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Glossary of art history 1

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abacus
-the flat slab at the top of a capital, directly under the entablature
absolute dating
-a method of assigning a precise historical date to periods and objects based on known and recorded events in the region as well as technically extracted physical evidence
abstract/abstraction
-any art that does not represent observable aspects of nature or transforms visible forms into a stylized image, also the formal qualities of this process
academy/academician
-an institution est. to train artists. most academies date from the Renaissance and later, they became powerful state-run institutions in the 17 and 18 centuries
Acanthus
-a leafy plant whose foliage inspired architectural ornamentation, used in the Corinthain and Composite orders and in the relief scroll known as the rinceau
Acroplis
-the citadel of an ancient Greek city, located at its highest point and housing temples, a treasury, and sometimes a royal palace. the most famous is the Acropolis in Athens
Acroterion
-an ornament at the corner or peak of a roof
Acrylic
a fast drying synthetic paint popualr since the 1950's
Action painting
-style of abtract painting emphasizing the active and spontaneous handling of paint, practiced by New York avantgarde artists during the late 1940s and 1950s
adobe
Sun-baked blocks made of clay mixed with straw, buildings are also made of this material
Adyton
-the back room of a greek temple, at Delphi, the place were the oracles were delivered. More generally, a very private space or room.

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