AP Art History Exam- Terms

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507 terms

composite view

A convention of representation in which part of a figure is shown in profile and another part of the same figure is shown frontally; also called twisted perspective.

Composition

The way in which an artist organizes forms in an artwork, either by placing shapes on a flat surface or arranging forms in space.

Course

In masonry construction, a horizontal row of stone blocks.

Freestanding Sculpture

Freestanding figures, carved or modeled in three dimensions.

Ground line

In paintings and reliefs, a painted or carved baseline on which figures appear to stand.

Incise

To cut into a surface with a sharp instrument; also, a method of decoration, especially on metal and pottery.

Landscape

A picture showing natural scenery, without narrative content.

Lintel

A horizontal beam used to span an opening.

Mural

A wall painting

Palette

A thin board with a thumb hole at one end on which an artist lays and mixes colors; any surface so used. Also, the colors or kinds of colors characteristically used by an artist. In ancient Egypt, a slate slab used for preparing makeup.

post-and-lintel system

A system of construction in which two posts support a lintel.

relief

In sculpture, figures projecting from a background of which they are part. The degree of relief is designated high, low (bas), or sunken. In the last, the artist cuts the design into the surface so that the highest projecting parts of the image are no higher than the surface itself.

Sculpture in the round

Freestanding figures, carved or modeled in three dimensions.

apadana

The great audience hall in ancient Persian palaces.

arch

A curved structural member that spans an opening and is generally composed of wedge-shaped blocks (voussoirs) that transmit the downward pressure laterally.

blind arcade

An arcade having no actual openings, applied as decoration to a wall surface.

cella

The chamber at the center of an ancient temple; in a classical temple, the room (Greek, naos) in which the cult statue usually stood.

city-state

a self-governerning, independent body

conceptual representation

The representation of the fundamental distinguishing properties of a person or object, not the way a figure or object appears in space at a specific moment.

Cuneiform

Latin, wedge-shaped. A system of writing used in ancient Mesopotamia, in which wedge-shaped characters were produced by pressing a stylus into a soft clay tablet, which was then baked or otherwise allowed to harden.

cylinder seal

A cylindrical piece of stone usually about an inch or so in height, decorated with an incised design, so that a raised pattern was left when the seal was rolled over soft clay. In the ancient Near East, documents, storage jars, and other important possessions were signed, sealed, and identified in this way. Stamps seals are an earlier, flat, form of seal used for similar purposes.

foreshortening

The use of perspective to represent in art the apparent visual contraction of an object that extends back in space at an angle to the perpendicular plane of sight.

frieze

The part of the entablature between the architrave and the cornice; also, any sculptured or painted band in a building.

hierarchy of scale

An artistic convention in which greater size indicates greater importance.

lamassu

Assyrian guardian in the form of a man-headed winged bull.

pictograph

A picture, usually stylized, that represents an idea; also, writing using such means; also painting on rock. See also hieroglyphic.

register

One of a series of superimposed bands or friezes in a pictorial narrative, or the particular levels on which motifs are placed.

stele

A carved stone slab used to mark graves or to commemorate historical events.

stylus

A needlelike tool used in engraving and incising; also, an ancient writing instrument used to inscribe clay or wax tablets.

votive offering

A gift of gratitude to a deity.

ziggurat

In ancient Mesopotamian architecture, a monumental platform for a temple

ashlar masonry

Carefully cut and regularly shaped blocks of stone used in construction, fitted together without mortar.

atlantid

A male figure that functions as a supporting column.

axial plan

The horizontal arrangement of the parts of a building or of the buildings and streets of a city or town, or a drawing or diagram showing such an arrangement. In an axial plan, the parts of a building are organized longitudinally, or along a given axis; in a central plan, the parts of the structure are of equal or almost equal dimensions around the center.

bilateral symmetry

Having the same forms on either side of a central axis.

block statue

In ancient Egyptian sculpture, a cubic stone image with simplified body parts.

Canon

A rule, for example, of proportion. The ancient Greeks considered beauty to be a matter of correct proportion and sought a canon of proportion, for the human figure and for buildings.

Canopic jar

In ancient Egypt, the container in which the organs of the deceased were placed for later burial with the mummy.

Capital

The uppermost member of a column, serving as a transition from the shaft to the lintel. In classical architecture, the form of the capital varies with the order.

