STATE UNIVERSITY OF NEW YORK AT NEW PALTZ
INTRODUCTION TO THE VISUAL ARTS (ARH 200), Professor Dewsnap Study Sheet 1
Introduction, Prehistoric Art, Ancient Near Eastern Art, Egyptian Art
Note on Vocabulary
For the terms which are not defined in the glossary of your textbook, please consult online dictionaries available through library website databases, The Oxford Art Online and The Grove Dictionary of Art. A good dictionary available in paperback is: Edward Lucie-Smith, The Thames and Hudson Dictionary of Art Terms, London, Thames and Hudson.
Note on Illustrations
Artworks are illustrated in the textbook. Good sources for additional images on the web include www.artcyclopedia.com and Google Images. Artstor is available through the library webpage database list.
visual arts; art forms that are visual in nature such as ceramics, drawing, painting, sculpture, print making, design, crafts, photography, video, film making, and architecture. Expressive human creation, communicates a meaning greater than it simple purpose.
medium/media; the material (bronze, marble, clay, fresco) in which an artist works; also, in painting, the vehicle (liquid) that carries the pigment.
pigment; finely powdered color material which produces the color of any medium. Made either from natural substances, or synthetically, pigment becomes paint, ink, or dye when mixed with oil, water or another fluid (also called vehicle). When pressed into wax it becomes crayon, pencil, or chalk.
mural; A wall painting.
relief sculpture; figures projecting from a background of which they are part. The degree of relief is designated high, low (bas), or sunken. In the last, the artist cuts the design into the surface so that the highest projecting parts of the image are no higher than the surface itself.
sculpture in the round; freestanding figures, carved or modeled in three dimensions.
Architecture; The art of designing and constructing buildings (structures), and other environmental features.
patron and patronage; The person or entity that pays an artist to produce individual artworks or employs an artist on a continuing basis.
formal analysis (or visual analysis); analysis of the visual characteristics of a work of art. a) general conditions b) color c) forms – lines and shapes d) composition, space, and light e) expressive content of formal/visual qualities f) style
iconography; the study of a work of art’s subject matter of symbolism. Categories: narrative, religious, historical, mythological, everyday life, landscapes, still-life, portrait
tone; A quality of a color, arising from its saturation (purity and impurity), intensity (brilliance and dimness), luminosity (brightness and dullness), and temperature (warm and cool); or to create such a quality in a color. To tone down is to make a color less vivid, harsh, or violent; moderate. To tone up is to make one become brighter or more vigorous
intensity; The brightness or dullness of a hue or color. For instance, the intensity of the pure color blue is very bright. When a lighter or darker color is added to blue, the intensity is less bright, or more subdued.
Perspective; A method of presenting an illusion of the three-dimensional world on a two-dimensional scale. Types: linear, atmospheric, or aerial.
megalith; Literally, "great stone"; a large, roughly hewn stone used in the construction of monumental, Stone Age structures such as dolmen.
post and lintel construction; A system of construction in which two posts support a lintel.
twisted perspective; When viewing an art form, the upper half of the body is in frontal pose (facing forward) while the lower half of the body is in profile view (sideways) like in action—walking. This pose is usually reserved for important figures.
hierarchy of scale; An artistic convention in which greater size indicates greater importance.
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