Tag Archives: art

Yellowing

yellowing: Discoloration of an oil painting, the chief cause of which are the excessive use of oil as a vehicle, improper siccative, pigment, or glaze, and dampness or darkness.”

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

Ziggurat

“Ziggurat: (Akkadian, ziqqurratu = mountaintop or height) A temple built in the form of a rectangle-based pyramid and made of mud brick tapering in stages toward the top. The ziggurat originated with the Sumerians; the Assyrians and Babylonians later followed their example. Well-known ziggurats include those of Ur and Babylon, located in what is now southern Iraq.”

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

Art Brut

“Art Brut: A term coined by French artist Jean Dubuffet to characterize spontaneous and rough artistic expression of children, prisoners, and the insane. Dubuffet’s collection of art brut inspired him to reclaim untrained and marginal artistic elements in his own work. See naïve art and ‘outsider’ art.”

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

Luminism

“luminism: American landscape school associated chiefly with the Hudson River School. Luminist paintings are characterized by a fascination with water and light in landscape, by an absence of brush marks, and my masterful control of tonal gradations in atmospheric perspective.”

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

“Low” Art

“’Low’ Art: Comprises the ‘lesser’ or ‘minor’ arts, also known as the decorative or applied arts. A more contemporary understanding of the term relates it to popular culture. Since the 1960s and the pop art movement, artists have freely appropriated objects from everyday consumer culture for content and conceptual inspiration. Andy Warhol’s infinitely reproducible silkscreens of Marilyn Monroe, and Roy Lichtenstein’s iconic imitations of melodramatic cartoons, challenge basic assumptions previously ascribed to ‘high’ art, such as the uniqueness and seriousness of the artwork. The boundary between ‘high’ and ‘low’ art has faded in the contemporary art scene. Once-marginal artists, such as Keith Haring and his graffiti art were quickly commodified, and their works sold for large amounts of money.”

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

Cosmati Work

Cosmati Work: Architectural and decorative stone surfaces inlaid with cubes of colored glass, marble mosaic tesserae, and gilding, produced in Italy from the 12th to the 14th centuries. From Cosmati, the family of craftsman who worked in the technique.”

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

Alhambra

“(fr Arab kal’-at hamra, “the red castle”) A citadel and palace at Granada, Spain, built by Moorish kings in the 13th century. The buildings stand on a plateau some thirty-five acres in area and are surrounded by a reddish brick wall. Considered one of the finest examples of Moorish architecture in Spain, the palace consists largely of two rectangular courts, the Court of the Pool or Myrtles and the Court of the Lions, and their adjoining chambers. The latter court contains a famous central fountain, consisting of an alabaster basin supported by twelve lions of white marble. While he was an attache at the American legation in Madrid in 1829, Washington Irving spend much time in the Alhambra and wrote a well-known volume of sketches and tales called Legends of the Alhambra (1832, 1852). An admirer of Moorish civilization, he wrote about the clashes between the Spaniards and the Moors.”

Excerpted from: Murphy, Bruce, ed. Benet’s Reader’s Encyclopedia, Fourth Edition. New York: Harper Collins, 1996.