Art History Definitions – December Final

Flashcard maker : Stephen Sanchez
corbelling
projection of masonry units to form a shelf or ledge
faience
glazed earthenware decorated with opaque colors
frieze
an architectural ornament consisting of a horizontal sculptured band between the architrave and the cornice
megaron
a tripartite rectangular room containing a central hearth surrounded by four pillars, found in Bronze Age Greece and Asia Minor

[from Greek, literally: hall, from megas large]

repousse
formed in relief by beating a metal plate from the back, leaving the impression on the face
terracotta
Hard-baked clay, used for sculpture and as a building material. It may be glazed or painted.
tholos
a type of tomb in Mycenaean architecture with a bee-hive shaped circular plan, also called a bee-hive tomb; a temple with a circular plan
cylinder seal
a round piece of carved stone that when rolled onto clay produces an image
facing
Outer layer when using roman concrete, like chocolate of candy bar.The concrete was ugly and needed protective outer surfrace. A tightly fit masonry, bonded to the concrete. By imperial period prefered brick made in triangles with points in and flat part out.
glaze
coating for fabrics, ceramics, metal, etc.
glyptic art
the art of carving or engraving, especially on small objects such as seals or precious stones.
intaglio
glyptic art consisting of a sunken or depressed engraving or carving on a stone or gem (as opposed to cameo)
hierarchical proportion
figures are arranged in a work of art so that scale indicates importance
lamassu
Assyrian guardian in the form of a man-headed winged bull
lapis lazuli
an azure blue semiprecious stone
load-bearing construction
exterior walls and interior columns bore the construction (structure weight)
pillar
(architeture) a tall cylindrical vertical upright and used to support a structure
provenience
the context or location within a grid system – Archaeologists use provenience information to detail where artifacts were located spatially in a given excavation.
register
one of a series of superimposed bands or friezes in a pictorial narrative, or the particular levels on which motifs are placed
shaft
(architecture) upright consisting of the vertical part of a column
stele
a monument, vertical in style, small or large, that contained writing or pictures to commemorate or record something
ziggurat
a rectangular tiered temple or terraced mound erected by the ancient Assyrians and Babylonians
armature
a skeletal framework built as a support on which a clay, wax, or plaster figure
is constructed.
base
a support or foundation
capital
the upper part of a column that supports the entablature
cella
the chief room of a Greek temple, where the statue of the god was located and, frequently, the temple’s treasure was kept.
column
(architeture) a tall cylindrical vertical upright and used to support a structure
convention
practice widely observed in a group; custom; accepted technique or device
cuneiform
Sumerian writing made by pressing a wedge-shaped tool into clay tablets
canon
a rule or especially body of rules or principles generally established as valid and fundamental in a field or art or philosophy
cartouche
An oval shape inside which a pharaoh’s name was inscribed in hieroglyphics. These are often seen on tomb walls. Now people can buy cartouche jewelry with their names in hieroglyphics
celerestory
the upper part of a church consisting of windows
hypostyle
a building having a roof or ceiling supported by rows of columns
mastaba
an ancient Egyptian mudbrick tomb with a rectangular base and sloping sides and flat roof
obelisk
tall column tapering(becoming gradually narrower toward the end) and ending in a pyramid
papyrus
paper made from the papyrus plant by cutting it in strips and pressing it flat
pylon
a massive gateway with sloping walls
pyramidion
A pyramid shaped block set as the finishing element atop an obelisk.
abacus
a tablet placed horizontally on top of the capital of a column as an aid in supporting the architrave
acanthus
the leaves on the Corinthian capital
amphora
a two-handled Greek storage jar
architrave
the lowest part of an entablature (ex: rests immediately on top of the capitals)
balustrade
a railing at the side of a staircase or balcony to prevent people from falling
black-figure
a style in Greek pottery decoration composed of black figures against a red background
caryatids
Female statues used instead of columns to support a roof, as on the South Porch of the Erechtheum
chryselephantine
cult statues built around a wooden frame, with thin carved slabs of ivory attached to represent flesh and gold leaf sheats representing other details
colonnade
structure consisting of a row of evenly spaced columns
cornice
projecting molding on building (usually above columns or pillars)
contapposto
Greek S-curve pose
drum
one of the stacked cylindrical stones that form the shaft of a column; the cylindrical wall that supports a dome
echinos
spine
encaustic
a paint consisting of pigment mixed with melted beeswax
entablature
The upper section of a classical building, resting on the columns and constituting the architrave, frieze, and cornice
entasis
swelling on vertical columns to counteract optical illusion of concavity
fluting
a series of shallow concave grooves, vertical on the shaft of a column.
foreshortening
a visual effect in which an object is shortened and turned deeper into the picture plane to give the effect of receding in space
frieze
an architectural ornament consisting of a horizontal sculptured band between the architrave and the cornice
geometric
characterized by simple geometric forms in design and decoration
hydria
an Etruscan or Greek water jar with two horizontal handles and one vertical handle to facilitate pouring
isocephalic
(of a composition) having the heads of all figures on approximately the same level.
krater
an ancient Greek wide-mouthed bowl for mixing wine and water
kylix
An ancient Greek shallow drinking cup with two handles and a stem.
lekythos
a flask containing perfumed oil; were often placed in Greek graves as offerings to the deceased, they also had narrow necks
lost-wax
a method of metalcasting in which a figure is modeled in wax then enclosed in a clay mold that is fired
meander pattern
key pattern around rim
metope
The carved or painted rectangular panel between the triglyphs of a Doric frieze
naos
cella, a room with no windows that usually housed the cult statue of the deity
necking
A groove at the bottom of the ancient Greek Doric capital between the echinus and the flutes that masks the junction of capital and shaft.
oenochoe
a pouring jug. taking liquid from krater to kylix
pediment
a triangular gable between a horizontal entablature and a sloping roof
peristyle
row of columns around a building or court; the space so enclosed
red-figure
red clay colored figures reserved against black background with details painted in
scroll
a document that can be rolled up (as for storage)
slip
potter’s clay that is thinned and used for coating or decorating ceramics
stylobate
The uppermost course of the platform of a Greek temple, which supports the columns.
triglyph
a triple projecting, grooved member of a Doric frieze that alternates with metopes
tesserae
the small piece of stone, glass, or other object that is pieced together with many others to create a mosaic
volute
ornament from Ionic capital resembling a rolled scroll
white-ground
A type of ancient Greek pottery mostly used in the Classical period in which the background color of the object is painted with a slip that turns white in the firing process. Details could be painted or incised afterward, though the white slip did not bond well to the object and would flake over time. Were often used as funerary objects.

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