chado - Also called the "way of tea," chado is the set of traditions surrounding the Japanese tea ceremony — "cha no yu." In the 12th century, the archetype of drinking powdered tea came to Japan from China. In the 16th century, strongly influenced by Zen Buddhism, Sen no Rikyu originated what became known as chado. Its fundamental principles are harmony, respect, purity, and tranquility. A student of chado is called a "chajin." The house used in the tea ceremony is called a "chashitsu."
Also see sublime.
chaitya hall - An Indian shrine, especially a Buddhist prayer-hall having a votive stupa at one end.
This chaitya hall is inside one of the 29 caves cut into living rock at Ajanta, India, over a period of 800 years. A stupa sits at the back of the hall.
Also see cathedral, chandi, Hindu art, and mosque.
Chaldean art - See Mesopotamian art.
chalice - A cup or goblet, especially that used in the sacraments of Christian churches.
Kingdom of Alwa (Sudan), Chalice, found at Khalil el-Kubra, but probably produced further north at Alwa's capital, Soba, during the medieval period (7th-14th centuries), terra cotta, British Museum, London.
Byzantium, Chalice of Emperor Romanus II (959-963), gold, pearls, precious stones and medallions with busts of hierarchs. Its Greek inscription reads "Drink ye all of it." See Byzantine art.
Germany, Lower Saxony, c. 1160/70, Communion Chalice, ("Wilten Chalice"), silver partially gilt, with niello, height 16.7 cm, Kunsthistoriches Museum, Venice. See Romanesque.
Paolo Uccello (born Paolo di Dono) (Italian, 1397-1475), Perspective Study of a Chalice, pen and ink on paper, 29 x 24.5 cm, Gabinetto dei Disegni, Uffizi, Florence. See linear perspective, Renaissance, and wireframe.
Russian, Greek Orthodox Chalice, 1898, gilded silver chalice is decorated with precious stones and eight medallions with enamel images of Christ, Hierarchs and Saints, Patriarchal Treasury, Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America. The outer surface of the rim bears the inscription "Drink ye all of it; for this is my blood . . . . "
Also see vessel.
chamber of wonders - See Wunderkammer.
chamfer - To cut through the thickness of a material at an angle, giving a sloping edge. Also, an oblique face or bevel cut at the corner of a board or post. Or, to cut grooves or flutes into an edge, such as the furrows or grooves in a column.
Also see dado and splay.
champlevé - An engraved, etched, or otherwise grooved area on metal that is filled with enamel. Once fired, the enamel is polished down.
France, Conques (?), 1107-1119, Medallion Decorated with a Fabulous Animal, champlevé enamel on brass, diameter 8 cm, Louvre. See medallion and Romanesque.
Germany or Russia, around 1170, "Armilla": the Resurrection, Meuse, gilt brass, champlevé enamel, 0.113 x 0.147 m, Louvre. See jewelry.
Germanic Holy Roman Empire, Hildesheim, Lower-Saxony, around 1175, Reliquary of St. Henry, gilt brass, engraved, champlevé enamel and rock-crystal, silver on wood core, 0.236 x 0.161 m, Louvre. See reliquary.
France, Limoges, around 1220-1230, Arched Plaque Decorated with a Figure of St. Matthew, gilt brass, champlevé enamel, 0.29 x 0.14 m, Louvre. See plaque.
Also see cloisonné.
chance - See aleatory and aleatoric.
chancel - The part of a church reserved for clergy and containing the altar and the choir.
chandi - A Javanese temple.
Also see cathedral, chaitya hall, mosque, and stupa.
change - To make something become different. To give a different arrangement or direction to something. To substitute, alter, vary, modify, transition, or transform. To become different, as a design or picture might. To move away from sameness, monotony, exact repetition. The concept of change is linked with those of permanence and impermanence, metamorphosis, adaptation, evolution, innovation (newness), and modernism.
to changes in society — political, religious, and other reforms
and revolutions occurring amid developments in the arts,
business, and other fields — are of either of two or more types,
Quotes about change:
Also see animation, aphorism, attitude, automata, carve, cast, choose, cinema, color, consistency, curve, drill, enlarge, Fluxus, four-dimensional, gradation, kinesiologist, kinetic, manipulate, mark, measure, mobile, movement, music, nuance, periodicity, posterity, reduce, science and art, space-time, time, tradition, transform, variation, various, and video.
chaos - Disorder or confusion. The opposite of order.
