Art dictionary

In our art dictionary you will find explanations of the most important techniques, epochs and technical terms from the world of art!

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  • A

    • A.P.

      Artist's Proof, proof for the artist to grant the "Bon à tirer" (Good to print).

    • Abstract Paintings

      Designation for the painting and sculpture detached from the representational portrayal, which spread from around 1910 in ever new style variations across the whole western and parts of the eastern world. Russian painter Wassily Kandinsky, born in 1866, is considered to be the founder of abstract art. Among other important artists of abstract art are K.S. Malewitsch, Piet Mondrian, and others.

    • Africa

      Collective term for the artistic creations of the tribes and ethnic groups of sub-Saharan Africa. African ancestral sculptures, magical figures and masks are deeply rooted in religious and mythical tradition.

      The people of Ashanti (Ghana today) developed significant goldsmith's art by its gold wealth. Wood carvings of Ashanti artists (mother and child figures, fertility dolls) are well-known as well.

      For centuries, Benin (now Nigeria) has been ruled by powerful kings called obas. The obas were absolute rulers, who considered to be of divine origin. The heirs had a responsibility to preserve their memory. Large bronze altars and impressive head sculptures became a reminding heritage of the following generations. The bronze heads of excellent workmanship, cast using the lost wax process - the oldest date back to the 15th and 16th centuries - are outstanding evidence of African art.

      Similarly famous are the shoulder masks of Baga in the West African country Guinea which can weigh up to 60 kg and the terracotta heads of Yoruba in Ife (Nigeria) which date from the 10th to 13th century.

      The Kabyle, Guanche and Tuareg are the Berber tribes located in Northwest Africa. The art of Berber is characterized by abstraction and spontaneous creativity. The exceptional vitality of the Berber art is proving itself in assimilating into modern art movements.

      In the manufacture of jewelry, the abstract geometric motifs are made as individual pieces and connected to long chain strands. The jewelery creations made of silver are especially popular and attractive.

    • Akkadian

      Around 2340 B.C. king Sargon, who came from the ancient city of Kish, south of Baghdad, subdued the Sumerians who lived in the fertile land between the Euphrates and Tigris rivers. Akkad became the capital of Mesopotamia. It extended from the southwest Iran through Armenia to the Black Sea. Its leaders were the rulers of the world and god-kings. This claim to power was also reflected in the art. The main subject was the royal triumph, which was shown on illustrated scrolls or stelae. The life-size statues of the rulers in copper or bronze were characterized by great attention to detail.

    • Alabaster

      Marble-like, easily worked stone for sculptures, vases, etc. It was already commonly used in Ancient Egypt.

    • Algraph

      Planographic printing method with aluminum plates instead of lithographic stones. The process was invented in the late 19th century.

      Related links:

    • Alu-Dibond

      This form of presentation comes from the world of professional photographers and exhibition organizers. More and more artists create their works for this aluminum carrier in high-tech composite. The metallic surface create a synthesis with the colors. White image areas are shimmering matt-metallic, depending on the light source. They let the picture look classy and puristic. Thanks to the direct color pigmentation the details are rendered accurately. Alu-Dibond is durable and resistant.

    • American Realism
    • Aquagravure

      The aquagravure is a printing method which allows the artist to give his graphic work a three-dimensional structure. A designed by the artist mould is placed in a tub with thick paper pulp, which is drained and dried in the course of several days under high pressure. The result is a pulp sheet, which has taken the form of the template to the finest structures. Aquagravures are often further improved sheet by sheet. In this way, they are unique in two respects: not only the final processing, but the artist's "canvas" itself is an exclusive piece of art.

    • Art casting

      Collective term for all casting processes that ars mundi carries out with the help of specialized art foundries.

      Cast stone
      Equivalent of artificial marble, with the difference that the substitute stone in powder form is used instead of marble powder.

      Cold cast bronze
      Bronze powder bound by a polymer. By special polishing and patination techniques the surface of the casting gets a look that corresponds to the bronze.

      ARA wooden copy
      In order to guarantee absolute fidelity to the original, an artificially manufactured imitation wood is used as a base material which has typical wood characteristics: density, workability, color and surface structure.

      Ceramic casting
      As a rule castable clay is used in ceramic casting, which then is fired and possibly glazed. Plaster molds are often used instead of the usual rubber molds in ceramic casting and in porcelain production.

      Bronze casting
      In this case, the thousand-year-old lost-wax technique is used. It's the best, but also the most complex method of producing sculptures.

      Related links:
      Bronze casting
      Lost-wax casting technique

    • Art Déco

      Art Déco is the term used for craft style in the period from 1920 to 1940, which has such a close affinity to Art Nouveau.

      The intention was to preserve the spectacular brilliance of the pre-war period. A highlight was the „Exposition internationale des Arts décoratifs“ in Paris in 1925. Straight vertical and horizontal lines and subtle colors dominated. There was a deliberate decision to work with industrially manufactured materials.

      Fundamentally Art Déco meant a stylization of the design with the need to combine functionality with aesthetic quality at the design phase.

    • Art Nouveau

      Art Nouveau, known as Jugendstil in Germany, is a term for the art in 1890-1910. The name originates from the Munich-based magazine "Jugend" (Youth) founded in 1896. Internationally, the style is known as Art Nouveau (France), Modern Style (England) or Secession (Austria).

      The Art Nouveau conquered all of Europe and there were created countless objects whose spectrum ranges from painting, applied arts to architecture. The Art Nouveau requirement was the artistic creation of everyday objects, that is beauty and practicality should be combined with each other. The desired unit of the artistic ability could only be achieved by individually expressed design, which allowed Art Nouveau to become an early stage of modernity. The essential characteristic of the Art Nouveau is a linear, often asymmetrical ornamentation whose models are to be found particularly in nature and flora.

      Major Art Nouveau centers were formed in Munich, Darmstadt, Brussels, Paris and Nancy (Glass Art by Emile Gallé). The Viennese architecture of that time was determined by Otto Wagner and J. Hoffmann. Gustav Klimt created paintings that gave sensual form to the spirit of the Art Nouveau.

      Related links:
      Art Déco

    • Art print

      Collective term for the various procedures to reproduce works of art. Also a designation for a paper type suitable particularly for art prints with a matt or glossy surface.

    • Art Watch

      The term for watches designed by artists or with artists motifs. Famous Art Watch editions by such artists as Victor Vasarely, Andora, Friedensreich Hundertwasser and others, which were offered by ars mundi, were sold out within a short time after the release and are now sought-after among collectors.

    • Artificial marble

      Marble powder bound by a polymer. Artificial marble is characterized by a fine white surface that comes very close to marble.

      Related links:

    • Artist's multiple

      Designation for an art object (sculpture, installation), which is produced according to the will of the artist in multiple copies in a limited and numbered edition.

      Artist's multiple contributed to "democratization" of art as the work was made available and affordable for a wider audience.

    • Assyria

      The Assyrian art is the art of powerful Assyrian Empire in the Middle East of the 2nd millennium B.C.

      Already in Old Assyrian period, it could be seen that the preference of the Kings was to build new residential cities or rebuild the existing ones and to use architectural and decorative forms, similar to Imperial. The statuary art represented gods, kings and senior officials. Reliefs and murals showed the rulers in battles, on the hunt and in ritual acts. From the 11th century B.C. obelisks were popular base for reliefs.

      In minor arts, ivory works reached a high standard. In stamp art, the seal and cylinder seal have gained increasing importance. They were made mostly of glass, obsidian or faience.

    • Aztecs

      Indian tribe, that penetrated into the central highlands of Mexico at the beginning of the millennium A.D. and founded the city of Tenochtitlán in 1325. Through diplomacy, alliances and trade they spread their dominion further and further. It stretched from the Atlantic Ocean to southern Mexico and Guatemala.

      Typical of the Aztec art are the monumental stone sculptures, only a few of which have survived. The 25-ton stone calendar, 3.6 meters (12 feet) in diameter is famous for its representation of the world age and the earth god Tlaltecuhtli.

      The Aztecs were particularly skilled in the production of masks and shields of turquoise, mother-of-pearl, jet and conch shell.

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  • B

    • Babylonia/ Sumer

      The ruined city in Mesopotamia, on the Euphrates river. It was firstly mentioned at the end of the third millennium B.C. At the beginning of the second millennium the city developed into the capital of Babylonia and the cultural center of the entire Near Eastern world. The Hammurabi's reign, around 1700 B.C., is based on the importance of the god Marduk, who was revered throughout the Near East. The city experienced its biggest growth under Nabopolassar (626-605 B.C.) and Nebuchadrezzar II (605-562 B.C.).

      The Babylonian art is represented by just a few works. Basalt and marble reliefs as well as diverse cylinder seals have been retained. The lion from the Processional Way at the Ischtar Gate in Babylon are now to be found in the Louvre in Paris.

      Related links:
      Sumerian art

    • Baroque/ Rococo

      Epochal term for the art of the 17th century. Baroque art style that emanated from Rome in 1600 permeated fine arts, literature and music practically all over Europe within a very short time and lasted until 1770 in the fine arts. The last phase is generally characterized by the rococo.

      Characteristic features include: the pulsating movement of all forms, the abolition of boundaries between architecture, painting and sculpture, that resulted in typical for the era synthesis of the arts, and especially in specific handling of light, which became an important artistic component. The subordination of the part to the whole led to the emergence of a single and, at the same time, dynamic space, which comes into full effect in the magnificent buildings of its time.

      The Baroque art, with its tendency towards greatness, magnificence and rushing abundance clearly reflects the desire for representation, which was a concern of secular and ecclesiastical, especially Catholic customers strengthened through Counter-Reformation of that time. In painting, characteristic features of the Baroque, are manifested in the altar and ceiling painting, history and portrait.

      The area of the sculpture is typically represented by such artists as Anthony van Dyck, Peter Paul Rubens, Gian Lorenzo Bernini and others.

      Related links:

    • Bauhaus

      The School of Fine and Applied Arts founded by Walter Gropius in Weimar in 1919. In the Manifesto published in the same year, Gropius called for the unity of Fine Arts under the guidance of architecture. The aim of the design was supposed to be the clarity, objectivity, practicality and alignment with the technology conditions. The employees of Walter Gropius were Lyonel Feininger, Paul Klee, Oskar Schlemmer, Wassily Kandinsky and others. In 1925 the Bauhaus moved to Dessau, where Hannes Meyer (in 1928) and Mies van der Rohe (in 1930) took over the management. It was closed under pressure from the Nazis in 1933.

      Due to the artistic teaching methods and modern design, strong trends that emanated from the Bauhaus, were indicatory far beyond Germany.

    • Beaten Metal
    • Belle Époque

      The term for the time of heightened awareness of life in France in the early 20th century.

    • Biedermeier

      Art and culture in the period from 1815 to approx. 1860, between romanticism and realism in German-speaking countries. The epoch took its name from the weekly "Fliegende Blätter", where the poems by Swabian schoolteacher Gottlieb Biedermaier were regularly published between 1855 and 1857.

      The painting of this period was determined by intimate, comfortable motifs. The masters of Biedermeier style were Carl Spitzweg, J. P. Hasenclever, G. F. Kersting among others. Ludwig Richter distinguished himself as an excellent illustrator.

      After the German Centennial Exhibition 1906 in Berlin, the term "Biedermeier" established to describe fashion and simple, no-frills but high quality furniture.

    • Blauer Reiter

      The Blue Rider (Blauer Reiter) was a group of German expressionist artists founded by Wassily Kandinsky and Franz Marc in Munich in 1911.