Caryatid

A female figure that functions as a supporting column

clerestory

The fenestrated part of a building that rises above the roofs of the other parts. The oldest known clerestories are Egyptian. In Roman basilicas and medieval churches, clerestories are the windows that form the nave's uppermost level below the timber ceiling or the vaults.

Colonnade

A series or row of columns, usually spanned by lintels.

column

A vertical, weight-carrying architectural member, circular in cross-section and consisting of a base (sometimes omitted), a shaft, and a capital.

course

In masonry construction, a horizontal row of stone blocks.

dressed masonry

Stone blocks shaped to the exact dimensions required, with smooth faces for a perfect fit.

engaged column

A half-round column attached to a wall

facade

Usually, the front of a building; also, the other sides when they are emphasized architecturally.

fluting

Vertical channeling, roughly semicircular in cross-section and used principally on columns and pilasters.

fresco

Painting on lime plaster, either dry (dry fresco or fresco secco) or wet (true or buon fresco). In the latter method, the pigments are mixed with water and become chemically bound to the freshly laid lime plaster. Also, a painting executed in either method.

fresco secco

Painting on lime plaster, either dry (dry fresco or fresco secco) or wet (true or buon fresco). In the latter method, the pigments are mixed with water and become chemically bound to the freshly laid lime plaster. Also, a painting executed in either method.

hieroglyphic

A system of writing using symbols or pictures.

hypostyle hall

A hall with a roof supported by columns.

ka

In ancient Egypt, the immortal human life force.

mastaba

Arabic, _ench. An ancient Egyptian rectangular brick or stone structure with sloping sides erected over a subterranean tomb chamber connected with the outside by a shaft.

molding

In architecture, a continuous, narrow surface (projecting or recessed, plain or ornamented) designed to break up a surface, to accent, or to decorate.

mortuary temple

In Egyptian architecture, a temple erected for the worship of a deceased pharaoh.

mummification

A technique used by ancient Egyptians to preserve human bodies so that they may serve as the eternal home of the immortal ka.

necropolis

Greek, city of the dead. A large burial area or cemetery.

nemes

In ancient Egypt, the linen headdress worn by the pharaoh, with the uraeus cobra of kingship on the front.

papyrus

A plant native to Egypt and adjacent lands used to make paperlike writing material; also, the material or any writing on it.

pillar

Usually a weight-carrying member, such as a pier or a column; sometimes an isolated, freestanding structure used for commemorative purposes.

pylon

The wide entrance gateway of an Egyptian temple, characterized by its sloping walls.

scarab

An Egyptian gem in the shape of a beetle.

serdab

A small concealed chamber in an Egyptian mastaba for the statue of the deceased.

sphinx

A mythical Egyptian beast with the body of a lion and the head of a human.

stucco

A type of plaster used as a coating on exterior and interior walls.

subtractive sculpture

A kind of sculpture technique in which materials are taken away from the original mass; carving.

sunken relief

In sculpture, figures projecting from a background of which they are part. The degree of relief is designated high, low (bas), or sunken. In the last, the artist cuts the design into the surface so that the highest projecting parts of the image are no higher than the surface itself.

valley temple

The temple closest to the Nile River associated with each of the Great Pyramids at Gizeh in ancient Egypt.

corbel

A projecting wall member used as a support for some element in the superstructure. Also, courses of stone or brick in which each course projects beyond the one beneath it. Two such walls, meeting at the topmost course, create a corbeled arch or corbeled vault.

cyclopean masonry

A method of stone construction, named after the mythical Cyclopes, using massive, irregular blocks without mortar, characteristic of the Bronze Age fortifications of Tiryns and other Mycenaean sites.

dome

A hemispherical vault; theoretically, an arch rotated on its vertical axis. In Mycenaean architecture, domes are beehive-shaped.

dromos

The passage leading to a tholos tomb.

faience

A low-fired opaque glasslike silicate.

krater

An ancient Greek wide-mouthed bowl for mixing wine and water.

labyrinth

Maze. The English word derives from the mazelike plan of the Minoan palace at Knossos.

megaron

The large reception hall and throne room in a Mycenaean palace, fronted by an open, two-columned porch.

minotaur

The mythical beast, half man and half bull, that inhabited the Minoan palace at Knossos.

