HarCol Dict Art Term

HarCol Dict Art Term

by Ralph Mayer

The HarperCollins Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques, 2nd edition, contains over 3,200 clear definitions of terns encountered in the study and practice of the visual arts and in their literature. It covers all forms of easel and mural paintings, drawing, sculpture, the graphic arts, photography, ceramics, and mosaic. There are entries on schools, styles,

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The HarperCollins Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques, 2nd edition, contains over 3,200 clear definitions of terns encountered in the study and practice of the visual arts and in their literature. It covers all forms of easel and mural paintings, drawing, sculpture, the graphic arts, photography, ceramics, and mosaic. There are entries on schools, styles, and periods, but the chief emphasis of the book is on the materials and methods of the artist. Materials are defined in terms of compositions, source, use, and characteristic properties; processes and techniques are defined in terms of their practical application and results. Tools and equipment are concisely described and illustrated with copious line drawings.

Editorial Reviews

Steven Sheehan has revised and updated Mayer's 1969 reference, which now contains some 3,200 definitions of terms encountered in the study and practice of the visual arts and in their literature. Includes line drawings. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

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Aaron's Roda rounded decorative molding with a motif of an entwined serpent, vines, leaves, and tendrils.

abaculusa little-used word for tessera.

abbozzoin painting, the first outline or drawing on the canvas; also, the first underpainting. In sculpture, a block of stone, lump of clay, or chunk of wood that has been reduced to a rough form of the ultimate work. The word abbozzo is Italian, meaning "sketch."

ABC artsee minimal art.

abrauma red earth color used as a mahogany stain.

absolute alcohol or anhydrous alcoholethyl alcohol freed of all traces of water by chemical processes; ordinary grain alcohol contains about 6% water. Anhydrous alcohol may be mixed with mineral spirits, turpentine, or a number of other solvents.

abstract artany art in which the depiction of real objects in nature has been subordinated or entirely discarded, and whose aesthetic content is expressed in a formal pattern or structure of shapes, lines, and colors. Sometimes, the subject is real but so stylized, blurred, repeated, or broken down into basic forms as to be unrecognizable. Art that is partly broken down in this way is called semiabstract. When the representation of real objects is completely absent, such art may also be called nonrepresentational or nonobjective, a term first used by Wassily Kandinsky (1866-1944), one of whose watercolors, done in 1910, is considered by some authorities to be the first completely abstract painting.

An abstract element or intention appears in works of art and decoration throughout the history of art, from Neolithic stone carvings onward. Butabstraction as an aesthetic principle began in the early 20th century with the development of cubism by Pablo Picasso (1881-1973) and Georges Braque (1882-1963). Other important early stages in the development of abstract art were neoplasticism in Holland and suprematism in Russia. See also abstract expressionism; action painting; geometric abstraction; op art.

abstract expressionisma style of nonrepresentational painting that combines abstract form and expressionist emotional value. Abstract expressionism, which developed in New York City midway through the 1940s, became fully established during the 1950s and was the predominant style associated with the new york school. A variety of styles exist within the movement. The paintings are typically bold, forceful, and large in size. The colors tend to be strident, and accidental effects are often present, such as the natural flow of oil colors without restraint. The movement's single most important figure is Jackson Pollock (1912-1956), a statement by whom gave rise to the term action painting, which is closely related to abstract expressionism. Pollock's fluid paints and enamels were poured, dripped, and spattered onto the canvas; a single color was often used to create a lacy mesh of opaque color over the surface, much like the transparent veil in a conventional oil painting.