      The name was originally the title of the painting created by Kandinsky and at the same time the title of the almanac published by Kandinsky and Franz Marc.

      With the beginning of World War I, the Blue Rider dispersed.

    • Bodhisattva

      In Buddhism: a human being who has attained enlightenment.

      A frequent theme in Buddhist art of India, Tibet and Nepal. Bodhisattvas are depicted as sculptures made of stone or bronze and decorated with elegant jewelery.

    • Bronze

      An alloy of copper with other metals (especially with tin) used since ancient times.

      Bronze casting:

      When casting bronze, artist usually applies the lost-wax technique which is dating back more than 5000 years. It's the best, but also the most complex method of producing sculptures.

      Sculpture "The Book Reader" by Ernst Barlachs is shown here as an example:

      Ernst Barlach: Sculpture 'The book reader'

      Ernst Barlach 'The Book Reader' - Lost Wax Casting Technique Part 1

      First, the artist forms a model of his sculpture. It is embedded in a liquid silicone rubber composition. Once the material has solidified, the model is cut out. The liquid wax is poured in the negative mould. After cooling down, the wax casting is removed from the mould, provided with sprues and dipped into ceramic mass. The ceramic mass is hardened in a kiln, and the wax flows out (lost mould).

      Ernst Barlach 'The Book Reader' - Lost Wax Casting Technique Part 2Now we finally have the negative form, into which the 1400 ° C hot molten bronze is poured. After the bronze had cooled down, the ceramic shell is broken off and the sculpture comes to light.

      Ernst Barlach 'The Book Reader' - Lost Wax Casting Technique Part 3Now the sprues are removed, the surfaces are polished, patinated and numbered by the artist himself or, to his specifications, by a specialist. Thus, each casting becomes an original work

      For lower-grade bronze castings, the sand casting method is often used which, however, does not achieve the results of more complex lost wax technique in terms of surface characteristics and quality.

      Related links:
      Sand casting

    • Bronze casting

      When casting bronze, artist usually applies the lost-wax technique which is dating back more than 5000 years.

      First, the artist forms a model of his sculpture. It is embedded in a liquid silicone rubber composition. Once the material has solidified, the model is cut out. The liquid wax is poured in the negative mould. After cooling down, the wax casting is removed from the mould, provided with sprues and dipped into ceramic mass. The ceramic mass is hardened in a kiln, and the wax flows out (lost mould). Now we finally have the negative form, into which the 1300° C hot molten bronze is poured. After the bronze had cooled down, the ceramic shell is broken off and the sculpture comes to light. Now the sprues are removed, the surfaces are polished, patinated and numbered by the artist himself or, to his specifications, by a specialist. Thus, each casting becomes an original work.

      For lower-grade bronze castings, the sand casting method is often used which, however, does not achieve the results of more complex lost wax technique in terms of surface characteristics and quality.

      Related links:
      Sand casting
      Lost-wax technique

    • Brücke

      “Die Brücke” (The Bridge) was a group of German expressionist artists founded in Dresden in 1905.

      Founding members were Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, Erich Heckel and Karl Schmidt-Rottluff. Later they were joined by Max Pechstein, Otto Mueller and Emil Nolde.

      Their aim was to overthrow the tradition and academicism and "attract all revolutionary and restless forces". Working together very closely the artists created numerous images in bright colors, reduced forms and expressive dark lines. Inspired by the graphics of Edvard Munch they turned especially to the woodcut.

      In 1911, the Brücke painters moved to Berlin, where in 1913 the group finally dissolved due to disagreements over the Chronik der Brücke (Brücke chronicle) written by Kirchner.

    • Buddha / Buddhismus

      Buddha (the enlightened one, around 560 - 480 B.C.): preached his doctrine of salvation, which became world religions in the Hinayana, Mahayana and Tantrayana confessional branches. The image of Buddha became mandatory for all artists in the 1st – 2nd century.

    • Bust

      Sculptural representation of person's head and shoulders.

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  • C

    • Calligraphy

      The art of writing, where, in contrast to commonly used fonts, aesthetic creations are in the foreground.

      It had a special significance in the iconoclastic Islam, where it was regarded as the finest of the arts, because it was entrusted to the word of God.

      Calligraphy has also developed in China and Japan and is concidered to be an important form of artistic expression.

    • Carborundum

      In this printmaking technique, the artist sets granules succinct in synthetic resin on the surface of the printing plate and forms it according to his wishes. By heating the material combines with the plate. The resulting from it convexities, due to subsequent pressure, produce embossing patterns and structures on paper.

    • Carrara

      Town in Tuscany.

      Since Roman times, the famous pure white marble is extracted and processed here and in the nearby area (Pietrasanta). The city is famous for the Academy of Fine Arts. Michelangelo himself went to the quarries of this area to acquire "statuario", the marble for his sculptures.

    • Celts

      The Celtic art emerged under the influence of Etruscan and Scythian elements along the mountain range from the Marne area to Bohemia in the 5th century B.C.
      v. Chr. entlang der Mittelgebirge vom Marnegebiet bis nach Böhmen.

      The burial finds indicated that the products of Celtic art creations were usually sophisticated handcrafts and had different regional characteristics. In the Middle Rhine region and in Central Franconia plant motifs predominated while in Eastern Bavaria and in Austria abstract geometric patterns prevailed.

      The Celtic art in England fell increasingly under the Roman influence towards the end of the 1st century B.C, while in Ireland the original culture of the Celts could assert itself until the first millennium A.D.

    • Ceramic

      Designation for the objects made from fired clay.

      Clay, which is easy to shape when wet is the starting material for the oldest crafts of mankind. The ceramists from Greek antiquity produced artistic masterpieces.

      The Böttger stoneware, a precursor of the porcelain, developed from ceramics at the beginning of the 18th century in Meissen. Vases and decorative objects made of ceramics are as popular today as ever, especially when they are created by skilled craftspeople.

      Related links:

    • Certificate

      A document which provides details about the history and production techniques of an object.

      In case of limited editions the certificate contains the rank of the limited edition, as well as a limiting number of the encountered exemplar.

    • China

      The earliest evidence of Chinese art is the finds from the Late Neolithic (around 5000-2000 B.C.) Honan and Lungshan cultures named after their localities. The art forms of the Shang Dynasty (16th century to 11th century B.C.) are made from religious bronze objects, bronze weapons, pottery and jade carvings, which were excavated in the area of today's Changzhou. During the Chang-kuo period (481 – 222 B.C.), the independence of the feudal lords led to the flourishing luxury in the princely tombs. The bronze mirror, glockenspiels and head masks which defended from demons as well as wooden figures, jade carvings and described silk scarves were excavated in the province of Hupeh (Hubei).

      Western Han Dynasty (206 B.C. – 9 A.D.)
      China's supremacy in Central Asia is testified to by numerous archaeological finds. Amongst the most important was the burial suit of Princess Tou Wan of 2160 pieces of jade sewn together with gold thread, discovered in a burial mound, 150 km southwest of Beijing in 1968. In addition to numerous grave goods, the famous lamp of Mancheng and a bronze sculpture of a palace maid gilded with gold were also discovered there. Stone reliefs and murals depict historical themes and bear witness to the high level of art of this period.

      Six Dynasties Period (221–589)
      In the third century Buddha and Bodhisattvas appeared as a part of the décor on mirrors and as gold-plated small sculptures.

      Tang Dynasty (618 – 906)
      Under the Tang rulers a united China grew into a cosmopolitan empire. The sophisticated gold and silversmithing shows influences of foreign cultures. The presence of foreigners can also be seen in the ceramic tomb figures of this time.

      Song Dynasty (960–1279)
      The indicator for the painting of the Northern Song period is the development of a specifically Chinese landscape painting. During the Song period, the ceramics experienced an artistic highpoint.

      Yuan Dynasty (1279 - 1368)
      Although painting and calligraphy were not encouraged by the rulers, they developed to new heights.Towards the end of the Yuan period, the first blue and white porcelain emerged.

      Ming Dynasty (1368 - 1644)
      This period saw the emergence of the first book printing and the printing of color woodblock. Art connoisseurship and collecting increased. In painting, new levels of high performance have been reached. The Ming Dynasty of the 15th century is the golden age of blue and white porcelain and porcelain with copper or iron red underglaze painting.

      Ch'ing and Qing Dynasty (1644 - 1912)

      The art traditions of former periods were continued. As before, the painting played a significant role.The porcelain art of the period is of high quality. In addition to blue and white porcelain, opaque products from biscuit porcelain were increasingly manufactured. Chinese porcelain is a popular collection object since the 17th century.

    • Classic Modernism

      Collective term for the painters and sculptors of the 20th century, such as Pablo Picasso, Salvador Dalí, Joan Miró, Marc Chagall and others, whose works are the most recognized in our times.

    • Classicism

      The term for the art movements that refer to ancient, mostly Greek models.

      According to the current understanding, classicism is the epoch between 1750 and 1840 when the late Baroque was gradually replaced by the classically-orientated art. The great explorations of Greek art and architecture at that time awakened a true enthusiasm for antique models. The Glyptothek in Munich, the Panthéon in Paris, The New Guard House (Neue Wache) and the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin are just a few examples of the revived classical style.

      IThe leaders of the statuary art were such artists as Antonio Canova, Bertel Thorvaldsen, in Germany Johann Gottfried Schadow and Christian Daniel Rauch.

      In painting, the outstanding representatives of this style are Jaques-Louis David or J.A.D. Ingres.

    • Cloisonné

      A technique of enamel art, in which the compartments formed from metal strips are filled with enamel colours and glass paste.

      Since the time of ancient China and up until now, cloisonne is preferably used in manufacturing of handcrafted jewelry.

    • Cobra

      Name of an experimental art group founded in Paris in 1948.

      Cobra is an acronym for Copenhagen, Brussels, Amsterdam, the cities from which its members came. The group led by Karel Appel, Asger Jorn, Pierre Alechinsky and Corneille stated its commitment to informal painting, that included the elements of folklore, Nordic myths, primitive art and art brut.

      The the artists group was officially disbanded in 1951.

    • Codex

      see Kodex

    • Cold cast bronze

      Bronze powder bound by a polymer. By special polishing and patination techniques the surface of the casting gets a look that corresponds to the bronze.

    • Collage

      A picture in which the artist designes the motive from various materials, such as pieces of paper, wallpapers, fabric scraps, wire gauze etc. Thus, the work takes its extension into the third dimension.

    • Collotype

      The collotype is a printing method that is already more than 140 years old and yet it is unequalled to this day in many respects. It enables genuine halftones and impressive color fidelity, in addition, these reproductions are non-ageing over many decades and do not fade.

      The manufacturing is extremely complicated and requires true artists in their field. Each color is applied in a separate working operation. The reproduced graphics in this production process can be hardly distinguished from the originals even by experts. There is only a handful of artists in the world who have mastered this reproduction process. 

      For many connoisseurs, the collotype is the only alternative to the most unattainable and unaffordable original.

    • Copper

      Copper is the oldest metal known to mankind and used in crafts - at least since 8000 B.C - a whole epoch of the Neolithic period is named after it.

      This fascinating metal experienced an artistic highpoint with the copperplate engraving in the 16th century. Picasso appreciated this graphical method for its line sharpness and contributed to its revival today. Copper has firmly established itself also in the field of sculpture.

      Related links:
      Copperplate engraving

    • Copperplate engraving

      The art to carve out drawings on metal plates so that they can be printed.

