AP Art History: 50 Terms You Have to Know

AP Art History: 50 Terms You Have to Know
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Pylon
A pair of truncated, pyramidal towers flanking the entrance to an Egyptian temple.
Hypostyle
A hall with a roof supported by rows of columns.
Hierarchical Scale
The representation of more important figures as larger than less important ones.
Register
One of a series of rows in a pictorial narrative.
Repoussé
A technique in which a relief is formed on the front by hammering a metal plate from the back.
Corbelled Vault
A vault formed by the piling of stone blocks in horizontal courses, cantilevered inward until the two walls meet in an arch.
Kouros
An Archaic Greek statue of a standing nude male.
Kore
An Archaic Greek statue of a standing, draped female.
Caryatid
A column carved to represent a woman.
Pediment
In Classical architecture, the triangular section of a temple roof often decorated with sculpture.
Entablature
In Classical architecture, the part of a building above the columns and below the roof. The _______ of a Classical temple includes the architrave, frieze, and cornice.
Contrapposto
The relaxed natural pose, or "weight shift," first introduced in Greek sculpture in 480 BCE.
Frieze
In Classical architecture, a continuous horizontal band of sculptural decoration.
Mosaic
Images composed of small pieces of colored glass or stone.
Voussoir
A wedge-shaped block used in the construction of a true arch. The central voussoir, which sets the arch, is called the keystone.
Pendentive
The concave triangular section of a vault that forms the transition between a square or polygonal space and the circular base of a dome.
Iconoclasm
A movement in the Byzantine Empire that favore banning and destroying images.
Encaustic
A painting technique in which pigment is mixed with wax and applied to the surface while hot.
Enamel
A technique in which powdered glass is applied to a metal surface in a decorative design.
Mihrab
A semicircular niche set into the qibla wall of a mosque.
Westwork
The facade and towers at the western end of a medieval church, principally in Germany.
Ambulatory
The passageway around the apse and choir of a church.
Tympanum
The lunette-shaped space above the portals of Romaneque and Gothic churches.
Clerestory
A row of windows in the upper part of a wall.
Barrel Vault
A vault is a roof or ceiling. A _____ vault is, in effect, a deep arch or uninterrupted series of arches.
Groin Vault
Vault formed at the point at which two barrel vaults intersect at right angles.
Crypt
A vaulted space usually located under the apse of a church.
Vellum
Calfskin prepared as a surface for writing or painting.
Diptych
A two-paneled painting or alterpiece.
Triptych
A three-paneled painting or alterpiece.
Predella
The painted or sculpted lower portion of an altarpiece that relates to the subjects of the upper portion.
Chiaroscuro
In drawing or painting, the treatment and use of light and dark, especially by gradations of light that produce the effect of mottling.
Cartoon
In painting, a full-size preliminary drawing from which a painting is made.
Ecorche
A figure painted or sculted to show the muscles of the body as if without skin.
Orthogonal
A line imagined to be behind and perpendicular to the picture plane. The orthogonals in a painting appear to recede toward a vanishing point.
Intaglio
A graphic technique in which the design in incised, or scratched, on a metal plate, either manually (engraving) or chemically (etching).
Impasto
Technique in which the artist applies thick layers of oil paint.
Japonisme
The French fascination with all things Japanese. _______ emerged in the second half of the nineteenth century. The Impressionists and Post-Impressionists were particularly impressed with the use of bold contour lines, flat areas of color, and cropped edges in Japanese woodblock prints.
Avant-garde
Late nineteenth- and twentieth-century artists whose work emphasized innovation and challenged established conventions.
Bauhaus
A school of architecture in Germany in the 1920s under the leadership of Walter Gropius
Ready-made
An ordinary object that, when an artist gives it a new context and title, is transformed into an art object.
Cantilever
A beam or structure that is anchored at one end and projects horizontally beyond its vertical support.
Biomorphic
An adjective used to describe forms that resemble or suggest shapes found in nature. Biomorphs are therefore not abstract shapes.
Assemblage
An artwork constructed from existing objects.
Photomontage
A composition made by pasting together pictures or parts of pictures, especially photographs.
Stupa
A large, mound-shaped Buddhist shrine.
Pagoda
A multistoried Chinese tower, usually associated with a Buddhist shrine.
Pueblo
A communal multistoried dwelling made of stone or adobe brick by the Native Americans of the Southwest.
Mudrah
In Buddhist and Hindu iconography, a stylized and symbolic hand gesture.
Ukiyo-e
Japanese for "pictures of the floating world."
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