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In architecture, a frame around a window, door, or niche decorated in a classicizing manner, wth Columns, Entablature, and pediment, as seen in the windows of the Palazzo Farnese.


A painted or sculpted religious image that stands upon and at the back of an altar; for a typical example, see Orcagna's alterpiece. It may depict the Cuucifixion, the Virgin and Child, and/or various saints, including the saint to whom the particular church or altar is dedicated. In certain periods if includes decorated gables and pinnacles as well as predella.


(Christianity) the announcement to the Virgin Mary by the angel Gabriel of the incarnation of Christ


A rival pope, elected in opposion to another, who is later judged not to be a part of the elected succession of popes. In general, it refers to the popes elected at Avignon in opposition to those at Rome during the Great Schism, and to a series of popes elected at Pisa and Basel


The Book of Revelation, the last book of the New Testament, in which St. John narrates the visions he experienced on the island of Patmos. A major source of iconography of Last Judgment scenes.


A group of writings once included in versions of the Bible, but now generally excluded.


A large semicircular or polygonal niche.


A series of Arches with their supporting columns or piers.


The lintel and the lowest part of an entablature.


The layer of relatively coarse plaster that is the first layer applied to a wall in the making of a fresco.

Art, Liberal

The seven liberal arts, which are derived from the curriculum for secular learning during the Middle Ages, are grammar, rhetoric, logic, music, geometry, and astronomy.

Arts, Mechanical

Practical occupations that invloved working with the hands. During the Middle Ages, the mechanical arts included painting, sculpture, and architecture


The ascent of Christ into Heaven, as witnessed by his disciples forty days after the Resurrection .


The ascent of the Virgin Mary to heaven after her death and burial when, according to Roman Catholic belief, her soul was reunited with her body.

Attic Story

A extra story that appears above the Entablature.


Italian word for tomb, generally used by art historians to refer to a tomb surmounted by a Gothic arch and often built into an opening between two chapels or as a series in a wall, as across the facade of Sta. Maria Novella


A canopy, usually placed over an altar or over the reserved sacrament.

Barrel Vault

A semi-cylindrical vault


The lowest element of column, wall, or dome, occasionally of a statue.


A general term applied to any church that has a longitudinal Nave that terminates in an Apse and is flanked by Side Aisles.

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