relieving triangle

In Mycenaean architecture, the triangular opening above the lintel that serves to lighten the weight to be carried by the lintel itself.

repoussee

Formed in relief by beating a metal plate from the back, leaving the impression on the face. The metal sheet is hammered into a hollow mold of wood or some other pliable material and finished with a graver.

tholos

A temple with a circular plan. Also the burial chamber of a tholos tomb.

abacus

The uppermost portion of the capital of a column, usually a thin slab.

acropolis

Greek, high city. In ancient Greece, usually the site of the city's most important temple(s).

agora

An open square or space used for public meetings or business in ancient Greek cities.

amphiprostyle

A classical temple plan in which the columns are placed across both the front and back, but not along the sides.

amphora

An ancient Greek two-handled jar used for general storage purposes, usually to hold wine or oil.

antae

The molded projecting ends of the walls forming the pronaos or opisthodomos of an ancient Greek temple.

apse

The molded projecting ends of the walls forming the pronaos or opisthodomos of an ancient Greek temple.

archaic

The artistic style of 600-480 BCE in Greece, characterized in part by the use of the composite view for painted and relief figures and of Egyptian stances for statues.

archaic smile

The smile that appears on all Archaic Greek statues from about 570 to 480 BCE. The smile is the Archaic sculptor's way of indicating that the person portrayed is alive.

architrave

The lintel or lowest division of the entablature.

base

In ancient Greek architecture, the molded projecting lowest part of Ionic and Corinthian columns. (Doric columns do not have bases.)

bilingual vases

Experimental Greek vases produced for a short time in the late sixth century bce; one side featured black-figure decoration, the other red-figure.

black figure painting

In early Greek pottery, the silhouetting of dark figures against a light background of natural, reddish clay, with linear details incised through the silhouettes.

cantaur

In ancient Greek mythology, a creature with the front or top half of a human and the back or bottom half of a horse

chiton

A Greek tunic, the essential (and often only) garment of both men and women, the other being the himation, or mantle.

lost wax technique

A bronze-casting method in which a figure is modeled in wax and covered with clay; the whole is fired, melting away the wax and hardening the clay, which then becomes a mold for molten metal.

Classical

The art and culture of ancient Greece between 480 and 323 BCE. Lower case classical refers more generally to Greco-Roman art and culture.

Contrapposto

The disposition of the human figure in which one part is turned in opposition to another part (usually hips and legs one way, shoulders and chest another), creating a counterpositioning of the body about its central axis. Sometimes called weight shift because the weight of the body tends to be thrown to one foot, creating tension on one side and relaxation on the other.

Corinthian Capital

A more ornate form than Doric or Ionic; it consists of a double row of acanthus leaves from which tendrils and flowers grow, wrapped around a bell-shaped echinus. Although this capital form is often cited as the distinguishing feature of the Corinthian order, there is, strictly speaking, no Corinthian order, but only this style of capital used in the Ionic order.

Cornice

The projecting, crowning member of the entablature framing the pediment; also, any crowning projection.

Cult Statue

The statue of the deity that stood in the cella of an ancient temple.

Daedalic

The Greek Orientalizing sculptural style of the seventh century bce named after the legendary Daedalus.

Dipteral

In classical architecture, a colonnade all around the cella and its porch(es). A peripteral colonnade consists of a single row of columns on all sides; a dipteral colonnade has a double row all around.

Doric

One of the two systems (or orders) invented in ancient Greece for articulating the three units of the elevation of a classical buildingthe platform, the colonnade, and the superstructure (entablature). The Doric order is characterized by, among other features, capitals with funnel-shaped echinuses, columns without bases, and a frieze of triglyphs and metopes

Drum

One of the stacked cylindrical stones that form the shaft of a column. Also, the cylindrical wall that supports a dome.

echinus

The convex element of a capital directly below the abacus.

emblema

The central framed figural panel of a mosaic floor.

encaustic

A painting technique in which pigment is mixed with wax and applied to the surface while hot.

entablature

The part of a building above the columns and below the roof. The entablature has three parts: architrave, frieze, and pediment.

entasis

The convex profile (an apparent swelling) in the shaft of a column.

geometric

The style of Greek art during the ninth and eighth centuries BCE, characterized by abstract geometric ornament and schematic figures.

