Relief Sculpture

What is a Relief Sculpture? A “relief” sculpture is a sculpture where the foreground elements are attached to and made of the same material as the background. “Relief” comes from the latin root “relevo”, which means “to raise”, as the sculpted elements of the artwork are “raised” up from the background.  These works are sometimes …

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Romanticism

What is Romanticism? Romanticism is a European cultural movement promoting the expression of feelings, individualism, the beauty of nature, and a melancholic past. Starting at the end of the 18th century and in vogue until the mid-19th century, Romanticism stood in stark contrast to the Age of Enlightenment’s celebration of reason. The movement first flourished …

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Self-Portrait

What is a Self-portrait? Self-portraiture is a sub-category of the artistic genre of portraiture. A self-portrait is a portrait of an artist realized by the artist himself or herself, mainly through the medium of painting, drawing, sculpture or photography.  A self-portrait is hardly a mere form of recording one’s appearance: it involves very often the …

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Still Life (Painting and Drawing)

Still life is the painting or drawing of inanimate objects.  The common or cliche example would be a “bowl of fruit”, but could include things such as other types of food, drinking glasses, vases, books, clothing, or natural items like flowers and plants, rocks and sea-shells, etc. History of the Still Life Genre Still life …

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Triptych

What is a Triptych? A triptych – from the Greek ‘tri’ meaning three and ‘ptyx’ meaning fold – is a work of art in three sections. Commonly a triptych is painted on wood, composed of a central panel flanked by two hinged pieces on either side. The term itself originates from the 18th century. Before …

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Trompe-L’oeil

Trompe-l’œil, literally ‘to deceive the eye’ in French, is often used to refer to a type of illusionistic painting. The term primarily denotes two modes in flat art: the use of perspective in wall or easel painting or quadratura, a type of illusionistic ceiling painting. In both instances, the viewer’s eye is manipulated through linear or …

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Vorticism

What is Vorticism? Vorticism is a modernist art movement that developed in 1914 in England, founded by the artist, critic and writer Wyndham Lewis. The Vorticists celebrated the energy of modern life, the imagery of the machine age and industrial progress, with all its destructive and experimental potential, rejecting the figurative British artistic tradition. Instead, …

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