Abstract expressionism stems mainly from the European neo-expressionist painting of Wassily Kandinsky (1866-1944) and others. It was stimulated by the presence in New York, during World War II, of a remarkable group of expatriate European painters, including Chagall, Duchamp, L�ger, and Mir�. A most important forerunner of the movement was Arshile Gorky (1904-1948), whose surrealist forms and discordant color had great influence on the work of his contemporaries. Among the more prominent abstract expressionist painters are Willem de Kooning (1904- ), Adolph Gottlieb (1903- ), Mark Rothko (1903-1970), Franz Kline (1910-1962), Philip Guston (1913- ), and Robert Motherwell (1915- ).

acaciapharmaceutical term for gum arabic.

academicin art, conforming to traditional standards, or to a discipline based on the standards of an official academy, which are usually conservative. In the 20th century the term has come to be used mainly in a pejorative sense, to characterize a strictly representational type of art that still adheres to the canons of 19th-century taste and technique, although these have long since been challenged by modern developments from Impressionism onward. Modernists do not always condemn all representational art. They usually admire its outstanding examples, while applying the epithet academic to what they consider to be mediocre, repetitive, and inconsequential.

academicianan elected member of an academy; also; an adherent of academic styles and principles.

academicismconformance with academic standards and precepts. The term also may be used to denote an element of academic influence in work that departs from traditional principles.

Acad�mie des Beaux-Artsthe academy of fine arts of the Institut de France. Its activities include sponsorship of the Ecole des Beaux-Arts (see beaux-arts, ecole des) and the official salon, or art exhibition, held annually in Paris. Popularly known as "the Academy," it is not to be confused with the French Academy (Acad�mie Fran�aise), a literary honor society. See also academy.

academya body of artists organized for such purposes as promoting a national art, training artists, and enhancing the professional and economic status of its members through periodic exhibitions and through the conferral of membership as an honor. Academies were founded in Italy as early as the 16th century, in France in the 17th century, in England in the 18th, and in the United States in the 19th. Enjoying official or quasi-official status, the academies have consistently maintained conservative standards, excluding from recognition all artists whose works and ideas on art depart from the traditional academic criteria of excellence. Academies are notorious for repeatedly embracing work that had been rejected by a previous generation--at the same time rejecting the innovative work of their own times, which is left for a later generation to recognize and incorporate into a new standard, which too often turns out to be as inflexible as the old.

During the first quarter of the 20th century, the work of artists whose ideas had developed beyond 19th-century academic restrictions had little exposure apart from the one-man show. With the founding of museums of modern art and increasing public and commercial appreciation of abstract and other modern work, innovative artists lost their dependence on academic approval, and the traditional controversies between academician and heretic became far less virulent. The academies continue to flourish as centers for the work of traditionally or conservatively oriented artists. Among the important existing academies are the acad�mie des beaux-arts in Paris, the royal academy of arts in London, and the national academy of design in New York.

academy bluean unstandardized term for a blue composite pigment of a greenish shade, the best grades of which should be made of ultramarine blue and viridian.

academy boardan inexpensive panel used for small oil paintings and sketches. It is made of heavy, smooth cardboard coated with a ground that has sufficient tooth, or surface roughness, for oil paint. Academy board has largely been replaced by canvas board and various specialty boards, which may be embossed to imitate a canvas weave.

academy figurea drawing or painting of a human figure, half life-size, executed as a practice study or for purposes of instruction rather than as creative art. Hence, the term is used as a derogatory designation for any dull or lifeless rendition of the human form in a work of art.

acajoua name sometimes used for mahogany.

acanthusa semistylized leaf motif that occurs throughout the history of art, notably in capitals of the Corinthian order of Greek architecture and the Roman Composite order, and in carvings of the 12th century. Named for a plant that is widespread in the Mediterranean area, the acanthus motif is sometimes used in a variant form showing a close resemblance to the leaves of the thistle, dandelion, celery, or parsley.

acaroid resinsee accroides.

accelerated testa test of paints, pigments, or other materials used by painters. It is conducted in a laboratory with specialized equipment for subjecting such materials to forces that simulate forces that cause fading, cracking, or other failures to which paintings are liable on long aging. Accelerated test conditions do not duplicate those of natural aging exactly, but are far more severe and concentrated. Yet, they do give an accurate indication of the comparative resistance of various materials and combinations of ingredients, and make it possible to rate their relative resistance. The HarperCollins Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques. Copyright � by Ralph Mayer. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.

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