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There are currently 17 glossaries in this directory beginning with the letter A.
Abstract Art
Art which intentionally avoids recognizable, lifelike representation of the observed world.

Abstract Expressionism
Art that is based on freedom of expression, spontaneity and random composition, characterized by loose, unrestrained brushwork and often indistinct forms.

Acrylic Paint
A versatile synthetic paint that is quick drying and can be used in thick, heavy layers or thin washes on almost all surfaces.

Action painting
A form of abstract expressionism in which the paint is applied to the canvas in the course of a series of movement (dancing, cycling or rolling about on canvas) by the artist.

An area of philosophy that is concerned with the ideals of taste and beauty and which provides criteria for the critical study of the arts.

Aesthetic Movement
An informal group of British artists who wished to break away from the rigidity of Victorian design.

Alla Prima
Technique in which the final surface of a painting is completed in one sitting, without under painting.  Italian for "at the first".

A decorated wall, screen or sectional painting set behind the altar of a Christian church, a feature of church décor dating back to the 11th century.

Free from water.

Applied Arts
Art that serves a useful purpose or that adds decoration to functional object.  The term can include architecture, interior design, ceramics, furniture design, graphics etc.  It is usually contrasted in painting, drawing, sculpture, print-making etc.

A French term for watercolour painting, where a water-based paint is applied to dampened paper in thin glaze which are gradually built up into areas of varying tone.

An elegant flourish used in design, derived from the Moresque patterns of 16th century.

Refers to materials that meet certain criteria for permanence such as lignin-free, pH neutral, alkaline-buffered, stable in light, etc.

Art Deco
The decorative art of the 1920s and 1930s in Europe and North America, originally called Jazz Modern.  It was classical in style with slender, symmetrical, geometric or rectilinear forms, a simple style.

A style of art characterized by the putting together of various objects, such as pieces of painted wood, old shoes, etc, to form a meaningful or decorative integrated whole.

The American Society for Testing and Materials. An independent standard for certain paint qualities, adopted by most manufacturers.

Term used to describe a painting by one artist only who has not been assisted by pupils or assistants.