glaze

A vitreous coating applied to pottery to seal and decorate the surface. It may be colored, transparent, or opaque, and glossy or matte. In oil painting, a thin, transparent, or semitransparent layer put over a color to alter it slightly.

gorgon

In ancient Greek mythology, a hideous female demon with snake hair. Medusa, the most famous gorgon, was capable of turning anyone who gazed at her into stone

Hellenistic

The term given to the art and culture of the roughly three centuries between the death of Alexander the Great in 323 bce and the death of Queen Cleopatra in 30 bce, when Egypt became a Roman province.

herm

A bust on a quadrangular pillar.

himation

An ancient Greek mantle worn by men and women over the chiton and draped in various ways.

Hippodamian Plan

A city plan devised by Hippodamos of Miletos ca. 466 bce, in which a strict grid was imposed on a site, regardless of the terrain, so that all streets would meet at right angles

hydria

An ancient Greek three-handled water pitcher.

hypaethral

A building having no pediment or roof, open to the sky.

interaxial

The distance between the center of the lowest drum of a column and the center of the next.

intercolumnation

The distance between the center of the lowest drum of a column and the center of the next.

investment

In hollow-casting, the final clay mold applied to the exterior of the wax model,

Ionic

One of the two systems (or orders) invented in ancient Greece for articulating the three units of the elevation of a classical building: the platform, the colonnade, and the superstructure (entablature). The Ionic order is characterized by, among other features, volutes, capitals, columns with bases, and an uninterrupted frieze.

kore

Greek, young woman. An Archaic Greek statue of a young woman.

kouros

Greek, young man. An Archaic Greek statue of a young man.

lekythos

A flask containing perfumed oil; lekythoi were often placed in Greek graves as offerings to the deceased.

lost wax process

A bronze-casting method in which a figure is modeled in wax and covered with clay; the whole is fired, melting away the wax (French, cire perdue) and hardening the clay, which then becomes a mold for molten metal.

meander

An ornament, usually in bands but also covering broad surfaces, consisting of interlocking geometric motifs. An ornamental pattern of contiguous straight lines joined usually at right angles.

metope

The panel between the triglyphs in a Doric frieze, often sculpted in relief.

minaret

the tower of a mosque, from which the Islamic faithful are called to worship.

monolith

A column shaft that is all in one piece (not composed of drums); a large, single block or piece of stone used in megalithic structures.

naos

The chamber at the center of an ancient temple; in a classical temple, the room (Greek, naos) in which the cult statue usually stood.

nymphs

In classical mythology, female divinities of springs, caves, and woods.

opisthodomos

In ancient Greek architecture, a porch at the rear of a temple, set against the blank back wall of the cella

orchestra

Greek, dancing place. In ancient Greek theaters, the circular piece of earth with a hard and level surface on which the performance took place.

order

In classical architecture, a style represented by a characteristic design of the columns and entablature. See also superimposed orders.

orientalizing

The early phase of Archaic Greek art (seventh century BCE), so named because of the adoption of forms and motifs from the ancient Near East and Egypt.

orthogonal plan

The imposition of a strict grid plan on a site, regardless of the terrain, so that all streets meet at right angles. See also Hippodamian plan.

palaestra

An ancient Greek and Roman exercise area, usually framed by a colonnade. In Greece, the palaestra was an independent building; in Rome, palaestras were also frequently incorporated into a bathing complex.

parapet

A low, protective wall along the edge of a balcony, roof, or bastion.

pediment

In classical architecture, the triangular space (gable) at the end of a building, formed by the ends of the sloping roof above the colonnade; also, an ornamental feature having this shape.

peplos

A simple long woolen belted garment worn by ancient Greek women.

peripteral

In classical architecture, a colonnade all around the cella and its porch(es). A peripteral colonnade consists of a single row of columns on all sides; a dipteral colonnade has a double row all around.

portico

A roofed colonnade; also an entrance porch.

pronaos

The space, or porch, in front of the cella, or naos, of an ancient Greek temple.

prostyle

A classical temple plan in which the columns are only in front of the cella and not on the sides or back.

raking cornice

The cornice on the sloping sides of a pediment.

red figure painting

In later Greek pottery, the silhouetting of red figures against a black background, with painted linear details; the reverse of black-figure painting.

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