Also see chiastic, coherence, composition, creativity, déjà vu, destruction, entropy, forget, harmony, Rube Goldberg, and unity.
chapel - A small church, or an area or compartment in a church containing an altar dedicated to a particular saint. A prominent feature of many Romanesque churches is the addition of multiple "radiating" chapels. Churches during the Romanesque period were often in the relics business: the more relics they displayed, the more donations they received. Each of the chapels a church had would provide a site for each relic, often funded by a wealthy donor.
France, Toulouse, St. Sernin, c. 1080-1120, Romanesque cathedral. An aerial view photograph of St. Sernin from one angle (the tower is of 1250 with its spire of 1478 belongs to the Gothic period) and from another angle in which one can see the exterior forms of the chapels.
A floor plan of St. Sernin showing the location, shape and size of nine chapels.
A photo of the exterior of the apse, showing three of its radiating chapels.
See aerial view, apse, axonometric projection, capital, chapel, nave, and plan.
Also see cathedral and niche.
chaplet - In lost-wax casting, a core pin or refractory spacing block connecting the core placed within a wax model to its surrounding mold. There are often many employed for each work, and may vary in size from thin wire to thick bars of metal, depending on the scale of the model. When the wax is melted from the mold, the chaplets keep the core from shifting. When molten metal is poured in, they are incorporated into it, and when the investment is broken off, they protrude from the surface of the metal. When they are made of the same alloy as the cast, they are difficult to find once they have been filed down. If they fall out when the core is removed, they leave holes which must be filled.
characters - Individual letters, numbers and other dingbats, glyphs, or symbols.
Also see align and alignment, calligraphy, capital letters, dingbat, font, graphic design, letterform, lettering, lowercase, text, and typography.
charcoal - Compressed burned wood used for drawing.
Examples of charcoal drawings:
Paul Gauguin (French, 1848-1903), Tahitians, c. 1891-93, (depicted Tahiti, made France), charcoal on laid paper, 16 1/8 x 12 1/4 inches (41 x 31.1 cm), Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY. See Post-Impressionism.
Henri Matisse (French, 1869-1954), Reclining Nude, 1938, charcoal on paper, 23 5/8 x 31 7/8 inches (60.5 x 81.3 cm), Museum of Modern Art, NY. See nude.
Arshile Gorky (American, 1905-1948), The Artist's Mother, 1938, charcoal on paper, 63 x 48.5 cm, Art Institute of Chicago, IL. See Abstract Expressionism.
Lee Krasner (American, 1908-1984), Seated Nude, 1940, charcoal on paper, 25 x 18 7/8 inches (63.5 x 48.0 cm), Museum of Modern Art, NY.
Also see chalk, crayon, fusain, graphite, pastel, pencil, sketch, and study.
charette - In architecture, an intense effort to complete a design project within a specified time. Also spelled charrette, this French word refers to a handcart or barrow.
Also see argument, collaboration, critique, deadline, and discussion.
charm - Something worn or spoken for its supposed magical benefit — warding off evil or attracting good luck, perhaps.
Also see amulet, ex voto, fetish, milagro, and talisman.
charrette - An alternative spelling of charette.
chart - See diagram and graph.
chasing - The process of finishing and refining a metal surface of metal object 's surface by denting rather than engraving it with steel tools such as tracers, ciselet, punches, and matting tools. Chasing might be done in order to remove the imperfections and rough spots on a bronze cast which necessarily form in the casting process. Chasing might also be done in order to ornament metal surfaces by embossing or hollowing with tools.
Also see beader and chisel.
chatra - See parasol.
chess - A board game for two players, each beginning with 16 pieces of six kinds — king, queen, castle, bishop, knight, pawn — that are moved according to certain rules, with the objective of checkmating (capturing) the opposing king — originally called the "shah." The winner then announces that the king is "dead" (mat). The term "checkmate" came from shah mat (perhaps also sheikh mat). "Shah" evolved, through an Old French plural, esches, into chess: also into checkers, both the game and the design. The Exchequer, which in England deals with the financial side of government, probably derived from the checkerboard tables, eschequier, used in the Middle Ages to facillitate counting. A bank check comes from the same source. The game of chess seems to have entered Europe with the Arabs, at the time of their conquest of Spain. They had learned it from the Persians, who apparently found it in India.
