Art History key terms

Topics: Ancient Greece, Ancient Egypt, British Museum Pages: 5 (684 words) Published: April 3, 2014
Chapter 1-Pre-Historic Art
Key Terms

Attributes- Symbolic object or objects that identify a particular deity, saint, or personification in art

Ceramics- Wares made of baked clay

Corbel vault-

Dolmen- Prehistoric sculpture made up of or more large stones supporting a large, flat, horizontal slabs

Capstones- The final topmost stone in corbel arch or vault which joins the sides and completes the Structure

Henge- Circular area enclosed by stones or wood posts set up by Neolithic peoples


Modeling -in painting the process of creating the illusions of three-dimensionality on a 2 dimensional Surface by the use of light and shade. In sculpture the process of molding

Passage graves- prehistoric tomb under a cairn, reached by a long narrow slab lined access passage or Passageways

Post-and-Lintel-architectural system of construction with two or more vertical elements (posts) supporting A horizontal (lintel)

Sculpture in the round –Three dimensional sculptures that is carved free of any background or block

Chapter 2- Art of the Ancient Near East
Key Terms

Alabaster- a soft fine translucent white stone

Cylinder seals- a small cylindrical stone decorated with incised patterns. When rolled across soft clay or wax the resulting raised pattern or design served as an identifying signature.

Conventions-a traditional way of representing forms.

Cuneiform- an early form of writing with wedged shaped marks impressed into wet clay with a stylist used primarily by ancient Mesopotamians.

Hieratic scale-the use of different sizes for significant or holy figures and those of the everyday world to indicate relative importance. The larger the figure the greater its importance.


Pictographs-a highly stylized and simplified depiction serving as a symbol for a person or object.

Relief sculpture-a sculpture image or design whose flat background surface is carved away to a certain depth setting off the figures.

Registers-a device used in a system of special definition.

Scribes-a professional who wrote texts or maintains written records.

Stele-an upright stone slab articulated with inscriptions or reliefs.

Votive figures-an image created as a devotional offering to a god or other deity.

Ziggurats-in Mesopotamia a tall stepped pyramidal structure of earthen materials often supporting a shrine.

Chapter 3-Art of the Ancient Egypt
Key Terms


Colonnade-a row of columns supporting a straight lintel or series of arcs.

Hieroglyph-picture writings words and ideas rendered in the form or pictorial symbols.

Hypostyle hall-a large interior room characterized by many closely spaced columns that support its roof.

Mastaba-a flat topped one story building with slanted walls over an ancient Egyptian underground tomb.

Necropolis-a large cemetery or burial area.

Palette-a hand held support used by artists for the storage and mixing of paint.


Pylon-a massive gateway form by a pair or tapering walls of oblong shape. Scarab-

Sunken relief- the image is molded below the original surface of the background which is not cut away.

Chapter 5 Art of Ancient Greece and the Aegean World

Key Terms

Amphora-an ancient Greek jar for storing oil or wine with an egg shape body and two curved handles.

Archaic-curved lips of an ancient Greek statue from the period c.600-480 BCE.

Black-figure technique-a technique of ancient Greek pottery black figures are painted on red clay ground.

Canon- established rules or standards.

Caryatid-a sculpture of a draped female figure acting as column supporting an entablature.

Contrapposto-the classical convention of representing standing human figures with opposing alternations of tension and relaxation on each side of a central axis.

Corinthian order-the most ornate of the orders includes a base a flutted column shaft with a capital elaboratory decorated with a...
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