A   B   C   D   E   F   G   H   I   J   K     M 

 N   O   P   Q   R   S   T   U   V   W  
X   Y  


Barbizon School: A group of French artists who devoted themselves to 'plein-air' painting after 1840, and is seen as having invented it. 

Baroque: A style, which expresses sensual enjoyment with colossal bodies. Stylistic epoch of European art between ca.1600 and ca.1750. Characteristic extreme dynamism, play with space and light situations. 

Baroque Classicism: Trend with in the art of the Baroque which, in contrast to the florid formal language of the Baroque, is influenced by the art of the Antique. 

Base A platform on which a sculpture is exhibited, or the portion of a sculpture on which its weight rests. 

Bauhaus: School of building and design founded in Germany in 1919. 

Batik: A technique for cloth dyes entirely graphic in character, originating in Java, where subsequent knots are tied on silk cloth and dipped in dyes. It is a process of resist dyeing and only one color can be used at a time, and when there are several colors everything which is to remain in the first color has to be treated with "resist" in the subsequent dips, while those exposed to the next must be protected afterwards from later colors. 

Bhairava: Bhairava is the frightful, the terrible and the horrible aspect of Shiva.
Shiva is one of the three major gods of the Indian pantheon.

Bhakti: Devotion. In Indian thinking there are three ways to attain Salvation. One of the paths is through ‘bhakti’ the other two being Karma (Action) and Jnana (knowledge).
The Bhakti Movement in India gave the country profound religious Saints, poets,and philosophers like Ramanuja and Chaitanya. The Movement also produced great devotional lyrical poetry and hymns in all major languages in North, East and South India.

Bhayankara: Terrifying. The emotion of fear.  

Bibhatsa rasa (beebhatsa)—In Indian poetics this rasa imparts to the viewer or audience the emotive content of disgust. 

Biedermeier: German stylistic trend between 1815 and 1848. Characteristic motifs are bourgeois idylls. 

Bird's Eye View: The horizon is at an unusually high eye level. 

Blaue Reiter,Der: Title of an almanac containing art-theoretical essays, published by W.Kandinsky and F.MARC in 1910. 

Blending Brush: A flat brush of two to four inches width. 

Bodhisattva:Bodhi’ – enlightenment; ‘Sattva’ – essence or substance.
They are Buddha-like saints. They are full of compassion for their fellow beings. They refrain from entering the state of Nirvana or salvation. They minister to the needs of others. They are worshiped as saints and are depicted in Buddhist sites in India and abroad. 

Brahma: The Creator. He is among the three major gods of the Indian pantheon, along with Shiva and Vishnu.  

Brahmana: Hindu Sacred Texts. In the Vedic text Brahmana is the part that deals with prayer and ritual.  

Brahmanical: Refers to the religion that is based on the Vedas. 

Brahmins: The priestly class in the Brahmanical religion. They are the bearers of all religious learning.In the hoary past one had to achieve distinction in learning the language, the Vedas, philosophy and priestly duties. Only then could one become a Brahmin. Later the status became hereditary. Cf. caste and varna

BRÜKE,DIE: Expressionist artists' community (1905-1913). 

Brush: A device used to apply paints and inks to a surface, consisting of hairs/bristles held in place and attached to a handle. 

Brushwork: The qualities of a personal handwriting, for example in an artist's application of paint. 

Brush cleaner: A compound used to clean oil, acrylic etc from brushes.  

Buddha: (563-483 BC)—‘Enlightened One’. One of the greatest persons ever born. His name was Siddhartha Gautama. He was a prince born in a small kingdom at the foothills of the Himalayas, Kapilavastu, in modern Nepal. His active ministry was, however, in East and North India. He left his palace in search of Truth. He went through the rigours of a variety of religious experiences. He is said to have finally understood the nature of Truth and attained Nirvana (enlightenment). He preached and won converts to his fold. He lived and worked during the second half of the sixth century BC. He was a profound thinker, one of the few who have deeply influenced the world.  

Buddhism: The first of the International religions. It believed in preaching and conversion. Buddha was an agnostic. The religious teaching of Buddhism is built around the ethics of compassion and restraint. It teaches to avoid extremes and excesses, and follow the middle way (Noble Eightfold Path). It was basically an ethical, ascetic and monastic religion. Buddhism paved the way for the flowering of Indian art and every aspect of culture, particularly sculpture. 

Butcher's tray: A white enameled tray used as a palette for water colour or acrylic paints. 


Camera Obscura: A pinhole camera, which was used from the 17th century as an aid to studies of perspectival constructions, portraits and proportions.  

Canvas: A coarse cloth used for painting. 

Caput Mortuum: Very unclear colors of deep red brown and violet brown lacking in intensity. It is a synthetic compound of manganese. 

Caravaggisti: Artists influenced by Caravaggio's painting. 

Caricature: A witty drawing illustrating a literary joke, social or political satire or advertisement. It arises from the portrait of a definite individual, portrayed as a person and not as a general type. Its pictorial presentation depends on two things; firstly, the most precise pinpointing of the characteristic forms of the face, and secondly their exaggeration. It is basically an impression of the artist's psychological experience of the person. 

Carpenter's Glue: A type of reversible glue. 

Cartoon: A humorous or satirical drawing or sequence of drawings. 

Casein: A type of non-reversible glue derived from sour skim milk. 

Cast: The technique of shaping a form in a mould by either pouring liquid plaster or molten metal. The plaster gradually dries within the mould. The metal hardens as it cools. After some time the mould is opened. Out comes the sculptural form like a chick from the shell of an egg.  