France, Paris, around 1300, Mirror Case: the Game of Chess, ivory, diameter 0.12 m, Louvre. See circle, Middle Ages, relief, and tondo.
Josef Hartwig (German, 1880-1955), manufactured by Bauhaus, Weimar, Chess Set, 1924, pear wood, natural and stained black, smallest: 7/8 x 7/8 x 7/8 inches (2.2 x 2.2 x 2.2 cm), largest: 1 7/8 x 1 1/8 x 1 1/8 inches (4.8 x 2.9 x 2.9 cm), Museum of Modern Art, NY. See wood.
Photo of Marcel Duchamp playing chess with Man Ray in Paris. See Dada.
Also see game theory.
chevet - The eastern end of a Gothic church, including choir, ambulatory, and radiating chapel.
Also see apse.
chevron - A zig-zag or V-shaped shape.
Examples of chevrons in works of art:
Kenneth Noland (American, 1924-), Shoot, 1964, acrylic on canvas, 103 3/4 x 126 3/4 inches (263.5 x 321.9 cm), Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, DC. See hard-edge.
Frank Stella (American, 1936-), Empress of India, 1965, metallic powder in polymer emulsion paint on canvas, 6 feet 5 inches x 18 feet 8 inches (195.6 x 548.6 cm), Museum of Modern Art, NY.
Also see diagonal and heraldry.
chi or qi - See feng shui.
chiastic - Principally a literary formation, characterized by an inversion of the order of words in two otherwise corresponding parallel phrases, as in the example: "She gave to the poor, to the poor gave she."
Also see composition.
Chicano art and Chicana art - Generally refers to the culture of Mexican-Americans, and is part of Latino and Latina art. Use of these terms is problematic because while in some regions of the American Southwest they suggest ethnic pride, in others they may be felt to be derogatory. Alternative terms might include Latin American art, Hispanic art, and Hispanic-American art.
Carlos Cortez (American, 1923-), De la tierra somos !no somos ilegales!, 1984, linoleum cut in black on paper, 36 x 24 1/4 inches (91.5 x 61.6 cm), Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, DC.
Carlos Cortez, To Fan the Flames!, 1984, linoleum cut in black on paper, 22 1/2 x 17 inches (57.1 x 43.2 cm), Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, DC.
Luis Jiménez (American, born 1940 in El Paso, TX, died 2006 near Taos, NM), [2 views] Vaquero, modeled 1980, cast 1990, cast in fiberglass and epoxy resin, 16 1/2 feet high, National Museum of American Art, Washington, D.C.
Luis Jiménez, Southwestern Pietà, 1983, 30 x 44 inches, lithograph, collection of Gary D. Keller Cárdenas. The Hispanic Research Center at Arizona State University offers further information about Luis Jiménez, this artwork and its context, along with viewpoints for interpreting it. See Pietà.
Yolanda López (American, 1942-), Portrait of the Artist as the Virgin of Guadalupe, 1978, oil pastel on paper, 32 x 24 inches, collection of the artist. See feminism and feminist art, flag, and mandorla.
Jesse Trevino (American, born Mexico, 1946-), Mis Hermanos, 1976, painting, National Museum of American Art, Washington, D.C. See Mexican art.
Jesse Trevino, Tienda de Elizondo, 1993, painting, National Museum of American Art, Washington, D.C.
Also see ethnic, Mesoamerican art, and Mexican art.
chigi - In Japanese architectural tradition, crossed beams extending upwards from both ends of the roof gables on a Shinto structure. Chigi originated in ancient times.
Also see diagonal and Japanese art.
chimneypiece - See mantlepiece.
chine collé - A technique in printmaking in which an impression is made on a surface at the same time as its opposite side is adhered to a heavier support in the procedure. This process permits printing onto such delicate materials as rice paper and linen, allowing the plate to produce finer details in the printed image than would normally be possible. Once an adhesive (traditionally a solution of rice flour and water) has been applied to the reverse side of the lighter material, the heavier support (typically, such a heavyweight paper as is typically used in printmaking) is placed upon it. In applying the pressure of the press, the reverse side of the lighter material adheres to the support as an image is simultaneously printed onto its obverse side.
