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Vocabulary following Chapter 26 from Gardner's Art Through the Ages (13th ed.).


A manifestation of a deity incarnated in some visible form in which the deity performs a sacred function on earth. In Hinduism, an incarnation of a god.


In Buddhist thought, the adoration of a personalized deity (bodhisattva) as a means of achieving unity with it; love felt by the devotee for the deity. In Hinduism, the devout, selfless direction of all tasks and activities of life to the service of one god.


In India, the ideal king, the Universal Lord who ruled through goodness.

congregational mosque

A large mosque designed to accommodate a community's entire population for the Friday noonday prayer. Also called the Friday mosque or the great mosque.


A photograph made by an early method on a plate of chemically treated metal; developed by Louis J. M. Daguerre.


A crowning ornament.

garbha griha

Hindi, "womb chamber." In Hindu temples, the holy inner sanctum for the cult image or symbol.


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.


The massive, ornamented entrance gateway towers of South Indian temple compounds.

lost-wax (cire perdue) 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.


Pillared hall of a Hindu temple.


A monumental tomb. The name derives from the mid-fourth century bce tomb of Mausolos at Halikarnassos, one of the Seven Wonders of the ancient world.


A distinctive feature of mosque architecture, a tower from which the faithful are called to worship.


Small individual Indian paintings intended to be held in the hand and viewed by one or two individuals at one time.


The Islamic building for collective worship. From the Arabic word masjid, meaning a "place for bowing down."


"Descended from the Mongols." The Muslim rulers of India, 1526-1857.


A believer in Islam.


An East Asian tower, usually associated with a Buddhist temple, having a multiplicity of winged eaves; thought to be derived from the Indian stupa.


The method of transferring a sketch onto paper or a wall by tracing, using thin paper or transparent gazelle skin placed on top of the sketch, pricking the contours of the design with a pin, placing the skin or paper on the surface to be painted, and forcing black pigment through the holes.


The body parts, clothing, or objects associated with a holy figure, such as the Buddha or Christ or a Christian saint.


An Islamic mystic saint.

stained glass

In Gothic architecture, the colored glass used for windows.


A large, mound-shaped Buddhist shrine.


A Muslim ruler.


Arabic and Persian, "crown."


In porcelain decoration, the technique of applying of mineral colors to the surface before the main firing, followed by an application of clear glaze. See also overglaze.


A pyramidal tower over the garbha griha of a Hindu temple of the southern, or Dravida, style.

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