      A smoothly polished metal plate, mostly made of copper, serves as a print carrier. The drawing is engraved with a burin as a tool for creating furrows. The resulting grooves are rubbed with color. After the bare parts of the plate are cleaned, the drawing can be transferred on paper.

    • Cubism

      Modern art movement. The term comes from the Latin word cubus = cube. The Cubists were inspired by a statement made by Paul Cézanne accoording to which the reality could be reduced to the cube, cone and ball. In terms of presentation they focused on the various perspectives of the image object.

      Masters of Cubism are Georges Braque, Pablo Picasso, Juan Gris, Fernand Léger. Alexander Archipenko is a sculptor among the Cubists.

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  • D

    • Dietz replica

      Günter Dietz developed a revolutionary method for the authentic reproduction of images, where not the usual printing inks are used, but the same original colors used by the artist. Depending on the artist's painting technique, up to 180 (!) various paint applications need to be applied in order to achieve a perfect replica of the original that also sensationally reflects the "relief" and pastosity of colour composition.

      Here are the examples of  'Couple at the Garden Table' by August Macke:

      Dietz-replica Inking

      Similarly, the material of the original carrier, such as reproduction on canvas, paper, wood, copper, parchment is always used.

      The result is a perfect, gridless reproduction that comes very close to the original in expressiveness and effect. Even museum specialists often can not distinguish the replica from the original. Therefore, a special security notice must be inserted, which is visible only under X-rays.

      The circulation of most of the Dietz replicas is limited, usualy to 950 copies. Each canvas replica is stretched onto a frame as the original, so you can retighten the canvas according to variations in room temperature and humidity. High-quality solid wood strips round off the image of every Dietz replica.

      Numerous masterpiece paintings of Rembrandt, Caspar David Friedrich, Claude Monet, Gustav Klimt and various others have been recreated by the Dietz Offizin. Famous modern artists such as Pablo Picasso, Salvador Dalí, Max Ernst, Friedensreich Hundertwasser, Joan Miró, Marc Chagall used the method developed by Günter Dietz to have replicas of their works produced.

      Press commentaries:

      “The Dietz System provides images as good as the originals. What the electronics did with the invention of Hi-Fi and stereo for music playback - here the graphic technology made up for visual art.“ (Die Zeit)

      “In theory there is no difference between the original and the Dietz replica. They should not be called reproductions, but facsimiles.“ (Newsweek)

      “For art printers all over the world remains unrealizable to this day, what managed only Dietz with the help of printing technology: The perfect reproduction of painted works. “ (Der Spiegel)

      Konrad Adenauer at the presentation of Dietz replica of the frieze "To the young St. Peter" (Bundeshaus Bonn)

      Konrad Adenauer in the Dietz Offizin

      Günter Dietz (on the left) and Marino Marini

      Günter Dietz and Marino Marini

    • Dry stamp

      Colorless press stamp which is often used by publishers as an identity symbol of an edition.

    • Drypoint

      A graphic technique, in which the drawing is incised directly into a metal plate with a hard-pointed steel needle - the "cold needle" waiving the etching process. The carving needle displaces the metal to the side, so that a burr is produced, which causes the typical fuzzy contour during printing.

      The drypoint is a further development of engraving.

      Related links:
      Copperplate engraving

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  • E

    • Edition/ Limitation

      Number of copies, castings or objects of an artwork made by artist, such as prints, photographs or multiples. Amount and distribution are determined by the artist, the publisher, and also by the technical process. Aside from the edition, as a rule, a certain number of AP copies is produced (Artist's proof = for the artist; in Germany it is called "Erstabzug" ("First printing")) or H.C. copies for the publisher (H.C. = Hors Commerce. Outside the trade). The edition is usually numbered and hand-signed by the artist in Arabic numerals, the E.A. copies - in Roman numerals. After printing of the circulation, the plates for further prints are made unusable. In the case of sculptures, the original wax model is usually destroyed.

      The strict limitation or control on the number of copies is an important and value-determining factor of a limited art edition.

      Related links:
      Artist's multiple
      Epreuve d'artiste (E.A.)

    • Egg tempera

      Technique using egg yolk diluted with water in combination with oils and resins.

    • Egypt

      Early Dynastic Period and Old Kingdom (3000 - 2160 B.C.)
      Even in the early days, around 3000 B.C., the Egyptian art found its own style. Rules for the representation, that had existed for 3000 years, were set. Text and picture formed a single unit. The beginning of the Old Kingdom, around 2600 B.C., is marked by the emergence of the Step Pyramid of Djoser in Saqqara, the first king's grave in the shape of a pyramid that was 545 x 280 meter tall and built entirely in stone. Relief and painting at that time served almost exclusivelyto to the survival of people in the afterlife.

      Intermediate Period and Middle Kingdom (2155 – 1650 B.C.)
      New art that resulted from the Old Kingdom art, that was rich in cultural highlights, arose after the reunification of the country under the rule of King Mentuhotep I in about 2040 B.C. The art of this period reached its peak through the portraits of the late Twelfth-Dynasty Kings Sesostris II and Amenemhet III. During the 13th dynasty and the subsequent domination by Asian invaders (Hyksos Period), the monumental art declined. Small sculptures such as hippos and glazed animal figures made of fired clay represented the hope for regeneration in the afterlife. The preferred burial gift was the scarab, often decorated with the name of the deceased, whose life after death it was intended to secure.

      New Kingdom (1550 – 1070 B.C.)
      The expulsion of "Hyksos"' was followed by a renewal of the spiritual life and the visual arts. The Temple of Amun in Karnak and impressive Avenue of the Sphinxes were built. Together with the Hatshepsut's Temple Terrace began the construction of a series of royal mortuary temples on the west bank of the Nile at Thebes. From the beginning of the Amarna Period and the reign of Akhenaten (Amenhotep IV) the colossal statues returned to more "human" measures. The king was no longer represented in his sublime divinity, but in his family circle with the symbol of sun rays. After the discovery of the tomb of Tutankhamun and the treasures it contained, we gained a deep insight into the art, culture and everyday life of an Egyptian pharaoh of the 18th Dynasty.
      Under the reigns of kings Seti I and Ramses II, with its Great Hypostyle Hall of Karnak, The Abu Simbel rock temple and others, Egypt experienced such construction activity that allowed no further increase. In sculpture, the stone was replaced by metal. Large bronze sculptures of the 22nd Dynasty finally segued to fullness of the gods and animal sculptures of the Late Period.

      Late Period (712 – 332 B.C.)
      During the Late Period of ancient Egyptian history, there was the tendency to imitate older works of art so it is difficult today to distinguish between an original of e.g. the Middle Kingdom and later "repetition" of the work. The way back to the origins was sought in the multispace tombs that emerged during the 26th Dynasty in Thebes. Here, all major religious scriptures of the past has been passed down to posterity.

      Graeco-Roman Period (332 B.C. – 395  A.D.)
      When in 332 B.C. Alexander the Great managed to expel the Persians from Egypt, he was celebrated as a liberator and was crowned as pharaoh in Memphis. After Alexander's death in 323 B.C., the empire started to collapse because of continuous succession disputes until finally Alexander's general Ptolemy took dominion over Egypt in 305 and founded the dynasty that had remained in power for 300 years.
      After the assassination of Ptolemy XIII in 48-47 B.C., his sister Cleopatra VII took over as sole ruler. The Roman general Julius Caesar, who had tried in vain to mediate between Cleopatra and her brother, finally got himself into trouble and was forced to burn the Egyptian fleet, which was anchored in Alexandria. Cleopatra gave birth to Caesar's son and tried to secure his claim to the throne. After Caesar's death, she aligned with Mark Antony, whose victories brought Egypt control over the Middle East for the last time. The clashes with Octavian, the future emperor Augustus, ended with a defeat for Mark Antony in 31 A.D. He went back to Cleopatra and they both committed suicide. Thus Egypt became a province of Rome.

    • El Dorado

      The legend of El Dorado came into being more than 400 years ago and was based on tradition of Indian tribe Musisca: the cacique of the Guatavita covered himself with gold dust, dived into the Guatavita Lake and washed off the gold. This news boosted the hunger for gold (gold rush) of the Spanish conquerors immeasurably and led to the destruction of the Chibcha cultures in today's Colombia.

      El Dorado was never actually found, but many adornments and utensils from the "The Sweat of The Sun" have survived the greed for gold and are now in the Gold Museum in Bogota.

    • Embossing

      As with a coin, other materials such as paper, cardboard, linen, leather and plastic can have relief designs embossed. Engraved printing plates are pressed onto the material under high pressure.

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    • Empire

      The Empire style developed in France under Napoleon I in the last decade of the 18th century and spread rapidly throughout Europe. Until about 1830 this style determined the decorative arts, furniture and fashion.

      The Empire style joined the classicism and in the combination of inner rigour and external splendor formed contrast to playful world of French Rococo. Typical characteristics of this style is the use of Greco-Roman and Egyptian elements. The buildings of the Empire style, such as the Tuileries Palace, the Elysée Palace, are characterized by directness, formal rigour and clarity.

    • Enamelwork

      Artistic works in which glass flux, colored with metal oxides, is fused onto the metal surface.

      The enamel art reached its peak in the Byzantine area in the Middle Ages. In Europe, the masters of enamel art vied for the favor of the royal courts. Outstanding examples of enamel art can be found in the Guelph Treasure (German: Welfenschatz) among others.

      Since the Art Nouveau, enamel technology is a domain of handmade jewelry manufacturing.

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    • Engraved gem

      A gemstone engraved with an image.

    • Epreuve d'artiste (E.A.)

      Certain copies of a graphic edition made for the artist.

      As these copies are created prior to printing and thus convey something of the creative atmosphere of the creation process, these sheets are particularly sought after by collectors. They are marked E.A. and usually numbered with Roman numerals.

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      Edition/ Limitation

    • Etching

      Further technique of сopperplate engraving. Here, the printing plate made of copper or zinc is coated with an acid-resistant etching ground. Then the artist draws his work with the sharp etching needle which allows the metal to be exposed at the locations that should be printed later. The lines of the drawings are deepened in the acid bath. After that, the printing run is carried out.

      Masterly etchings were created by Albrecht Dürer, Rembrandt, Marc Chagall, Pablo Picasso and others.

      This video demonstrates the example of how an etching is carried out by the artist Bernd Lehmann:

      Related links:
      Edition/ Limitation
      Copperplate engraving

    • Etching ground

      Name of the acid-resistant coating of the etching plate, in which the artist scratches his motives.

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    • Etruscan

      Works of art created by the Etruscans around 750-720 B.C.

      The Etruscans inhabited the territory between the Mediterranean Sea and the rivers Arno and Tiber. Their culture spread between the 7th and 5th centuries B.C. to the south (Rome and Campania) and in the north in the upper part of the Reno. The Etruscans created art in their own style: masks, canopic jars, vases, and other things.

      The bronze art of this period is proven by numerous finds. In addition to a series of naturalistic depictions a number of votive sculptures have been preserved, which in their overlong way of presentation anticipated modern Giacometti's sculptures.

    • Exclusive editions

      Graphic or sculpture edition that was initiated by ars mundi and is available only at ars mundi or at distribution partner licensed by ars mundi.

    • Expressionism

      Artistic movement that replaced the Impressionism in the early 20th century.

