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art history vocabulary

yoga

A method of controlling the body and relaxing the mind used in later Indian religions to yoke, or unite, the practitioner to the divine.

stupa

A large, mound shaped Buddhist shrine.

yakshi

Lesser local male and female Buddhists and HIndu divinities.

mudra

In Buddhist and Hindu iconography, a stylized and symbolic hand gesture. The dhyana (meditation) mudra consists of the right hand over the left, palms upward, in the lap.

bodhisattva

a potential Buddha who chooses not to achieve enlightenment in order to save humanity.

pagoda

an east asian tower, having a multiplicity of winged eaves.

mortise-and-tenon

A projection on the end of a piece of wood that is inserted into a corresponding hole (mortise) in another piece of wood to form a joint.

calligraphy

greek-beautiful writing

hanging scroll

a vertical scroll hung on a wall with pictures mounted or painted directly on it.

sarcophagus

a coffin usually of stone.

tumulus

burial mound.

voussoir and keystone

a wedge-shaped stone block used in a true arch.

pilaster

A flat, rectangular, vertical member projecting from a wall of which it forms a part.

verism

true to natural appearance.

atrium

the central reception room of a roman house that is partly open to the sky.

triclinium

The dining room of a roman house.

linear perspective

A method of presenting an illusion of the 3-dimensional world on a two dimensional surface.

cubiculum

a small cubicle or bedroom the opened onto the atrium of a roman house.

barrel vault

semicylindrical in cross section, is in effect a deep arch or an uninterrupted series of arches, one behind the other, over an oblong space.

groin vault

formed at the point at which 2 barrel vaults intersect at a right angles.

basilica

a public building for legal and other civic proceedings, rectangular in plan with an entrance usually on a long side.

coffers

a sunken panel, often ornamental, in a vault or a ceiling.

oculus

the round central opening of a dome.

tempera

a technique of painting using pigment mixed with egg yolk or glue.

catacomb

subterranean networks of rock-cut galleries and chambers designed as cemeteries for the burial of the dead.

orant

a figure with both arms raised in the ancient gesture of prayer.

narthex

a porch or vestibule of a church.

apse

a recess, usually semicircular, in the wall of a building.(found @ east end of church)

transept

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central plan

the horizontal arrangement of the parts of a building or the buildings and streets of a city or town, or drawing showing such a arrangement.

ambulatory

a covered walkway, outdoors or indoors.

codex

separate pages of vellum or parchment bound together at one side.

pendentive

a concave, triangular section of a hemisphere.

squinch

transition from a square to a polygonal or circular base for a dome.

liturgy

the official ritual of public worship

icon

a portrait or image

iconoclasm

destruction of religious or sacred images.

mosque (masjid)

the islamic building for collective worship.
(a place for bowing down)

qibla

the direction muslims face when praying.

mihrab

the pulpit on which the iman stands.

minaret

a tower from which the faithful are called to worship

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