(pr. sheen koh-LAY)
Rembrandt Peale (American, 1778-1860), George Washington, 1827, lithograph on chine collé, Worcester Art Museum, MA.
Chinese ink - See India ink.
Chinese white - See zinc white.
Ching - A Chinese dynasty (also called Qing and Manchu) which lasted 1644-1911.
Examples of works from this period:
Wang Hui (Chinese, 1632-1717), Three leaves from Landscapes and Flowers, 1672, ink and color on paper, National Palace Museum, Taipei. See botanical and chop.
Dao Ji (Shitao) (Chinese, 1642 - 1707 or 1708), Autumn Landscape, Ching dynasty, 1701, hanging scroll; ink and color on paper, signatures: Zing-Xiang chen ren, Dadizu, and Shitao; seals: five of the artist, two of the collector Ouyang Lin dated 1907, three of collectors in lower left, and four in the lower right corner, Worcester Art Museum, MA.
China, Chuba, Ching dynasty (1644-1911), 17th century, cut velvet with patterned wefts of multicolored silks, gold-wrapped silk, and peacock-feather filaments, width 55 inches (139.7 cm), Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY. See costume.
Yun Bing (Chinese, active c. 1670-1710), Flowers, from an album of 12 leaves, ink and colors on silk, Asian Art Museum, San Francisco, CA. See botanical.
China, Emperor's 12-Symbol Robe, 18th century, Ching dynasty, silk, metallic thread, 63 1/2 x 56 3/4 inches (161.29 x 144.15 cm), Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY. The emblems reserved for the emperor's ceremonial robes were the twelve imperial symbols seen on this garment: sun, moon, constellation, mountain, pair of dragons, bird, cups, water weed, millet, fire, ax, and the symmetrical "fu" symbol.
China, Ching dynasty, mark and reign of the Yongzheng emperor (1723-1735), Plate with Birthday Greeting, porcelain with underglaze blue and overglaze enamel decoration, Asian Art Museum, San Francisco, CA.
China, Ching dynasty, Throne, probably mid to late 1800s, lacquered wood, Asian Art Museum, San Francisco, CA. See furniture.
Also see Chinese art.
chinoiserie - A French word also used by English speakers, for any aspect of Chinese influence on the arts and crafts of Europe, whether produced by Chinese artists, by Europeans, or by others. This term is generally reserved for objects made in the late 17th and throughout the 18th centuries. This roughly coincides with a massive increase in exports from China following the lifting of China's ban on foreign trade in 1684.
In every age following the return of the Italian Marco Polo from his 13th century journey to China, Europeans experienced waves of interest in Chinese culture, variously seen as exotic, mysterious, and beautiful. With eastern Asia's distance from Europe adding to the appeal of its exports, as well as to the expense of obtaining them, a market in objects evoking Chinese styles thrived. Even when their authenticity as truly Chinese was simulated, Europeans' interest resulted in the production of objects displaying various sorts of imitation, emulation, and speculation, with many Oriental crafts designed specifically for the European taste.
In London throughout the 1740s, there was a revival of the enthusiasm for chinoiserie, which had been prevalent in the late seventeenth century. Chinoiserie taste was expressed in Western imitations or evocations of Chinese art, which were seldom accurate and always rendered with some deference to the European stylistic ideals of the time. The most notable examples of 17th century chinoiserie include Dutch Delft ceramics, French embroidery, and "japanned" furniture made in the Netherlands and in England. On furniture coated with this lacquer substitute, chinoiserie presented numerous subjects from the Middle Kingdom: pagodas, white cranes, and small Oriental figures.
Particularly popular in the Rococo period was a type of chinoiserie reflecting fanciful and poetic notions of China. Such objects included textiles, porcelains, and architecture. Jean-Antoine Watteau (French, 1684-1721) and François Boucher (French, 1703-1770) were among the French Rococo painters of Chinese subjects. Thomas Chippendale, the chief exponent in England, produced a unique and decorative type of furniture. In the American colonies Chinese objects and wallpapers were employed in the decoration of rooms, most notably in Philadelphia.
