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MT2 Terms
AHI1A
26
Art History
11/02/2011

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Term
black-figure
Definition
It was especially common between the 7th and 5th centuries BC, although there are specimens dating as late as the 2nd century BC. Stylistically it can be distinguished from the preceding orientalizing period and the subsequent red-figure pottery style.

Figures and ornaments were painted on the body of the vessel using shapes and colors reminiscent of silhouettes. Delicate contours were incised into the paint before firing, and details could be reinforced and highlighted with opaque colors, usually white and red. The principal centers for this style were initially the commercial hub Corinth, and later Athens. Other important production sites are known to have been in Laconia, Boeotia, eastern Greece and Italy.
Term
canon
Definition
aesthetic canon, is a rule for proportions, so as to produce a harmoniously formed figure

By extension, the norms of a certain epoch as to what is or is not considered beautiful may be called a canon of beauty.
Term
capital
Definition
the uppermost member of a column or pilaster crowning the shaft and taking the weight of the entablature
Term
caryatid
Definition
A supporting column sculptured in the form of a draped female figure.
Term
cella
Definition
1. Cell, in the sense of a monastic study-bedroom.

Enclosed body of a temple (as distinct from the portico), in which the image of the deity was housed. In early Greek and Roman architecture it was usually rectangular, with an entrance at one end; the side walls were often extended to form a porch. In larger temples the cella was sometimes open to the sky. In the Byzantine architectural tradition, the naos is the area of a central-plan church where the liturgy is performed.
Term
centaur
Definition
a member of a composite race of creatures, part human and part horse. In early Attic and Boeotian vase-paintings (see below), they are depicted with the hindquarters of a horse attached to them; in later renderings centaurs are given the torso of a human joined at the waist to the horse's withers, where the horse's neck would be.

This half-human and half-animal composition has led many writers to treat them as liminal beings, caught between the two natures, embodied in contrasted myths, both as the embodiment of untamed nature, as in their battle with the Lapiths, or conversely as teachers, like Chiron.
Term
contrapposto
Definition
The past participle of the Italian "to counterpose", contrapposto is also an art term which describes one particular pose an artist may give a sculpted or painted human figure. Specifically, the subject is depicted with his or her weight shifted to one leg, causing that leg to appear rigid with its knee locked, its foot flat on the ground and its hip thrust out a bit.

To visualize a real life example of the contrapposto "pose", imagine a mother holding a 9-month old baby on her hip. Serious weight bearing is going on there, and that hip is necessarily thrust out in order to keep the babe from sliding to the floor.
Term
frieze
Definition
A plain or decorated horizontal part of an entablature between the architrave and cornice. A decorative horizontal band, as along the upper part of a wall in a room.
Term
entablature
Definition
The upper section of a classical building, resting on the columns and constituting the architrave, frieze, and cornice.
Term
kore
Definition
A sculpture representing a standing young woman clothed in long robes, especially one produced in Greece before the fifth century b.c.
Term
kouros
Definition
A sculpture representing a standing nude young man, especially one produced in Greece before the fifth century b.c.
Term
metope
Definition
Any of the spaces between two triglyphs on a Doric frieze.
Term
mosaic
Definition
Mosaic art is art created by combining ceramics, glass, stones and other materials of different sizes to create a final work of art. The tradition of mosaic art dates to antiquity, even before the emergence of the Roman and Greek civilizations.

The mosaic is a surface art form, or a decoration across a surface such as a sidewalk or a wall.
Term
pediment
Definition
A pediment is a classical architectural element consisting of the triangular section found above the horizontal structure (entablature), typically supported by columns. The gable end of the pediment is surrounded by the cornice moulding. The tympanum, or triangular area within the pediment, was often decorated with sculptures and reliefs demonstrating scenes of Greek and Roman mythology or allegorical figures.
Term
peristyle
Definition
a peristyle is a columned porch or open colonnade in a building surrounding a court that may contain an internal garden

The peristylium was an open courtyard within the house; the columns or square pillars surrounding the garden supported a shady roofed portico whose inner walls were often embellished with elaborate wall paintings of landscapes and trompe-l'oeil architecture. Sometimes the lararium, a shrine for the Lares, the gods of the household, was located in this portico, or it might be found in the atrium. The courtyard might contain flowers and shrubs, fountains, benches, sculptures and even fish ponds.[3] Romans devoted as large a space to the peristyle as site constraints permitted; even in the grandest development of the urban peristyle house, as it evolved in Roman North Africa, often one range of the portico was eliminated, for a larger open space.
Term
satyr
Definition
are a troop of male companions of Pan and Dionysus — "satyresses" were a late invention of poets — that roamed the woods and mountains. In myths they are often associated with pipe-playing.

The satyrs' chief was Silenus, a minor deity associated (like Hermes and Priapus) with fertility
Term
stoa
Definition
covered walkways or porticos, commonly for public usage. Early stoae were open at the entrance with columns, usually of the Doric order, lining the side of the building; they created a safe, enveloping, protective atmosphere.

Later examples were built as two stories, with a roof supporting the inner colonnades where shops or sometimes offices were located. They followed Ionic architecture. These buildings were open to the public; merchants could sell their goods, artists could display their artwork, and religious gatherings could take place. Stoae usually surrounded the marketplaces of large cities.

