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38 Cards in this Set

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Sculpture in the round

a type of sculpture in which the figures are presented in complete three-dimensional form and are not attached to a flatbackground (unlike relief).

Relief sculpture

any work which projects from but which belongs to the wall, or other type of background surface, on which it is carved.

Low relief

A relief sculpture that barely stand outs from the background, almost like it's carved just around the edges.

High relief

a sculpture where more than half the mass of the sculpted figure projects from the background

Contour line

The outside, silhouette line of a subject.

Profile view

a view or representation of an object, esp. a building, in contour or outline.

Composite View

A convention of representation in which part of a figure is shown in profile and another part of the same figure is shown frontally; also called twisted perspective.

Hierarchy of scale

artistic convention in which greater size indicates greater importance

Primacy of place

importance on an area in the work.


to follow a style and theory of representation based on the accurate depiction of detail.


depict or treat in a mannered and nonrealistic style.


representing familiar things in a way that is accurate or true to life.


regard or represent as perfect or better than in reality.

Post and lintel

a building system where strong horizontal elements are held up by strong vertical elements with large spaces between them.


a painting done rapidly in watercolor on wet plaster on a wall or ceiling, so that the colors penetrate the plaster and become fixed as it dries.

Lost-wax bronze casting

the process by which a duplicate metal sculpture (often silver, gold, brass or bronze) is cast from an original sculpture. Dependent on the sculptor's skills, intricate works can be achieved by this method.


an asymmetrical arrangement of the human figure in which the line of the arms and shoulders contrasts with while balancing those of the hips and legs.

Doric order

one of the three orders of ancient Greek or classical architecture, most easily recognized by the simple circular capitals at the top of columns.

Ionic order

characterized by the use of volutes. The Ionic columns normally stand on a base which separates the shaft of the column from the stylobate or platform; the cap is usually enriched with egg-and-dart.


an upright pillar, typically cylindrical and made of stone or concrete, supporting an entablature, arch, or other structure or standing alone as a monument.


a horizontal, continuous lintel on a classical building supported by columns or a wall, comprising the architrave, frieze, and cornice.


a broad horizontal band of sculpted or painted decoration, especially on a wall near the ceiling.


a tablet in a Doric frieze with three vertical grooves. Triglyphs alternate with metopes.


a rectangular architectural element that fills the space between two triglyphs in a Doric frieze, which is a decorative band of alternating triglyphs and metopes above the architrave of a building of the Doric order.

Cella or naos

the inner chamber of a temple in classical architecture, or a shop facing the street in domestic Roman architecture, such as a domus.

High Classical

During the High Classical Period, sculptures were created using an idealized canon of proportions that was based on achieving perfect symmetry and the "ideal beauty" of the human body.

Late Classical

In the Late Classical period, there was an increased emphasis on the expression of emotion in art.


of or relating to Greek history, language, and culture from the death of Alexander the Great to the defeat of Cleopatra and Mark Antony by Octavian in 31 BC. During this period Greek culture flourished, spreading through the Mediterranean and into the Near East and Asia and centering on Alexandria in Egypt and Pergamum in Turkey.

Republican Rome

the period from the (perhaps apocryphal) overthrow of the last Roman king, Lucius Tarquinius, in 509 BC by the Roman nobility until the establishment of a permanent imperial dictatorship under Augustus (Octavian) Caesar in 27 BC.

Imperial Rome

An empire that succeeded the Roman Republic during the time of Augustus, who ruled from 27 bc to ad 14. At its greatest extent it encompassed territories stretching from Britain and Germany to North Africa and the Persian Gulf.

Early Christian

art produced by Christians or under Christian patronage from the earliest period of Christianity to, depending on the definition used, sometime between 260 and 525. In practice identifiably Christianart only survives from the 2nd century onwards.

Early Medieval

art produced during the early Medieval period of history.


of or relating to the Frankish dynasty, founded by Charlemagne's father (Pepin III), that ruled in western Europe from 750 to 987.


of or relating to a style of architecture that prevailed in Europe circa 900–1200, although sometimes dated back to the end of the Roman Empire (5th century).

Rounded arch

an arch formed in a continuous curve; characteristic of Roman architecture.


the central part of a church building, intended to accommodate most of the congregation. In traditional Western churches it is rectangular, separated from the chancel by a step or rail, and from adjacent aisles by pillars.


(in a cross-shaped church) either of the two parts forming the arms of the cross shape, projecting at right angles from the nave.


a large semicircular or polygonal recess in a church, arched or with a domed roof, typically at the eastern end, and usually containing the altar.