Although the popularity of chinoiserie faded as interest in Neoclassicism increased in the second half of the 18th century, there was a revival in the early 19th century, as seen in the extravagant architecture and decoration of the Royal Pavilion at Brighton, England. By this time, however, the Chinese taste can be considered as part of the emerging cult of the picturesque.
Parallels to chinoiserie have become increasingly common in today's global culture, as members of nearly every society are drawn to consume products from across the world. Witness the popularity of Japanese animation, Jamaican reggae, American fast foods, television, movies, etc. This trend is furthered by viewing such materials as the pages you find here.
Amoy (English, 19th century), Chinoiserie Foot Bath, 19th century, glazed ceramic, 8 1/2 x 19 x 13 7/16 inches, Minneapolis Institute of Arts.
Also see Chinese art, ethnic, multiculturalism, orientalism, world-view, and xenophilia.
chipping out - In lost-wax casting, using a blunt chisel to remove the investment.
chirality - See helix.
chisel - A cutting tool consisting of a metal shaft beveled at one end to form the cutting edge. A chisel is specially designed for cutting a particular material — wood, metal or stone.
Also see adze, chase, chipping out, ciseau, ciselet, drove, flat chisel, gouge, pick, pitcher, point, staple, and tooth.
chiton - A Greek tunic, the essential (and often only) garment of both men and women, the other being the himation or mantle; a kind of cape.
Greece, Chios, c. 510 BCE, Kore, polychromed marble, height 21 1/2 inches, Acropolis Museum, Athens. This kore wears a chiton. Many detales are intricately carved. The right arm originally reached out, and may have held an offering. Although marble statues were often painted in ancient Greece, very few examples of polychromey are as intact as this one. Another point of view on this kore.
Greece, Figure of a Warrior, late 6th century BCE, bronze, Worcester Art Museum, MA.
Greek, South Italy, Agrigento, Red-Figure Pelike, c. 450-440 BCE, terra cotta, Museo Archaeologico Regionale, Palermo, Sicily. This pelike is a wine vessel decorated with a scene from the myth of Dionysos, god of wine. On the front of the vase, the messenger god, Hermes, wearing a traveler's cloak, winged hat and shoes, entrusts the baby Dionysos to Ino, who will become his nurse. Here we see two chiton-wearing nymphs depicted on the other side of the vase. See mythology and pelike.
Also see chlamys, costume, fibula, Greek art, and peplos.
chlamys - A piece of ancient Greek costume, a short woolen cloak worn by men (and Amazons) and fastened on the right shoulder.
Also see himation, mantle, and peplos.
chlorophyll - Green pigment found in plants.
choir - The part of a church or cathedral where services are sung. It is usually east of the transept, and within the chancel, but may extend into the nave, and is often separated from the nave by a screen.
choose, choice - To choose is to select freely and after consideration; or to decide, form a preference, make a selection, or take an alternative. Choosing, along with ordering and expressing, is among the most fundamental activities of an artist. As a general rule, the more options one can compare and contrast, one's chances of selecting the most satisfactory option are increased.
A choice is an act of choosing, or the power to choose, or the person, place or thing chosen. Alternatively, "choice" is sometimes used as an adjective indicating high quality.
Also see achievement, arrange, blocks to creativity, brainstorm, change, composition, creativity, design, different, knowledge, motivation, philately, plan, thematic, time, and visualize.choose
chop - An impression made by an artist's or another person's seal, traditionally used as a kind of signature in the Far East. These seals have usually been made in square, circular and oval shapes, their impression surfaces carved to produce either a red (positive) or white (negative) mark.
Attributed to Han Gan (Chinese, active 742-756), Night-Shining White, T'ang dynasty, 8th century, ink on paper, 12 1/8 x 13 3/8 inches (30.8 x 34 cm), Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY. This is one of the most revered horse paintings in Chinese art. This short scroll displays a formidable provenance in the form of chops of its former owners. See equine art.