Caste: A system of social stratification. It has Varna as its prototype. It is an endogamous and hereditary social grouping. Persons of the same caste have the same social rank, similar occupation and economic position. In this system too, the Brahmins remain at the top. But the Kshatriyas (Warriors), Vaishyas (Merchants) and Shudras (Commoners) are all mixed up in the myriads of castes. Each caste is given a Varna status. 

Casting: There are several methods of Metal Casting like lost wax casting and sand-casting. A sculptor creates the form generally in clay. From this he takes waste moulds (The moulds have the negative impression of the form on the inside). 

Chaitya: Stupas having the characters of a sacred monument. Chaitya halls are shrines in which the votive chaityas occupy the place of an altar. 

Chakra: Wheel or discus. In Buddhist iconography the ‘chakra’ symbolizes the first Sermon of the Buddha. In Vaishnava iconography it is the discus that Krishna holds in his upper right hand. 

Champaka A beautiful flower of the Champaka tree, Michelia champaka. This motif is used for decorating the temple walls.  

Charcoal Charred wood used for drawing.  

Cherry Gum: It is extracted from the cherry laurel. It was used in earlier centuries as a glue for cherry gum tempera. 

Chiaroscura: Technique used since the 16th century in which color is less important than a strong contrast of light and dark. 

Chola: A South Indian dynasty and Kingdom. One of the three great kingdoms of Tamil tradition. They ruled in the southern part of the peninsula, especially the Coromandel Coast. Rajaraja Chola I (985-1014 AD) and Rajendra Chola I (1014-1042 AD) were two great kings. They sent naval expeditions to Ceylon and S. E. Asia. Due to material prosperity, Fine Arts flourished. 

Cinquecento: Italian term for the 16th century. 

Classical Modernism: Art historical term to describe the beginnings of abstract art, beginning with Cezanne. 

Cloisonnism: A style recalling the lead boundaries used to isolate areas of color in stained-glass windows, developed at the end of the 19th century by E. Bernard and P.Gaugin. 

Color-Field Painting: A different trend in abstract expressionism. 

Complementary Colors: The colors on the color circle or color triangle which produce white if mixed additively, and black if mixed subtractively. 

Complementary Contrast: A Color contrast in which complementary colors are played off against one another. 

Composition: Formal structure on the basis of particular ordering principles. Principles of composition can be; relation of color and form, symmetry/asymmetry, movement, rhythm' etc.  

Conceptual Art: International Art movement, which, from the 1970s onwards, declared the intellectual, process, free from the necessity of transposition into images, to be artwork. 

Constructivism: Movement within abstract art from the beginning of the 20th century which, free of any figuration, attempts to create harmonic structures with abstract geometrical forms. 

Contemporary: Existing at same time, current, belonging to the same period of time. 

Contour: The outline of a form, painted as a line or evoked through contrast. 

Contour drawing: Has a three-dimensional quality, indicating the thickness as well as height and width of the forms.  

Contour lines: Lines that surround and define the edges of a subject. 

Contrappesto: way of representing standing full-length figures in equilibrium, with a 'free leg' and a 'standing leg'. 

Copper Engraving: The earliest type of gravure. 

Craft: Unlike the liberal arts, crafts are the applied arts, including textile, glass, ceramics, enamel and furniture. 

Crayon: Traditionally, any drawing material, made in stick form, including chalk, crayon, charcoal. Usually stick or pencil of coloured wax. 

Criyical Realism: German art movement in the 1960s, which showed contemporary themes, painted in a realistic manner. 

Cubism: Movement formed by P. Picasso and G. Braque (during 1907)in which objects are no longer reproduced according to their vis8al impression; everything figurative is broken down into geometrical shapes. 

Cobo-Futurism: Russian artistic movement in the early years of the 20th century, in which Cubist and Futurist influences were combined. 


Dadaism: Art movement begun during the First World War, which rebelled against traditional art values with deliberate nonsense and new expressive forms, called anti-art. 

Danube School: A loose group of artists in the German territories along the Danube at the beginning of the 16th century. 

Decalcomanie: A method developed by the Surrealist M. Ernst, wherein damp paint is transferred from one support (paper, glass) to paper by being rubbed by hand. 

Deepa: Lamp. 

Devotional Painting: Paintings designed for quiet contemplation and personal devotion. 

Dharma: It has come to mean religion. Essentially it means righteousness. It can also mean characteristics of any and everything. According to the Gita ‘dharma’ is the assignment given to each Varna. The Brahmin’s or the priest’s dharma is to minister to laity. The dharma of Kshatriya (Warrior) is to fight for his country and its citizens. The dharma of the Vaishyas is to carry on all economic activity. This includes trade and commerce. The Shudra is the working class in the Varna system. In other words everyone has to work within the folds of the Varna system. The suggestion is, one man’s meat is another man’s poison. 

Dikpala: Guardians of cardinal points in an Indian temple or shrine. They are carved in stone. In common parlance a dikpala is a great man. 

Divisionism: A method of dissecting color and light, used in late Impressionism. 

Drip Painting: A painting technique in which the paint is dripped in uncontrolled gestures on a canvas laid out on the floor. 

Durva: A type of soft and slightly aromatic green grass.  

Durvadala: A tuft of such grass. 

Dutika: A woman who is a messenger between lovers. 

Dwarapala: Guardian figures made of stone at the gateway (dwara) of the temple.

Contact Us  |  Terms & Condition  Disclaimer  Privacy Policy
Site enabled by Inertia Solutions