      Expressionism is the German form of the art revolution in painting, graphics and sculpture, which found its precursor in the works of Paul Cézanne, Vincent van Gogh and Paul Gauguin in the late 19th century. The Expressionists tried to advance to the basic elements of painting. With vibrant, unbroken colors in large areas and with the emphasis on line and the resulting targeted suggestive expressiveness they fought against the artistic taste established by bourgeoisie.

      The most important representatives of Expressionism were the founders of "Die Brücke" (The Bridge): Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, Erich Heckel, Karl Schmidt-Rottluff, Max Pechstein, Otto Mueller and Franz Marc, August Macke, among others.

      Masters of Viennese Expressionism are Egon Schiele and Oskar Kokoschka.

      The Fauvism is the French form of Expressionism.

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  • F

    • Facsimile

      Latin: 'make alike'.

      Largely faithful reproduction of an original document, e.g. old manuscripts and codices. (Facsimile edition).

    • Faience

      Objects made of clay with a colored glaze.

    • Fantastic realism

      Modern art movement that developed after 1945 with similarity to surrealism and created its own fantastically erotic, partly bizarre mode of expression. Such artists of the Viennese School as Arik Brauer, Ernst Fuchs, Rudolf Hausner, Wolfgang Hutter and Anton Lehmden are regarded as its main representatives.

      They practiced early fine art painting which was based on the Old Masters and thus clearly diverged from the main trends in contemporary painting. In the course of time, plenty of other artists have joined their manner of painting which in terms of content ranges from the visualisation of subconscious (Hausner) to the Old Testament motifs (Fuchs).

    • Fauvism

      Term used to designate a group of painters formed in 1905 by Henri Matisse.

      Similar to the German expressionism, where essential means of expression is considered unbroken, strong color applied without modelling should express the subjective emotions of the artist. Besides Matisse, the main representatives were Derain, Dufy, Rouault, Vlaminck and other artists.

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    • Fibula

      A pin used for stitching clothes in prehistoric times.

    • Foil stamping

      Technique used in letterpress printing to create metallic effects on the pictures and reproductions of manuscripts. Gold foil stamping is of particularly high quality.

    • French Bronze

      Cast zinc. (Zink cast iron)

    • Frequency-modulated print

      Printing process, in which the screening (distribution of colorful pixels) is determined by a computerised procedure.

      Frequency-modulated prints are characterized by particularly high-resolution detail and half-tone reproduction.

    • Fresco

      "A freso" to paint (on "fresh" plaster ) is a well-known technique used since ancient times, especially in the decoration of churches and palaces. A painting technique in which only those colors can be used which do not react with the fresh lime plaster. This requires a very quick and safe working, because it is a race against time: The color penetrates the fine grained primer, subsequent corrections are not possible. The color penetrates the fine grained primer, subsequent corrections are not possible.

      The fresco technique brings out colors of amazing luminosity – highly visible, especially after the extensive restoration of perhaps the most famous fresco of the history of art in the 80s and 90st: Michelangelo's ceiling frescoes on the Sistine Chapel.

    • Frottage

      Graphical method, when the paper is placed on a textured surface and then rubbed with graphite.

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  • G

    • Genre painting

      Representation of scenes of daily life in painting, which can be distinguished between peasant, bourgeois and courtly themes. The genre reached its peak and immense popularity in the Dutch painting of the 17th century. In the 18th century, especially in France, the courtly and gallant painting comes to the fore while in Germany the bourgeois character was emphasised.

    • Genre scenes

      Representation of typical scenes of daily life in painting, which can distinguish between peasant, bourgeois and courtly themes.

      The genre reached its peak and immense popularity in the Dutch painting of the 17th century. In the 18th century, especially in France, the courtly and gallant painting comes to the fore while in Germany the bourgeois character was emphasised.

    • Germanic scenes

      The earliest art of the Germanic tribes is documented by bronze artifects and embossed works of gold. The ornamentation is strictly geometrical, the figurative art focuses on the representation of people and animals. During the Iron Age, the ceramics became an important carrier of ornamentation. From the 5th century B.C. the Celtic influence on the art of the Germans could no longer be overlooked. Besides wood carving, the Germans also created sculptures in stone.

      The ornamentation of the animal style, which dominated all areas of artistic creation forms the culmination and conclusion of the prehistoric Germanic art.

    • Giclée

      Giclée = derived from the French verb gicler meaning "to squirt, spray".

      Giclée method is a digital printing process. It is a high-resolution, large-format printout on an inkjet printer with special different coloured or pigment-based inks (usually six to twelve). The colours are light-fast, that is, resistant to harmful UV light. They have a high richness of nuance, contrast and saturation.

      The Giclée process is suitable for real art canvas, handmade and watercolor paper and for silk.

    • Gilding

      Gold plating refers to the coating of metallic and non-metallic objects with gold, gold alloys and other decorative metal layers.

    • Glyptic

      Lapidary art.

      Related links:
      Engraved gem

    • Gobelin

      A tapestry knitted after an original artwork, produced in the royal Gobelins Manufactory in Paris that was founded in 1662 in the house of the dyer's family Gobelin.

    • Gold leaf

      Real gold that is hammered into thin sheets and used for gilding panel paintings, sculptures, book illuminations and also book edges.

    • Gothic

      The term for the period in Europe from mid-12th to the late 15th century with temporal, regional and stylistic differences in the individual countries.

      The originating area of Gothic is the historical region of Île-de-France in Paris, where since 1137 the choir of the church of Saint-Denis was built. The unification of space, that is, the nave, the choir and the transept form a unity in contrast to Romanesque, the resolution of the massive walls to skeleton construction with pointed arch, columns, pillars and windows with delicate ornaments as well as increased height of premises can be called as characteristic features of the Gothic cathedral. The Gothic sculpture was the first in the service of architecture. The column figures on the church portals were subordinated to the architecture. Only in 1400, the architecture detached itself from architecture which resulted in creating numerous devotional images and individual works.

      Elaborately designed carved altars were the highlight of the late gothic sculpture in Germany. Amongst the most important artists are among others Tilman Riemenschneider and Veit Stoss. The handicrafts reached its heyday in the Gothic period. The goldsmiths created precious monstrances, chalices, reliquaries and other small works of art made of ivory, rock crystal, various metals and wood.

    • Gouache

      Painting with opaque watercolor paints, to which white and a resinous binder are added. The layer of paint is quite thick, the colors are bright after drying.

    • Graffiti

      The term for spray painting in modern art whose origins are to be found in the street art (design of facades or trams).

      One of the most famous graffiti artists is the American painter Keith Haring, who died in 1990. With luminous colors and concise lines he made the graffiti art "capable of gallery quality".

    • Grano-lithography

      Patented, raster-free method of image reproduction based on collotype printing technique which was developed by Mathieu in Dielsdorf (Switzerland).

      Due to accurately fitting superimposed printing of up to 12 colors, it is ideal for replication of multicoloured painting masterpieces. The grano-lithographs of Paul Klee, Pablo Picasso, Marc Chagall are highly sought after by collectors.

    • Graphic

      Collective term for all works of fine art on paper. Printmaking particularly includes the works which have been reproduced by means of technical procedures such as aquatint, copper engraving, lithography, etching, serigraphy and others.

      In the original graphic, the printing plate is produced by the artist by hand or under his leadership and supervision. The print is "taken" from the artist (AP) and the edition is printed under his supervision. The sheets are inscribed, numbered and signed by the artist.

      Reproductive graphics is another important area of graphics. Here, an already existing work is "repeated" with the aid of modern reproduction techniques and new printing methods.

      Both, original graphic and reproductive graphics are interesting for the collector, however, the original graphic is rated higher as a rule. Yet without reproductive graphics, many masterpieces of painting would not be as popular as they are today.

      Related links:
      Copperplate engraving

    • Graphic prints

      The field of graphic arts, that includes artistic representations, which are reproduced by various printing techniques.

      Printmaking techniques include woodcuts, copperplate engraving, etching, lithography, serigraphy.

      Related Links:
      Copperplate engraving
      Serigraphy (Silk-screen printing)

    • Greece

      Minoan culture, Mycenean culture
      The Cretan art is also named Minoan art, after the legendary King Minos.

      Cretan-Minoan art is the art of Crete from about 2900 - 1600 B.C. (Minoan art) and the Mycenaean art of Crete and the Greek mainland from about 1600 - 1100 B.C., in Crete only to 1200 B.C.

      German archaeologist Heinrich Schliemann discovered significant remains of this culture in the shaft graves of Mycenae, that had their heyday in the 14th and 13th centuries B.C. A well-preserved testimony is the Lion Gate from the 13th century B.C.

      Splendidly decorated vases are the artworks of ceramics that have best survived the turmoil of millennia. Snake Goddess (around 1500 B.C.), a faience figurine, that has been discovered in the Temple Repositories of the Knossos palace are also famous. Bronze vessels of that time were primarily used in household. Daggers, swords and armor were then also made of bronze.

      The jewelery of the Cretan-Mycenaean ladies was made of gold, rock crystal, lapis lazuli, ivory, faience and glass.

      Geometric culture
      The geometric art developed as a continuation of the late Mycenaean art on the Greek mainland towards the end of the late 11th century B.C. Mathematically regulatory will of style entered the geometric art replacing natural Crete-Mycenaean formal language. Another new feature is the use of the ruler and the compass. The jewelry of this time is also based on strict geometric principles.

      Archaic culture
      The architecture developed from the temples of the 8th and 7th century B.C. Initially, mudbrick and wood were used for building, later the forms were transferred to stone. A monumental style developed in sculpture. Marble, bronze, clay and limestone were used as materials. Gods, heroes, victorious competitors were embodied in typical young nude statues. Gods or sacred figures were portrayed in clothes.

      In addition to sculpture there has also developed relief art, which was preferably used for decorating the temple.

      The statuettes made of clay and bronze appeared since the 6th century B.C.

      Classical culture (5th and 4th century B.C.)
      The beginning of the Greek Classical period falls in the stirring times of the great statesman Pericles. Thanks to his democratic politics Athens became the focal point of cultural life and artistic creation in ancient Greece.

      The classic architecture refined the shapes and proportions to perfection. The Temple of Zeus at Olympia, the Parthenon on the Acropolis of Athens and other major temples arose.

      In sculpture, the time of the Severe style began. The rigid forms of the earlier period were blown up, the human body was studied anatomically. Top performances of the Severe style include the Charioteer of Delphi and the Artemision Bronze, that was recovered from the sea by fishermen.

      A further increase brought the High Classical sculpture. Sculptors like Myron, Phidias and Polykleitos created sculptures that affect the statuary art to the present day. (discus thrower, Athena-Marsyas group, the heroes of Riace, etc.)

      In the 4th century, a romantic conception prevailed. Praxiteles and Lysippos determined the art of the time. Sculptures such as Hermes and the Infant Dionysus, Pouring Satyr and especially the Aphrodite of Cnidus are magnificent examples of the artistic conception of Classical Greece.

      With the conquests of Alexander the Great, the Greek art dominated in the Mediterranean and in the Orient. In the temple construction the Ionic and Corinthian style prevailed.

      Lysippos initiated the statuary art of the Hellenistic period. The temples like in Pergamon were richly decorated with statues. The Winged Victory of Samothrace was created at the beginning of the 2nd century B.C. and Venus de Milo – towards the end of the century. The Hellenistic sculpture experienced its endpoint and last increase with Laocoön Group. The painting of the period was determined by Apelles. The Hellenistic painters represented such themes as historical events, portraits and genre paintings.

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  • H

    • Hallmark


      An origin and brand sign which is used by artists to mark their castings.