The name of the Stoic school of philosophy derives from "stoa".
Term
tholos
Definition
A tholos (sometimes tholus, from Ancient Greek θόλος) is an ancient Roman feature found in the macellum. It has been suggested that the tholos, well provided with water and drains, was where fish were sold, although other uses for the central tholos have been suggested, such as the place where official weights and measures were held for reference or as shrines to the gods of the market place. Some macella had a water fountain or water feature in the centre of their courtyard instead of a tholos structure.
Term
white-ground
Definition
White-ground technique is a style of ancient Greek vase painting in which figures appear on a white background. It developed in the region of Attica.
Term
Archaic
Definition
(800 BC – 480 BC) was a period of ancient Greek history that followed the Greek Dark Ages. This period saw the rise of the polis and the founding of colonies, as well as the first inklings of classical philosophy, theatre in the form of tragedies performed during Dionysia, and written poetry, which appeared with the reintroduction of the written language, lost during the Greek Dark Ages. The term archaic covers these cultural aspects as well.

The sharp rise in population at the start of the Archaic period brought with it the settlement of new towns and the expansion of the older population centres. The Archaic period is also characterized by the spread of colonization along the Mediterranean and Black Sea coasts that began about 800 B.C.
Term
Corinthian
Definition
The Corinthian order is one of the three principal classical orders of ancient Greek and Roman architecture. The other two are the Doric and Ionic. When classical architecture was revived during the Renaissance, two more orders were added to the canon, the Tuscan order and the Composite order. The Corinthian, with its offshoot the Composite, is stated to be the most ornate of the orders, characterized by slender fluted columns and elaborate capitals decorated with acanthus leaves and scrolls.

Proportion is a defining characteristic of the Corinthian order: the "coherent integration of dimensions and ratios in accordance with the principles of symmetria" are noted by Mark Wilson Jones, who finds that the ratio of total column height to column-shaft height is in a 6:5 ratio, so that, secondarily, the full height of column with capital is often a multiple of 6 Roman feet while the column height itself is a multiple of 5. In its proportions, the Corinthian column is similar to the Ionic column, though it may be made more slender, but it stands apart by its distinctive carved capital. The abacus upon the capital has concave sides to conform to the outscrolling corners of the capital, and it may have a rosette at the center of each side.
Term
Doric
Definition
In their original Greek version, Doric columns stood directly on the flat pavement (the stylobate) of a temple without a base; their vertical shafts were fluted with 20 parallel concave grooves; and they were topped by a smooth capital that flared from the column to meet a square abacus at the intersection with the horizontal beam (entablature) that they carried. The Parthenon has the Doric design columns.

Pronounced features of both Greek and Roman versions of the Doric order are the alternating triglyphs and metopes. The triglyphs are decoratively grooved with three vertical grooves ("tri-glyph") and represent the original wooden end-beams, which rest on the plain architrave that occupies the lower half of the entablature.
Term
Geometric
Definition
Geometric art is a phase of Greek art, characterised largely by geometric motifs in vase painting, that flourished towards the end of the Greek Dark Ages, circa 900 BCE to 700 BCE. Its centre was in Athens, and it was diffused amongst the trading cities of the Aegean.

Linear designs were the principal motif used in this period. The meander pattern was often placed in bands and used to frame the now larger panels of decoration. The areas most used for decoration by potters on shapes such as the amphorae and lekythoi were the neck and belly, which not only offered the greatest liberty for decoration but also emphasized the taller dimensions of the vessels.[5]
Term
Hellenistic
Definition
Hellenistic period and dating from 323 BC to 146 BC

Hellenistic sculpture repeats the innovations of the "second classicism": perfect sculpture-in-the-round, allowing the statue to be admired from all angles; study of draping and effects of transparency of clothing; suppleness of poses

The term Hellenistic is a modern invention; the Hellenistic World not only included a huge area covering the whole of the Aegean, rather than the Classical Greece focused on the Poleis of Athens and Sparta, but also a huge time range. In artistic terms this means that there is huge variety which is often put under the heading of Hellenistic Art for convenience sake.

Term
Ionic
Definition
The Ionic order originated in the mid-6th century BC in Ionia, the southwestern coastland and islands of Asia Minor settled by Ionian Greeks, where an Ionian dialect was spoken. The Ionic order column was being practiced in mainland Greece in the 5th century BC. The first of the great Ionic temples was the Temple of Hera on Samos, built about 570 BC–560 BC by the architect Rhoikos. It stood for only a decade before it was leveled by an earthquake. It was in the great sanctuary of the goddess: it could scarcely have been in a more prominent location for its brief lifetime. A longer-lasting 6th century Ionic temple was the Temple of Artemis at Ephesus, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.

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. Originally the volutes lay in a single plane (illustration at right); then it was seen that they could be angled out on the corners. This feature of the Ionic order made it more pliant and satisfactory than the Doric to critical eyes in the 4th century BC: angling the volutes on the corner columns, ensured that they "read" equally when seen from either front or side facade.
Term
Orientalizing
Definition
the art of Anatolia, Syria, Assyria, Phoenicia and Egypt, which started during the later part of the 8th century BCE.[dubious – discuss] It encompasses a new, Orientalizing style, spurred by a period of increased cultural interchange in the Aegean world. The period is characterized by a shift from the prevailing Geometric style to a style with different sensibilities, which were inspired by the East. The intensity of the cultural interchange during this period is sometimes compared to that of the Late Bronze Age.

During this period, the Assyrians advanced along the Mediterranean coast, accompanied by Greek mercenaries, who were also active in the armies of Psammeticus in Egypt. The new groups started to compete with established Greek merchants. In other parts of the Aegean world similar population moves occurred. Phoenicians settled in Cyprus and in western regions of Greece, while Greeks established trading colonies at Al Mina, Syria, and in Ischia (Pithecusae) off the Tyrrhenian coast of Italy. These interchanges led to a period of intensive borrowing in which the Greeks adapted cultural features from the Semitic East into their art.