Tag Archives: art

Situationism

“Situationism: The Situationist International was founded in 1957 with the merging of three European avant-garde literary and artistic groups. With roots in Dada’s assault on bourgeois sensibilities, the situationist movement emerged in Western Europe primarily in the 1960s. The situationists were highly politicized and theoretical, seeking, in their writings and art, to bring back meaningful social interactions to members of a depoliticized consumer society. Some artworks, such as paintings larger than buildings, blurred the boundaries between art forms. Others were altered reproductions of famous works, prefacing the reappropriated works of the 1980s and 1990s. The movement’s influence provided a theoretical base for students involved in the French general strike of 1968.”

Excerpted from: Diamond, David G. The Bulfinch Pocket Dictionary of Art Terms. Boston: Little Brown, 1992.

Triumphal Arch

“Triumphal Arch: Originating in Rome by the 2nd century B.C., these freestanding monumental gateways were erected to commemorate victorious generals. Sometimes serving as city gates, these arches were often merely decorative and richly adorned with sculptural elements. The two main types include one with a single archway and another flanked with smaller arches to the sides. The triumphal arch form was popularized anew during the Italian Renaissance.”

Excerpted from: Diamond, David G. The Bulfinch Pocket Dictionary of Art Terms. Boston: Little Brown, 1992.

Romanticism

“Romanticism: (romantic art): A style prevalent in the first half of the 19th century, particularly in painting, in which imagination played the dominant role. Referring more to a state of mind then to a style, romanticism was a marked reaction against the rationalism associated with Neoclassicism. One of the chief concerns of the romantic artist was the illustration of literary themes, often derived from contemporary romantic writings. Leading romantic artists included Eugene Delacroix, William Turner, and Caspar David Friedrich.”

Excerpted from: Diamond, David G. The Bulfinch Pocket Dictionary of Art Terms. Boston: Little Brown, 1992.

Sfumato

Sfumato: (it., evaporated) The soft gradation of light tones into dark ones, such that all sharply defined contours are eliminated. About light and shade in painting, Leonardo da Vinci wrote that they should blend imperceptibly,’without lines or borders, in the manner of smoke.’ Compare CHIAROSCURO.

Excerpted from: Diamond, David G. The Bulfinch Pocket Dictionary of Art Terms. Boston: Little Brown, 1992.

Rembrandt

Over the holiday break, I read Ulrich Boser’s fascinating account of the robbery of the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston. One of the paintings that disappeared on that March night was Rembrandt’s The Storm on the Sea of Galilee, his only seascape and apparently, in the eyes of many art historians, a representative example of chiaroscuro.

Here’s a reading on Rembrandt with a vocabulary-building and comprehension worksheet to accompany it.

If you find typos in these documents, I would appreciate a notification. And, as always, if you find this material useful in your practice, I would be grateful to hear what you think of it. I seek your peer review.

Vault, Vaulting

“An arched ceiling of roof constructed of masonry. Simplest is a barrel vault or tunnel vault, which is semicircular in section. Two intersecting barrel vaults of equal size form a groin vault. Rib vaulting employs reinforced ribs at the intersections.”

Excerpted from: Diamond, David G. The Bulfinch Pocket Dictionary of Art Terms. Boston: Little Brown, 1992.

Golden Section

Golden Section: (golden mean) A geometrical proportion known at least since Euclid and regarded as a universal law of the harmony of proportions in both art and nature. The common formula is: to divide a finite line so that the shorter part is to the longer part as the longer part is to the whole.”

Excerpted from: Diamond, David G. The Bulfinch Pocket Dictionary of Art Terms. Boston: Little Brown, 1992.