      The contents of noble metals in a product is approved by an examination office stamp, which is used with artworks and jewellery made of noble metals.

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      Hallmark/ Hallmarking


    • Hallmarking

      Official mark on gold or silver objects to detect the fineness of precious metals.

    • Handmade paper

      High quality, handmade paper, which is preferably used for graphics.

      Handmade paper together with the frame is taken from the "vat" filled with paper pulp. The screen of the frame determines the structure of the paper. One distinguishes between Arches paper, a brighter, harder paper and Rives paper, a slightly yellowish, smoother paper.

      Laypeople can identify the types of handmade paper from the watermark, a vivid design that is fixed to the screen and pressed into the paper pulp.

    • Haptics

      Science of touch. In art, it means also the surface modeling of a sculpture that appeals to the tactile senses.

    • Hardygrafie

      Hardygrafie is a relief printing that was invented by the artist Hardy in limited edition in 1992. The basis of this technique is a handmade screenprint on which a relief with different transparent layers is formed with the help of a 20 ton press. Due to the consistently manual processing, each copy has small differences, thereby receives an original character. Each work receives a seal and is consecutively numbered and signed.

    • Heliogravure

      (from the Greek helios = sun) Photogravure.

      Manual gravure printing processes by means of photomechanical image transmission. The heliogravure was invented by Karl Klietsch in Vienna in 1878 and at the turn of the century was used extensively for the book illustrations. This processes is no longer applicable so frequently due to the expenditure.

    • Hindu art

      Approximately in 400 B.C. begins the change in Buddhism in India due to ancient pre-Aryan cults. It results in the rise of Hindu art with figurative murals in sensual and beguiling forms, sculptures that mainly glorify women, representations of the great gods Shiva and Krishna, as well as pretentious temples richly adorned with sculptures.

    • Hommage ŕ ...

      In honor of ...

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  • I

    • Iconography

      The knowledge and research of the content and meaning of pictorial representations in art history, mainly of Christian art.

    • Icons

      The cult images of the Eastern Churches that have become a popular collecting area for collectors in recent decades.

      The word 'icon' is derived from Greek and means 'image'.

      Main themes of icon painting are portraits of Christ as Almighty (Pantokrator) and the saints, especially the Virgin Mary, who is represented in more than 300 variations. The so-called 'holiday icons' are representations of the Orthodox holidays: Christmas, Easter, Pentecost.

    • Idealism/ Realism

      The 19th century trend of painting that originated in France. Gustave Courbet was regarded as the initiator of the realist movement.

      In Germany, Wilhelm Leibl and Hans Thoma were very enthusiastic about this style, which creatively interacted with reality. In the 20th century there have always been realistic tendencies, such as Nouveau Réalisme with artists like Arman and Jean Tinguely and the New Objectivity. New forms of realism emerged in the 1960s.

      The American realism was founded by a group of eight painters of the Ashcan School. Edmund Labonte, who was famous for his typically American motifs, depictions of people in architectural or scenic surroundings in static, non-action situations, joined later.

    • Illustrator

      An artist who depicts scenes from a story.

    • Impressionism

      The style of Impressionism that emerged in French painting in 1870 owes its name to the Claude Monet's landscape 'Impression, Soleil Levant'. After initial refusal it began a true triumphant advance.

      Such painters as Claude Monet, Edgar Degas, Edouard Manet, Auguste Renoir and others created motifs from everyday life, urban and landscape scenes in a bright, natural light.

      Impressionism can be seen as a reaction to the academic painting. The emphasis was not on content with its strict rules of painting structure, but on the object as it appears at any given moment, in an often random cut out. The reality was seen in its whole color variety in natural lighting. The studio painting was replaced by the open-air painting.

      The brightening of the palette and the dissolution of firm contours was accompanied by a new way of handling with color. Often, the colors were no longer mixed on the palette but side by side on the canvas so that the final impression lies in the eye of the beholder with a certain distance. In "Pointillism", (with such painters as Georges Seurat or Paul Signac) this principle was carried to the extreme.

      Outside France, Impressionism was taken up by such painters as Max Slevogt, Max Liebermann and Lovis Corinth in Germany, and by James A. M. Whistler in the United States.

      In sculpture, the impressionism expressed itself only conditionally. In the works of Auguste Rodin, who is considered one of the main representatives, you can see a resolution of the surfaces in which the play of light and shadow is included in the artistic expression. Degas and Renoir created sculptures as well.

    • Inca

      Originally an imperious title, later, the name of the inhabitants of the Inca Empire in the highlands of Peru.

      From the very outset towards the late 11th century, the Inca Empire was located only in the city of Cuzco, northwest of Lake Titicaca. It had expanded continuously and reached an area that extended from the present northern border of Ecuador to the Rio Maule in Chile until the arrival of the Spaniards in 1532.

      The Inca constructed great buildings, where practicality and usability were in the foreground. The ornaments were only on gates and niches. In contrast, goldsmith's and ceramic art brought forth an extensive heritage that can be admired today in museums all over the world.

    • India

      The art on the Indian subcontinent with the present states of India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka vary depending on landscape and religion. The Indian art is one of the most important complexes of the world art and is determined by the religion. Its most outstanding achievements include the illustrations of intimate contemplation and sensual vitality. Four culturally different phases string together:

      The Harappan culture of north-western and northern India in the 3rd - 2nd century B.C., the periods of Indian antiquity up to the Middle Ages, the Indo-Islamic periods since the muslim conquests from the 12th and 13th centuries and modern period, that initiates the Hindu renaissance and finally flows into the modern international flair.

      The Harappan culture (ca. 2500 - 1500 B.C.) is the first advanced civilization on Indian soil.

      A renowned Brahmin caste society was formed after the arrival of Aryan tribes in the Vedic period from about 1200 B.C. and was the basis of later Hindu and Buddhist religions of India. Besides the early iron implements, here have been found finely painted ceramics.

      The Mauryan Period (4th - 2nd century B.C.) determined the early phase of state building and coincided with the the emergence of Buddhism. The first monumental architectonic and sculptural works, animal figures of the highest sculptural maturity arose during this time. The artistic styles of stupas developed in the early Buddhist and early Hindu periods, (about 100 - 75 B.C.). The Buddhist art styles forego the human representation of Buddha, in Hinduism idols emarged from the outset.

      The early Hindu and Buddhist picture cult fully developed in the Satavahana period from the 2nd - 3rd century A.D.

      The Gupta period (320 - 6th century) saw the emergence of the Buddha image with great inner composure. In Hindu art, the representations of Shiva and Krishnu were created with a soft modeling and well-balanced proportions.

      Medieval periods (7th - 13th century). The common religious traditions of India proved to be a culturally unifying foundation. The hindu trinity of Vishnu, Shiva and Brahma was the subject of artistic creation. The Devi and Shakti have acquired a special position as female cosmic forces in the Tantric art. The esoteric direction of Tantrayana, in the Pantheon of which the Bodhisattvas and Taras dominated, was formed in Buddhism towards the end of the 1st millennium. The temples of that time, decorated with figurative reliefs, were impressive.

      Indo-Islamic art developed from the 12th century, however, remained dominated by the Indian architects. The Mughal dynasty, founded by Babur in 1526, started to develop monumental fortress, palace and garden architecture, that was characterized by the use of precious materials (red sandstone, white marble).

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    • Initials

      The first letter of a book chapter highlighted with size, ornamentation and color. Outstanding achievements of initials emerged, in particular, in ecclesiastical deluxe manuscripts of the Middle Ages and the Renaissance.

    • Intarsia

      Inlaid work. Ornaments of different colored woods, ivory, tortoiseshell, mother-of-pearl, etc. inlaid in a wood matrix.

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  • J

    • Japan

      The art of Japan received its significant impetus from China, through the acquisition of Chinese culture and writing, the introduction of Buddhism, and also from Korea. The initial imitation was followed by the emergence of specifically Japanese forms and techniques from all areas of artistic creation. Different styles emerged as a result of conjunction with Buddhism, Zen and Shinto religions.

      Japanese early history begins in the 7th millennium B.C. Pottery finds from this period indicate linear decor. Stylized clay figures and masks have been also discovered from this period.

      The Yayoi period lasted from the 3rd century B.C. until the 3rd century A.D. and took its name from the archaeological site of bronze mirrors, bronze weapons and bronze bells with geometric and figural ornamentation.

      Kofun (3rd - 6th century)
      Rediscovered grave goods, bronze objects, ceramics, jewelry made of jasper, gold and silver demonstrate the artistic creations of that time. .

      Asuka and Hukaho Period (552 – 710)
      With the official acceptance of Buddhism, Chinese and Korean influence on the art of Japan increased. However, the Shinto architecture preserved its prehistoric building styles in the shrines and wooden pile-structures. The Buddhist sculptures of that time were strongly influenced by Korea and China.

      Nara Period (710 – 794)
      The art of that period that was achieved with a great deal of effort continued to follow Chinese models. Only the floor plan and about 200 sculptures have been preserved from the imperial palace. Huge, 16-meter-high bronze casting of the "giant Buddha" of Todaiji is impressive. New materials, dry lacquer and clay made it possible to depict both monumental and dramatically moving figures. Later, the Chinese influence waned; the sculptures were blocky, the garments had wave-like folds.

      Heian Period (794 – 1185)
      Named after the newly built capital of Heian-kyo, present-day Kyoto. The sculptors mainly presented new forms of ,all Buddha' in wooden sculptures of massive weight. The second half of the epoch continued the Japanisation of the art. Sculptural works acquired more graceful elegance and emotion. The painting of this period was preserved almost exclusively through the famous Byodoin Phoenix Hall. The paintings show delicate colors and a penchant for soft beauty and rounding of lines. Calligraphy gained great importance, which was valued higher than painting in East Asia.

      Kamakura Period (1185 – 1336)
      With the establishment of the Kamakura shogunate, a new cultural center was built. Hardness and warlike spirit determined this golden age of Japanese chivalry. The sculptor Kokai and his descendants created sculptures with deep cuts, strong body and inlaid, naturalistically crafted crystal eyes. The introduction of Zen Buddhism had an impact initially only on architecture, but later on painting as well. The handicrafts created paint equipment, writing implements, toilet boxes, glazed earthenware and ceramic. The art of weapons, the manufacturing of armor and blades for swords experienced their high bloom.

      Muromachi Period (1336 – 1573)
      It is named after the district of Kyoto, where the Ashikaga shogunate had its residence. The profane architecture took over the Shoin style of Zen temples, that resulted in the basic style of Japanese house today. Teahouse and refined garden art were also developed under the Zen influence. Zen monks cultivated the Japanese ink painting. The magnificent landscape paintings by Sesshu are artistic highlights of that time.

      Momoyama Period ( 1573 – 1603)
      It is named after the palace of the commander Toyotomi Hideyoshi on the Momoyama Hill near Kyoto. This time, marked by luxury and pomposity, is characterized by the art that was freed from religious ties and served for pure representation purposes. The pompous castles were destroyed except for a few. But the luxury there is reflected in rich wood carvings and metal fittings. The castles were decorated with magnificent paintings in delicate colors on a gold leaf background, the metal art was highly developed.

