFTEN PLACE IN THIS AREA. FROM THE LATIN AMBULARE, MEANING "TO WALK"

AMORPHOUS

WITHOUT CLEAR SHAPE OR FORM

AMPHITHEATER

A ROUND OR OVAL OPEN-AIR THEATER WITH AN ARENA THAT IS SURROUNDED BY RISING TIERS OF SEATS

ANALOGOUS COLORS

COLORS THAT LIE NEXT TO ONE ANOTHER ON THE COLOR WHEEL AND SHAPE QUALITIES OF HUE DUE TO THE MIXTURE OF ADJACENT HUES; HARMONIOUS HUE

ANALYTIC CUBISM

THE EARLY PHASE OF CUBISM (1909-1912), DURING WHICH OBJECTS WERE DISSECTED OR ANALYZED IN A VISUAL INFORMATION-GATHERING PROCESS AND THEN RECONSTRUCTED ON THE CANVAS

ANIMATION

The creation of animated cartoons; the photographing of a series of drawings, each of which shows a stage of movement that differs slightly from the previous one, so that the figures in them appear to move when projected in rapid succession

ANNUNCIATION

THE ANGEL GABRIEL'S ANNOUNCEMENT TO MARY THAT SHE WAS GOING TO GIVE BIRTH TO JESUS

APERTURE

OPENING

APOCALYPSE

THE ULTIMATE TRIUMPH OF GOOD OVER EVIL FORETOLD IN JUDEO-CHRISTIAN WRITINGS

APSE

A SEMICIRCULAR OR POLYGONAL PROJECTION OF A BUILDING WITH A SEMICIRCULAR DOME, ESPECIALLY ON THE EAST END OF A CHURCH

AQUARELLE

A WATERCOLOR TECHNIQUE IN WHICH TRANSPARENT FILMS OF PAINT ARE APPLIED TO A WHITE, ABSORBENT SURFACE

AQUATINT

AN ETCHING TECHNIQUE IN WHICH A METAL PLATE IS COLORED WITH ACID RESISTANT RESIN AND HEATED, CAUSING RESIN TO MELT. AREAS OF THE PLATE ARE THEN EXPOSED BY A NEEDLE, AND THE PLATE RECEIVES AN ACID BATH BEFORE BEING PRINTED

AQUEDUCT

A BRIDGELIKE STRUCTURE THAT CARRIES A CANAL OR PIPE OF WATER ACROSS A RIVER OR VALLEY. LATIN: TO CARRY WATER

ARCH

A CURVED OR POINTED STRUCTURE CONSISTING OF WEDGE-SHAPED BLOCKS THAT SPAN AN OPEN SPACE AND SUPPORT THE WEIGHT OF MATERIAL ABOVE BY TRANSMITTING THE LOAD OUTWARD AND DOWNWARD OVER TWO VERTICAL SUPPORTS, OR PIERS

ARCHAIC PERIOD

A PERIOD OF GREEK ART DATING ROUGHLY 660-480 BCE. OLD AND REFERS TO THE ART CREATED PRIOR TO THE CLASSICAL PERIOD

ARCHITECTURAL STYLE

A STYLE OF ROMAN WALL PAINTING IN WHICH WALLS WERE GIVEN THE ILLUSION OF OPENING ONTO A SCENE

ARCHITECTURE

THE ART AND SCIENCE OF DESIGNING AESTHETIC BUILDINGS, BRIDGES, AND OTHER STRUCTURES TO HELP PEOPLE MEET THEIR PERSONAL AND COMMUNAL NEEDS

ARCHITRAVE

IN ARCHITECTURE, THE LOWER PART OF AN ENTABLATURE, WHICH AMY CONSIST OF ONE OR MORE HORIZONTAL BANDS

ARCHIVOLTS

IN ARCHITECTURE, CONCENTRIC MOLDINGS THAT REPEAT THE SHAPE OF AN ARCH

ARMATURE

IN THE SCULPTURE METHOD OF MODELING, A FRAMEWORK FOR SUPPORTING PLASTIC MATERIAL

ART NOUVEAU

A HIGHLY ORNAMENTAL STYLE OF THE 1890S, CHARACTERIZED BY FLORAL PATTERNS, RICH COLORS, WHIPLASH CURVES, AND VERTICAL ATTENUATION.

ASSEMBLAGE

A WORK OF ART THAT CONSISTS OF ASSEMBLING OF ESSENTIALLY 3 D OBJECTS TO CREATE AN IMAGE. ARTISTS OFTEN MANIPULATE THESE PRE-EXISTING OBJECTS IN VARIOUS WAYS AND INCORPORATE THEM WITH OTHER MEDIA, SUCH AS PAINTING AND PRINTMAKING

ASYMMETRICAL BALANCE

THE TYPE OF BALANCE THAT IS SAID TO EXIST WHEN THE RIGHT AND LEFT SIDES OF A COMPOSITION BEAR VISIBLY DIFFERENT SHAPES, COLORS, TEXTURES, OR OTHER ELEMENTS, YET THEY ARE ARRANGED OR WEIGHTED IN SUCH A WAY THAT THE IMPRESSION, IN TOTAL IS ONE OF BALANCE.

ATHENA

THE GREEK GODDESS OF WISDOM, SKILLS, AND WAR

ATMOSPHERIC PERSPECTIVE

THE CREATION OF THE ILLUSION OF DEPTH THROUGH TECHNIQUES SUCH AS TEXTURE GRADIENT, BRIGHTNESS GRADIENT, COLOR SATURATION, AND THE USE OF WARM AND COOL COLORS; AN INDISTINCT HAZY EFFECT PRODUCED BY DISTANCE AND THE ILLUSION OF DISTANCE IN VISUAL ART

ATRIUM

A HALL OR ENTRANCE COURT

AUTOMATIC WRITING

THE WRITTEN EXPRESSION OF FREE ASSIOCIATIONS

AUTOMATIST SURREALISM

AN OUTGROWTH OF AUTOMATIC WRITING IN WHICH THE ARTIST ATTEMPTS TO DERIVE THE OUTLINES OF IMAGES FROM THE UNCONSCIOUS THROUGH FREE ASSOCIATION

AVANT-GARDE

THE LEADERS IN NEW, UNCONVENTIONAL MOVEMENTS; THE VANGAURD

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