Also see Chinese art and Japanese art.
chroma - Among colors other than those in the black-white scale, the specific combination of a color's hue, intensity, and saturation; or the degree of a color's vividness.
chroma key - Refers to a level of chroma from high to low intensity and saturation. A high chroma key is bright and pure. A low chroma key is dull and murky.
Also see color schemes, contrast key, temperature key, tonal key, and value key.
chromatic pigments - All the pigment which are neither black, white, nor gray — the achromatic pigments.
Also see chroma.
chrome or chromium - A hard, brittle, bluish-white metal used chiefly in stainless steel and for electroplating other metals. Although chromium is an element, chrome can be either pure chromium or an alloy of it. Chromium's elemental symbol is Cr; atomic number 24; atomic weight 51.996; melting point 1,890°C; specific gravity 7.18; valence 2, 3, 6.
Sven Wingquist, designer, manufacturer: SKF Industries, Inc., USA, Self-Aligning Ball Bearing, 1929, chrome-plated steel, 1 3/4 x 8 1/2 inches (4.4 x 21.6 cm) diameter, Museum of Modern Art, NY. MOMA's site says, "Good design was considered by modernists as essential to the elevation of society, and in 1934, this ball bearing was among the first works to enter The Museum of Modern Art's design collection." See circle, design, and technology.
Richard Hunt (American, 1935-), Hero Construction, 1958, found steel, welded and chromed, height 175.3 cm, Art Institute of Chicago. See African American art.
chrome yellow - A particular yellow pigment.
chromolithography - A lithographic process using several stones or plates — one for each color, printed in register. The result is color prints, to be distinguished from colored prints that have the color hand-applied after printing.
George Catlin (American, 1796-1872), The Buffalo Dance, 1848, chromolithograph, from a set of prints: "Die Indianier Nord Amerikas", published in Brussels, Belgium. Such prints were effectively reproductions of paintings. See American Indian art and dance.
Rebecca Coleman (American artist), Raphael Tuck Company (publisher), A Glad New Year, Good Angels Guard Thee, a chromolithographed greeting card for the 1881-2 holiday season. This card's design was one of seven derived from a series of seven angel paintings by Coleman titled "Angel's Heads". The cards were very popular. On each of the seven designs, Tuck added a different message and verse. The verse on the back of this card:
I stand in the New Year light
And I look towards the Sun,
And I see through the aether bright
& fair, and Angelic one!
Tis Hope, tis the Morning Star! -
The angel of Days To Be!
To the gleam of its wings afar
turn, and I hope, for thee!
American, American Tobacco Company, Ty Cobb Baseball Card, Detroit Tigers, 1911, chromolithograph on recto, Library of Congress, Washington, DC. Packaged as a giveaway with tobacco, chewing-gum, and other products, such cards have always been collectible. See ephemera and memorabilia.
James Montgomery Flagg (American, 1877-1960), I Want You for U.S. Army, 1917, chromolithograph, 39 1/2 x 29 1/8 inches (100.4 x 73.8 cm), National Museum of American Art. Flagg's version of Uncle Sam is a self-portrait. Used for recruitment during World War I and again during World War II, his popular poster demonstrates the commanding effectiveness of a strong design and simple message. See icon.
Marcel Duchamp (French-American, 1887-1968), L.H.O.O.Q., 1919, rectified readymade, pencil on a reproduction — a chromolithograph, 7 3/4 x 4 7/8 inches, private collection, Paris. As if the addition of mustache and beard weren't enough of a poke at this most famous of paintings, the letters Duchamp penciled -- L.H.O.O.Q. — at the bottom of his altered image are meaningless in themselves, but when read aloud in French, make the sound of "Elle a chaud au cul," meaning, "She has a hot ass." See aerial perspective, anti-art, landscape, Renaissance, sfumato, text, and xenophobia.
chronology - The arrangement of events in the order in which they occured in time; sequential order. Or, a list, a survey, or exhibition which is sequenced in this way. Such linear narratives follow an easy logic, but can be oppressive. The most commonly employed alternative model is thematic.
Also see abecedarian, composition, excavate, horology, periodicity, rhythm, shard, and taxonomy.
chuban - In Japanese art tradition, a size of paper, used for prints, measuring about 11 x 8 inches, sometimes smaller.
Also see oban.