      Edo Period (1603 – 1848)
      The Edo era is the 250 year period of peace when bourgeois art and culture developed. Villas and tea houses were built with sophisticated and simple taste. The decorative painting experienced a new upswing. The technique of hand-colored plates was further developed by the addition of 2 color plates for four-color printing. The ceramics detached from the Sino-Korean influence and developed a characteristic Japanese style. The porcelain art was enriched by charming printings with enamel colours. The finest and best quality porcelain, which in contrast to the Imari porcelain was not intended for export, was supplied by the furnaces of Okochi. The new art of netsuke carving appeared, which men wore as a counterweight to Inro (medicine tin) or tobacco pouch on a belt. The era ended with the forced opening of the country by the Americans and the transfer of governmental power to the emperor.
      Meiji Period (1868 – 1912)
      It was the era of westernisation in all areas of life. The painting developed using European models, but returned to old traditions over time. The Tokyo School of Fine Arts took on the role of promoting the Japanese painting. However, the sculpture continued to follow the European model until the time of the School, that carried on developing the traditional art of woodcarving.

      Related links:

    • Japanese paper

      High quality, hand-made paper with the structures of rice leaves.

    • Junge Wilde

      (German for "wild youth") Collective term for various expressive trends of contemporary painting, which was defined by an exhibition in Aachen in 1979.

      The term refers to the relationship with the Fauvism in France (Fauves = wild beasts). The Junge Wilde or the Neue Wilde emphasized in their works the vehemence and color sensibility of this dominant art in the early 1880s.

      Related links:

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  • K

    • Kodex

      Latin: book.

      Book form of superposed parchment leaves. It replaced the scroll in Late Antiquity and Middle Ages.

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  • L

    • Lacquer painting

      Enameling technique when the sap of the lacquer tree is applied in many layers upon each other. It has been particularly perfected by the Japanese and Chinese artists.

    • Limitation

      Limited edition set by the artist or publisher, which is monitored by individual numbering.

      Related links:
      Edition/ Limitation

    • Linocut

      A printmaking technique in which the design is cut out from a linoleum sheet (a layer of cork dust, resin and linoxin on burlap fabric). Since the material is soft and homogeneous (in contrast to wood), the linocut is especially suitable for the illustration of soft, flowing lines.

    • Lithography

      Lithographic printing. A printing method in which a plate made of Solnhofen limestone serves as an image carrier.

      The artist draws the work with greasy ink or chalk reversed on the stone plate, then water and fat can penetrate into its fine pores. The painted image areas are fat absorbing and thus water-resistant, while the free areas are exactly the opposite, that is, water-absorbent and fat-repellent. For each color, a new stone must be used.

      The respective color is applied to the wet stone, so that it is stuck only to the image areas. It is printed on special lithographic presses. Nowadays, the bulky stone is often replaced by a zinc plate.

    • Lithophany

      Porcelain object (relief) which produces its effect when illuminated from behind.

    • Lladró

      Logo of the art porcelain factory LladróThe porcelain factory Lladró was founded by three brothers, Juan, José and Vicente Lladró at the end of the 1950s. Even today it is a family-owned company.

      The production facilities that are located in the "Porcelain City" in the town of Tavernes Blanques near Valencia in Spain enjoy a world-wide reputation. On the one hand this is owing to the selection of sculptors and modellers, who impress the expert audience with their artistic originality year after year, on the other hand to exquisite, high-precision implementation of their designs that are second to none. A closely guarded secret of the company is a specially developed porcelain paste, which gives the figures their unique character. The composition of the gloss coat is also secret.

      Lladrós sculptures have long been internationally wanted collectibles; the limited, piece by piece numbered copies of each edition can quickly find their way around the world.

    • Lladró porcelain factory

      Logo of the art porcelain factory LladróThe porcelain factory Lladró was founded by three brothers, Juan, José and Vicente Lladró at the end of the 1950s. Even today it is a family-owned company.

      The production facilities that are located in the "Porcelain City" in the town of Tavernes Blanques near Valencia in Spain enjoy a world-wide reputation. On the one hand this is owing to the selection of sculptors and modellers, who impress the expert audience with their artistic originality year after year, on the other hand to exquisite, high-precision implementation of their designs that are second to none. A closely guarded secret of the company is a specially developed porcelain paste, which gives the figures their unique character. The composition of the gloss coat is also secret.

      Lladrós sculptures have long been internationally wanted collectibles; the limited, piece by piece numbered copies of each edition can quickly find their way around the world.

    • Lost form
    • Lost-wax casting technique

      Traditional art casting method in which a special form must be made of wax for each cast. The ideal process for high-quality art castings.

      Related links:
      Bronze casting

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  • M

    • Mannerism

      Art style between Renaissance and Baroque. Mannerism, which arose in 1530 (until 1600) dealt with the spiritual and social crisis of the time.

      Mannerism is characterised by elongated figures in twisted poses. , Besides the fountains, small sculptures collected at the royal courts played an important role for the sculptors of Mannerism.

      Related links:

    • Manugraphy

      A special version of serigraphy developed by Reinhard Brandner. It is a purely manual process, in which the artists applies paint and thinner directly onto the screen.

    • Master student

      Art student who has achieved the highest level of technical and artistic maturity and is considered by his professor with special attention.

    • Maya

      The Indian people of the Maya were the bearers of a highly sophisticated culture. They inhabited the area that encompasses southeastern Mexico, all of Guatemala and Belize, and the western portions of Honduras and El Salvador.

      The Mayan culture had its heyday in the classical period from 300 to 900. In the post-classical period (900 - 1540), the Mayan culture experienced a new flourishing under the influence of the Toltecs.

      The art of the Maya takes a leading position among the Mesoamerican cultures. Pyramids, temples and palaces were richly decorated with reliefs which bore witness to the masterly Maya sculpture. Only a few murals have survived the turmoil of centuries.

      The ceramic artist of the Maya usually created small, finely modeled, partially painted clay figures, vessels and bowls. Pendants, beads, earrings etc. were crafted from jade.

    • Mesoamerica

      The beginnings of the pre-Columbian culture of Central America can be dated back to around 1500 B.C.

      The art of the peoples of this area (Aztecs, Mayans, Mixtecs, Toltecs) was strongly influenced by religion. The metalworking (especially gold) began in the 10th century. The Mixtec people, familiar with castings and alloys, were the greatest gold workers. The figural funerary urns of Zapotecs, the painted vessels of the Mayan people are ceramic masterpieces.

      The culture of the whole area can also be seen in the calendar system with 52-year cycle, based on the 260-day ritual cycle and the 365-day solar year.

    • Metal leaf

      Gold-colored metals beaten to paper-thin sheets that are processed instead of much more expensive gold leaf.

    • Mezzotint

      In this technique, the surface of the printing plate is roughened uniformly with a chopping knife, thereby creating black tone of the image during printing. The image areas, that later should appear bright, are smoothed with the scraper.

    • Millefiori

      (Thousand flowers). A design where small floral image elements are repeated many times.

      Millefiori is also known as the multi-colored glass works due to its great wealth of geometric and floral patterns. Similar glass works already existed in Phoenician and Alexandrian times and in Roman vessels. In the 16th century, the millefiori technique celebrated its revitalization in Murano, the glass island in the Venetian Lagoon.

    • Miniature painting

      Paintings in manuscripts and books. Also, portrait painting of small format. It is often used for the decoration of jewels and watches.

    • Minimal art

      Art movement of modern painting, that emerged mainly in the USA in the early 1960s. It was created as a counterweight to the abstract expressionism. Simple geometric figures are placed in the room without differentiation. The aim is the absolute identity of form with itself. Among the artists who pursued the same goals were Dan Flavin, Robert Morris, Sol LeWitt, Donald Judd and others.

    • Mixed media

      Graphic artwork in the making of which the artist combines at least two graphic techniques.

    • Monogram

      Signature. The initial letters (mostly intertwined) of the artist's proper name.

    • Monotype

      The artist paints a picture on a glass or copper plate which he presses on paper as long as the paint is still damp. This process allows only one impression to be taken.

    • Mosaic

      The art of surface decoration (floor, wall and ceiling mosaics) the design of which is created through the assemblage of different colored items (stone, glass pieces).

      A colored sketch of the mosaic is applied on the wet plaster layer. The formed elements of stone or colored glass are impressed onto the still soft plaster at a certain place.

    • Museum replica

      An exact reproduction of an artwork in the same size, the best possible material and color uniformity.

      The mold is usually taken directly from the original, so that the replica reproduces even the finest details. After casting the replica, using the most appropriate method, the surface is polished, patinated, gilded or painted according to the original.

      A museum replica of ars mundi is a recognizable image of the original.

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  • N

    • Navajo

      The largest North American Indian tribe that now lives on a reservation in northeastern Arizona and neighboring states.

      The Navajos took over artistic expressions of other tribes and today create splendid wool weavings coloured with vegetable dyes. The silver articles adopted from Mexican peoples in the 19th century are also of high artistic and handcraft quality.

    • Netsuke

      Japanese. Elaborately carved fob made of burl wood, ivory, horn or bone, usually used as good luck charm/talisman. Sometimes made of metal, porcelain, coral, onyx or jade.

      A popular collection area for art collectors.

    • Nouveau Réalisme
    • Numbering

      Consecutive numbering of drawings and sculptures to monitor the limited edition.

      For graphics, the numbering is done by hand, usually in pencil. In the case of sculpture, the number is stamped directly into the sculpture.

      Related links:
      Edition/ Limitation

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  • O

    • Obelisk

      A tall, rectangular, upwards tapering stone pillar which ends in a pyramid-like shape at the top.

      The obelisk was originally developed in Egypt, probably as a sacred symbol of the sun god. The four sides usually bear incised hieroglyphic inscriptions.

    • Object art

      Directions of contemporary art, in which objects are exhibited as themselves and used for artistic composition.

      Object art was a means of expression of Cubism, Dadaism and Surrealism, and in the course of their development to the present day had spawned various presentation techniques.

    • Offset printing

      Flat printing process with metal plates.

      Offset printing allows to produce both volume and small editions at a high quality level.

    • Oil painting

      The painting where oil colours were applied since the Middle Ages. It replaced the then customary tempera painting.

      Technology and materials of oil painting have been continuously developed over the centuries so that it became possible to paint with pastose colors, which is often used by modern painters.

      An advantage of the oil painting is that the colors retain their full brightness after drying. After the completion of the painting a transparent varnish protects it from environmental influences.

      Related links:

    • Oleography

      The oleography is a lithographic reproduction technique that makes it possible to give a color print the character of an oil painting.

    • Op art

      Optical art.

      Painting that programmatically puts the optical effects in the center. It is based on geometric patterns and color sequences that produce kinetic motion and flickering effects in the human eye.

      One of the most famous masters of op art is the painter Victor Vasarely, who passed away in 1997.

    • Original object

      Work of visual art that was created by the artist himself.

      The artistic importance and unique character of the work determine the market and collector's value of such original.

    • Original print

      According to the guidelines of the "International Association of Fine Arts" in Vienna and the Federal Association of German.

      Galleries a print is valid as the original, only if the artist developed the idea for the image himself and conceived it for the graphical method; the production was carried out by the artist (normally, artisans may provide technical support) the length of the print run is set and the work is hand-signed. (In printing, there are also signed works and unsigned sheets, for example, in the book editions of Miró and Chagall.)

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  • P

    • Paintings/ Unique pieces

      Work of art that, depending on the way it is produced (oil painting, watercolor, drawing, etc.), is unique in the world.

      In addition to classical unique pieces there are also the so-called "serial unique pieces". Each series with the same motif and in the same color and technique is executed by the hand by the artist. The serial unique pieces have their roots in "serial art", a genre of modern art that aims to create an aesthetic effect through the series, repetitions and variations of the same objects, topics or through the system of constant and variable elements or principles. The historical starting point is considered to be the work of Claude Monet "Haystacks" (1890/1891), when the series that went beyond the mere group of works was first created. The artists, who have created serial artworks, include Claude Monet, Piet Mondrian and, in particular, Gerhard Richter.

    • Paper types

      Such handmade types of paper as Arches paper, Rives paper and also various Japanese papers or cardboard for collotype printing are generally used for the printing of graphic editions. Fabriano hand-made paper is often used for graphic editions in Italy.

      Related links:
      Japanese paper
      Handmade paper

    • Passe-partout

      Passe-partout is cut from paper or cardboard and used for framing the graphic sheets and drawings. It protects them from contacting with glass and improves the overall visual appeal.

    • Pastel

      A picture painted with pastel colors, usually on a roughened surface.

      After application the colours can be blurred so that you can achieve fine, delicate transitions, particularly since a superposition of individual colors is possible. The artist has the possibility to evaluate the result and make corrections during the painting process repeatedly. Because of the weak adhesion of paints, the finished painting is sprayed with a fixative in order to obtain a certain smudge resistance.

      An absolute master of pastel painting was the French Impressionist painter Edgar Degas.

    • Patina

      Attractive surface of a sculpture that is manually developed by the artist himself or specialists instructed by him with the use of chemicals and application of heat.

    • Photographs

      A method for producing images by the action of light, which became widely known in 1839. Photography quickly became the basis for the expanding image industry that pushed the manually produced pictures, paintings and drawings into the background.

      The avant-garde painting adopted photographic form elements, to ensure its painting validity. In the 1920s, many avant-garde painters turned to photography. With his photographs and photomontages, the American painter Man Ray developed new means of expression in modern art, the so-called "rayography".

      The Pop Art of the 1960s varied and alienated the public photo with the help of technical means. The American pop artist Andy Warhol (1928 - 1987), with his images and image series created in this way, is the most well-known master of this art form.

      Related links:
      Pop art

    • Plastics

      Generally used in the same sense as a sculpture.

      In a narrow sense it is defined as three-dimensional works that have been modeled in a soft material (clay, wax, plaster) as well as the casts made thereof.

      Related link:

    • Plinthe
      The plinth (from Greek plinthos, from Latin plinthus) is a support or base for a pillar, a column, a sculpture or a statue. This base is - in contrast to a pedestal - basically flat and in most cases foursquare. Thus, the weight of e.g. a sculpture can be evenly distributed.
    • Polychromy

      Painting of a sculpture by the "Fassmaler" (painter and gilder). Polychromy is a modelled painting of a sculpture, which enhances its three-dimensionality, often using gold leaf or polished gold.

      Ancient sculptures had almost always a polychrome paint, most of which was lost over the centuries, except for residual traces.

    • Polymers

      Synthetically produced casting resins for the long-lasting bonding of marble, stone or bronze powder in the production of art castings.

      Related links:
      Art casting

    • Pop art

      In the early 1950s, a jolt went through the cultural scene. Young artists from the US and England - completely independently of each other - severed their ties with all the traditions of artistic creativity and helped the modernity to achieve a new art movement.

      In the US there were Roy Lichtenstein, Andy Warhol, Tom Wesselmann and James Rosenquist who were seeking their themes in the world of advertising and comics, in star cult and anonymous urban culture. With flash coloring, overdimensioning and manipulating depth perspective they created new provocative works that breathed the spirit of the time. Richard Hamilton and Eduardo Paolozzi are to be considered as the true pioneers of Pop Art in England thanks to the famous exhibition "This is Tomorrow" at London's Whitechapel Art Gallery. In the 1960s, they were followed by David Hockney, Allan Jones, Peter Phillips and Derek Boshier.

    • Porcelain/Ceramics

      Ceramic product made from kaolin, quartz and feldspar.

      Porcelain is formed by turning or pressing. Figural representations are cast. Complex molds have to be cast in sections and then "applied". After molding, the pieces are dried and "burnt" at about 900 °C. After that, the glaze is applied and fired at temperatures between 1,240 °C and 1,445 °C. In major manufactures, the porcelain is painted by hand with each color separately and has to be burned in compliance with narrow temperature tolerances.

      The porcelain was invented in China and became widespread in Europe in the 16th century. The first European porcelain factory was founded in Meissen in 1710.

      Other famous European porcelain factories are Fürstenberg, Höchst, Schwarzburger Werkstätten, Lladró, Nymphenburg, KPM, Augarten, Sèvres, Limoges, Royal Copenhagen, Worcester. Individual factories label their products with the porcelain brands that serve to identify their origin.

      Related links:
      Schwarzburg Workshops of the Porcelain Art

    • Primitive art

      The art of prehistoric hunting peoples, which is now usually referred to as Paleolithic or Mesolithic art. It is also regarded as the art of indigenous peoples, mainly the Indian art in North and South America, the Malay-Pacific art that of the Eskimos, the Asian steppe peoples and the African art.

    • Printed signature

      The artist's signature is printed simultaneously with the image motif.

    • Printer

      An important partner of the graphic artist, which converts the artist's intentions into typographical images.

      Well-known printers are e.g. Mourlot in Paris, Matthieu in Dielsdorf. A special position is occupied by the Dietz Offizin in Lengmoos which acquired its fame by its Dietz replicas, museum-quality replications of the original artworks.

    • Prints in 3D

      A technique that is used especially in modern art, where the artist achieves a real spatial effect with the aid of adhesive applications.

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  • R

    • Reduction

      A reduced-format reproduction of an artwork created by the artist.

    • Refaktur

      Re-creation of an art work that exists only as a torso or in a damaged condition.

      Re-creation of jewelry with adjusted closures etc. for modern wearing comfort.

    • Relief

      An art work that is cut in from a stone or wooden surface, not modeled in the round.

      According to the degree of projection one can distinguish between low-relief or bas-relief and high relief. The sunk relief is a common form of reliefs in Ancient Egypt, where the depicted scenes were cut into the stone or wood surface.

      Among the most famous reliefs are the works of the Florentine master Lorenzo Ghiberti. He created, among others, the bronze doors of the Florence Baptistery, called by Michelangelo the "Gates of Paradise".

    • Renaissance

      (Rebirth). Designation of art from about 1350 until the 16th century.

      A state of mind that developed in Florence in the late 14th century that was retrospectively classified as rebirth of the classical ideals of Greek and Roman antiquity. During the 15th and 16th centuries, the Renaissance spread first over Italy and then all over Western Europe and determined the entire artistic creation. Such brilliant artists as Donatello, Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, Raphael, Dürer, Holbein, Cranach and Fouquet created their immortal works by following the humanistic premises and putting a human being in the center of all thinking.

      Renaissance experienced its heyday in literature through dramatic works and poems of William Shakespeare.

      At the end of the 16th century, Renaissance had to make way to the luxury of baroque before its ideas had their rebirth in the classicism of the 18th century.

    • Replica

      An exact reproduction of an artwork in the same size, the best possible material and color uniformity executed by the artist himself or by a specialised and professional company.

      Related links:
      Dietz replica
      ARA Kunst

    • Replication
      The mold is usually taken directly from the original, so that the replica reproduces even the finest details. After casting the replica, using the most appropriate method, the surface is polished, patinated, gilded or painted according to the original.

      A replica of ars mundi is a recognizable image of the original.

    • Reproduction

      Imitation of an original work of art by photomechanical process.

      The ars mundi program contains only the art reproductions for manufacturing of which the most modern rmethods of reproduction and printing are used. For some art reproductions, additional effects and a more successful approach to the original artwork can be achieved by metal foil embossing.

    • Restoration

      Maintenance of aged or damaged works of art.

    • Retrospective

      A retrospective exhibition which presents the examples of an artist's lifework on a certain subject and provides a comprehensive overview of his works.

    • Rhodium / rhodium-plated

      Platinum group metal.

      Rhodium plating is the galvanic process used to apply a layer of rhodium onto a surface.

    • Rococo

      Artistic expression of the visual arts between 1730 and 1770.

      In the 1720s, the era of Rococo style replaced the Baroque era that was marked by pathos and monumentality in Europe. Rocaille (shellwork, pebble-work) that came from France was a basic motif for ornamental decoration. The severity and gravity of the Baroque gave way to ease, elegance and playfulness, at the same time displayed a lightening of colors. Due to turning to the intimate, personal, elegant and playful style of Rococo, it finds its expression mainly in minor and decorative arts: in furniture and wall coverings, gold and silverware, and in fashion.

      Just as inextricably as with the glamorous courtly and urban centers of Paris, Munich, Potsdam, and St. Petersburg, the Rococo art is associated with the names of the rulers of its time: Louis XIV of France, Frederick the Great of Prussia and Catherine the Great.

      At the end of the 18th century Rococo found a worthy successor in classicism with its severity of form and emulating ancient ideals.

      Related links:

    • Romanticism

      The mental attitude which spilled over from literature and philosophy to visual arts, established in about 1800 but which failed to produce its own style in visual arts.

      The art of Romanticism was determined by content, relevant attitude to life and the sensations triggered by it. Inwardness and feelings, imagination and dream, world and nature, the power of myth and striving into infinity became central themes. The specific area of Romantic art lies in the painting and drawing. The landscape, as a theme that is constanly turned to, always moves to the forefront: man and nature are in relationship with each other, reflect the moods. Besides a new nature feeling there was a renewal of the religious attitude and a return to the past, tradition, history, old legends, fairy tales, as well as to the art of old masters and epochs. Especially in the case of Germany these was strongly national-oriented art.

      Main representatives in Germany include among others: C.D. Friedrich, P.O. Runge, J.A. Koch, M. v. Schwind, and also the Nazarene group of artists. French Romanticism, which was characterized by other trends than the German, is represented mainly by the art of Delacroix.

      The Romantic period lasted until around 1830.

    • Rome

      The Roman art is primarily determined by the fusion of Italian and Greek Hellenistic elements.

      The pragmatic and political aspects serving to expand the empire were influential in architecture.

      In religious sphere the early temples of Rome followed the Etrurian-Italic type. The Roman secular buildings, such as bridges, ports, aqueducts, walls, gates, etc. played far more important role.

      With the transformation of the Roman Forum by Augustus and the redesign of the Forum of Augustus the significance of the old city centers changed. They became large closed outdoor spaces. Axial symmetry, oriented to a podium temple is characteristic of the time. The temples and theaters that were built in the "eternal city" under the reign of Emperor Augustus with their round dynamic designs diverged considerably from the straight-lined Greek models.

      The copies and transformation of Greek models primarily predominate among the round, three-dimensional works of the Roman period. Independent achievements of Roman sculptors arose in the field of portraits, whereby in Rome, the form of the bust was preferred. A preference for ornamentation without neglecting the substantive content is shown in the relief art.

      Triumphal paintings that were carried in processions to honor glorious commanders were typical for the painting. Such excavated cities of Vesuvius as Pompeii, Herculaneum, Stabiae and Oplontis provide the richest overview of mural painting.

      A parallel to the painting is the art of mosaic which was mainly used for the decorative design of floors and walls.

      Some areas of minor arts flourished exceedingly in Roman times. Toreutics, the art of working metal, brought forth precious silver vessels. The glassblowing art is documented by numerous excellent finds. In glyptik, (the art of carving on precious stones) there are magnificent reliefs carved from semi-precious stones, engraved gems and cameos depicting official themes.

      The extensive coinage in Roman times contributed to spreading the portraits of the rulers over the entire territory of the Roman Empire.

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  • S

    • Sand casting

      A casting technique which is characterized by using sand as the mold material. Before casting sand is pressed around the model, which is taken away later. The remaining sand becomes suitable for molding. The empty space inside the sand mold is filled with liquid metal. When the metal cools down, the shaping sand is taken away and the product is put to open air, deburred, polished and patinated.

    • Scarab

      In the ancient Egypt the scarab was a holy symbol of the god of sun and was presented in many art and jewellery objects.

    • Schwarzburg Workshops for Porcelain Art

      The “lacing fox” was the trademark of the Schwarzburg Workshops for Porcelain Art, opened in 1909 as a department of the Unterweissbach Porcelain Factory in Thuringia.

      The founders of the German porcelain art, Edmund Troester (1866-1945) and Max Adolf Pfeiffer (1875-1957) played a significant role in its quick development. They both were open to any artistic trends of their time and refused to see porcelain art as “bliss in perfumed lemonade.” Pfeiffer, the chef of the workshops, expressed his view on the porcelain art in the following words: “Every art should create something of its own, belonging to its time”.

      The workshops collaborated with prominent artists of their time, such as Gerhard Marcks, Otto Thiem and Ernst Barlach. The history of the „Schwarzburger“reaches up to 1949. Hundreds of models from their stock remain available and are copied in contemporary works, which are stamped with the “lacing fox” as well as originals.

    • Sculptures

      A plastic work of sculptural art made of wood, stone, ivory, bronze or other metals.

      While sculptures from wood, ivory or stone are made directly from the block of material, for bronze casting a working model is prepared at first. Usually it is made of clay or other easily shaped materials.

      The prime time of sculpture after the Roman antiquity was the Renaissance. Impressionism gave a new impulse to the sculptural arts. Also the contemporary artists, such as Jorg Immendorf, Andora, and Markus Lupertz enriched the sculpture with outstanding works.

    • Serigraphy (Silk-screen printing)

      This technique of graphic production was discovered in China centuries ago.

      The artist stretches a knitted screen on a printing frame. The places of the picture which shouldn’t be filled are covered with a template. A substrate (e.g. paper) is put under the screen, which is covered by paint with the help of a squeegee. The printing paints soak trough the free places of the screen on the paper. Each color needs a separate screen and foil pieces to cover the already painted parts. Modern serigraphs can make use of more than 20 colors.

      Related links:

    • Special edition

      A limited and numbered edition of graphic works or sculptures, which is initiated by a publishing house. Distributed exclusively by a publisher.

    • Stamping

      Quality assurance mark, used for noble metals.

      Following links:
      Hallmark/ Hallmarking

    • Statue

      Still image. Standing plastic single piece, which is usually put on a pedestal. A statuette is a reduced version of a statue.

    • Stone casting
    • Stone print
    • Street art

      The street art movement appeared in England in London surroundings. At first it was famous only in a restricted circle but in course of time street art works became demanded collection items. Everyone asked where in London the next motif would appear. A lot of these art objects were mounted on doors or windows and very soon were taken off. Keith Haring used wall posters for her graffiti art. The examples of such works are her highly traded Subway Drawings.

    • Sumerian art

      This art appeared 4 and 3 thousand years BC in the area of the southern and middle Babylonia. First of all Sumerian art is famous for the invention of writing and rolling seal, which shaped the art and the culture of the whole Mesopotamia.

      Sculpture in Sumer was developed in the times of early dynasties. A typical motif of that time was geometrically shaped body figure. The early reliefs were found on picture tapes or steles. In the seal art of the early Sumerian times we often meet a motif of a man with a beard.

      Handicrafts and handmade art were highly developed. The examples of such works are vessels from noble metals, jewellery.

    • Sumi-e technique

      Japanese painting technique, which uses black ink, made of crashed wood coal sticks. The painting is done on paper. This technique opens a wide spectrum of painting possibilities, which stretches from drawing strict lines to creating slightly blunted shades.

      Sumi painting is very time consuming and requires precise concentration. While preparing to work, one needs meticulously chosen brushes and special paper, the quality of which should be excellent. Paper, used for sumi-e, is extremely absorptive, so usually a clean sheet is put under it during the painting process. The ink can be applied only once, that is why no mistakes can be corrected.

      The sumi-e technique was developed by Chinese Zen monks. They brought it to Japan, where it has been used up to our times.

    • Surface finishing

      Finishing the surface of an art object, mostly by precious metals like gold, silver or platinum using plating or galvanic coating.

    • Surrealism

      A trend in contemporary arts that developed in Europe and America. In connection with psychoanalysis of Sigmund Freud it searches the actual truth in the subconscious. Surrealism exploits dreams and ecstatic experiences, as well as hypnotic states, as a source of artistic inspiration.

      Famous artists and sculptors in this trend are: Max Ernst, Salvador Dali, Giorgio de Chirico, Yves Tanguy, Joan Miró, René Magritte.

    • Symbolism

      This is a term for a spiritual movement based on symbolic meanings. It developed in 1885 in France as an opposition to realism and impressionism.

      The beginnings of symbolism are rooted in the 18th century. It questioned the belief in the value of generally valid maxims and tried to represent the world of fantasy. The topics of symbolists are comic landscapes, night scenes, visions and incantations.

      In Germany symbolism is represented by works of Max Klinger, Arnold Böcklin, Franz von Stuck.

      Related links:
      Idealism/ Realism

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  • T

    • Tempera

      For tempera painting people use paints mixed with emulsion made from watery and fat or resinous elements. Like oils, these paints are easy to apply and dry quite quickly after they are put on the painting ground.

    • Terracotta

      Artistic items made of burnt unglazed clay.

    • Terragraphy

      The term “terragraphy” denotes a special printing process that was developed in the studio of the publisher El-Harel in Jaffa/Israel. This technique combines binding materials and pigmented basic sand. The artists shapes the patterns on canvas, so that the correspondingly colored sand remains on the desired places. Then the motif is printed over the sand. The sand is attached to the canvas through varnish and binder. The relief structure of the painting can be felt by touch, as the terragraphy does not require any protective glazing.

    • Thanka

      In Nepali and in the whole Tibet the thankas play an important role in the religious life of worshippers.

      Thankas are wall hangings which represent the religious motifs. You can find them in temples and monasteries, but mainly in private studious. In many monasteries there are books which contain the guidelines for painting these rolled paintings. The elaborate wall hangings from silk present the life story of gods.

      The Thanka painters enjoy high respect thanks to their occupation and thorough knowledge of books with legends about gods. In the decoration of the episodes every artist can set their fantasy free, but when they create god images they are bound by strict regulations.

    • Tibet

      In the 7th century BC in the biggest distant highlands of Earth there appeared the first Lamaist temples and monasteries of Tibet. On the height of 4,500 meters their number had grown during the years up to 5,000 settlements.

      The influence of the Tibetan tradition of temple architecture spread from Nepal to Bhutan and Mongolia. The peak of this art is the Potala-Palast in Lhasa, the Seat of Dalai Lama, which appeared in the 17th century.

      The Tibetan art with its colorful variety of rolled pictures and flags is influenced by Chinese and Indian artistic traditions. Pictures of gods, portraits of priests and saints are cast in bronze and later silver gilt or gilded as cult figures.

    • Tiffany glass

      Decorative, developed by the American handicraft master Louis Comfort Tiffany, partially transparent, partially opaque kinds of glass. The favrile glass, called so by Tiffany himself, got its rainbow-like shining thanks to metal vapours. Nowadays collectors pay a lot of money for lampshades and decorative items made of Tiffany glass.

    • Torso

      A fragmental or incomplete statue, which since the late 19th century (Rodin) is presented as a complete artistic work.

    • Touchstone creations

      Small sculptures, with particularly soft shapes that you like touching with your fingers.

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  • U

    • Unique

      A one off or original is a work of art created by the artist himself. It only exists because of the way it is made (oil painting, watercolor, drawing, lost sculpture, etc.). In addition to the classic unique items there are also the so-called "unique series". Each series is executed with the same motif and in the same color and technique used by the artist. The unique serial pieces are rooted in "serial art", a genre of modern art that seeks to create an aesthetic effect through series, repetitions and variations of the same topic, theme or system of constant and variable elements or principles. The starting point is the work "Les Meules" by Claude Monet (1890/1891), in which a series that goes beyond the mere groups of works was created for the first time. 
      Artists who have created serial art are u. a. Claude Monet, Piet Mondrian and especially Gerhard Richter.

    • Unique Piece

      An artwork which is unique because of kind of production (oil painting, watercolors, drawing, etc.).

      Near the classic unique pieces there exist the so-called “serial unique pieces”. They present a series of works with the same color, motif and technique, manually prepared by the same artist. The serial unique pieces are rooted in the “serial art”, a kind of the contemporary art, which achieves an aesthetic effect through the system of constant and variable elements or principles in rows, repetitions and variations of the same objects or themes.
      In the history of arts the starting point of this trend was a work of Claude Monet "Les Meules“ (1890/1891), which for the first time presented an outgoing series instead of a mere group of works. The other artists, who addressed to the serial art, were Claude Monet, Piet Mondrian but first of all Gerhard Richter.

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  • V

    • Varnish

      Transparent, fast drying clear coat that lies down protectively over the painting and makes the colors seem deeper and more brilliant.

    • Verism

      In fine arts this notion stands for the extremely naturalistic often also socio-critical methods of representation.

    • Vienna School

      Vienna School of Fantastic Realism.

      Related links:
      Fantastic realism

    • Vienna's Workshops

      Logo of Vienna WorkshopUnder the protection of Gustav Klimt artists, architects and designers gathered in the Vienna Secession under the motto “To every age its art. To every art its freedom.” According to the concept of the synthesis of arts the ideas of these genius artists penetrated the pictures, sculptures, everyday objects of every kind up to architecture.

      Josef Hoffmann and Koloman Moser founded the Vienna's Workshops in 1903. Now their designs are spread all over the world and praised as legendary classics.

    • Vignette

      Ornamental decoration in the book art.

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  • W

    • Wall paintings

      Paintings on walls, ceilings and cameras, often performed in fresco technique.

      An artistic form that flourished since ancient Egypt. Each history epoch brought its masterpieces in this area. The most famous are wall and ceiling paintings, performed in fresco technique. The fresco of Leonardo da Vinci “The Last Supper”, painted ‘al secco’ (on dry plaster) is saved from destruction thanks to elaborate restorations.

      Related links:

    • Watercolors

      Transparent paints that are applied with the help of water.

    • Watercolours

      Paintings with translucent watercolors, which are characterized by their transparency and shine through deeper layers and painting surface.

      Often the reason is omitted. It contributes significantly to creating the effect of the work. The watercolor painting requires a skillful use of color, as it dries quickly and corrections are hardly possible.

    • Watermark

      Sign of origin, applied on paper.

      Related links:
      Handmade paper

    • Woodcut

      First, the representation is recorded on the surface of a wooden stick in reverse. As with stamps, the image is left while the parts that do not need to be printed are removed with the cutter. Then the artist applies the color on the printing block, puts the paper on it and presses it firmly. The motif appears nonreversed on the paper.

    • Zuni

      Zuni are Pueblo Indians in the West of New Mexico, USA. They are famous for a highly-developed religious cult in which 3 meter high wooden statues of gods of war play a significant role. After the end of each ritual these brightly colored figures are thrown away.

      The Zuni are excellent silver smiths, who create outstanding cloisonné works.

      Related links:

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