abstract (adj)
not recognizable; lacking pictorial representation or narrative content but using color, form, and texture for expressive or decorative purposes

arbitrator (n)
a person who decides between opposing sides

Ariadne
princess who gave the hero Theseus a long thread, allowing him to keep track of his path in the maze that held a ferocious Minotaur. After Theseus slew the Minotaur, he and Ariadne fled from Crete, but he abandoned her. She became the bride of Dionysus.

Asia Minor
peninsula in West Asia between the Black and Mediterranean seas, including most of Turkey

atmospheric perspective (n)
a method used by artists to suggest depth, usually in landscapes; objects are usually made to look paler and bluer so they appear to be further away

attribute (n)
object closely associated with belonging to a specific person or thing; in art, often used to identify known individuals, such as saints

austere (adj)
severe in manner or appearance, stern; solemn; also self-disciplined; without excess, luxury, or ease

avant-garde (adj)
unconventional or experimental; ahead of its time; often used to describe progressive art, music, or literature

Baroque (adj)
of or relating to the style of art and architecture prevalent in Europe during the 17th century and first half of the 18th century, characterized by extravagant, theatrical forms, including the dramatic manipulation of space, the creation of vivid illusions, the use of opulent color, and sharp contrasts of light and dark

bonnet-top (n)
a covered pediment that extended over the top of a tall piece of American Rococo furniture made during the second half of the 18th century

brocade (n)
fabric woven with a raised overall design

bust (n)
a sculpted representation of the head and shoulders of a human figure

cabriole (n)
leg of furniture that usually ends in a round pad foot or ball-and-claw foot; used especially in the early 18th century. See diagram.

cast (n)
object formed by pouring liquid metal, plaster, or other material into a mold and letting it harden. Plaster casts of Classical and other well-known sculptures were the first subjects for students enrolled in European and American art academies of the 19th century.

chased (adj)
a metal surface ornamented by pressing into the outer surface with a hammer and blunt tools

chemise (n)
a woman's loose-fitting, slip-like undergarment

cherub (n)
a child, usually winged, in art that appears chubby, innocent, and rosy

chromolithograph; chromolithographic (n; adj)
a picture printed in color from a series of lithographic stones or plates. Although the technique was pioneered in the 1830s, it came into wide commercial use only in the 1860s. It was the most popular method of color reproduction until the end of the 19th century, when more efficient techniques, such as photography, developed.

Classical (adj)
of or having characteristics of antiquity or ancient Greek or Roman cultures

composition (n)
arrangement of formal elements, such as space, shape, and color, in a work of art

croquet (n)
game in which players using mallets drive wooden balls through a series of wickets (hoops) set out on a lawn, knocking the balls of opponents off the field; introduced to the United States in the mid-19th century from Ireland

Demeter
ancient Greek goddess of agriculture and the protector of marriage and the social order

Dionysus
god of fertility, wine, and drama

expatriate (n)
person who has withdrawn from residence in or allegiance to his or her native country

Emancipation Proclamation (n)
edict issued by President Abraham Lincoln on September 22, 1862, after the Battle of Anteitam. The president called on the Confederate states to return to the Union before the next year, otherwise their slaves would be declared free. No state returned, and the declaration was officially issued on January 1, 1863. The proclamation was limited to states that had left the Union; it did not apply to loyal states bordering the North nor to parts of the South that had come under Northern control during the Civil War. The freedom the proclamation promised depended on Union victory.

embellishment (n)
ornamentation or decoration

engraver (n)
person who incises letters or designs into hard surfaces such as metal or wood

finial (n)
an ornamental element at the top of a piece of furniture or architectural structure

flora (n)
the plants of a particular environment, period, or region

genre (n)
indoor and outdoor scenes of anonymous figures engaged in the activities of everyday life; a category of painting, such as the genre of landscape painting

impasto (n)
the thick application of a pigment or paint on canvas

Impressionist (adj)
relating to the progressive art movement (Impressionism) that originated in France in the late 19th century. Impressionist painters wanted to capture the rapidly changing modern world and the fleeting moods of nature. Impressionism relied on optical blending to depict the fluctuations of sunlight and consisted largely of views of everyday middle-class life in the cities and countryside of France.

lithographic (adj)
relating to a method of printing and printmaking from a design drawn directly onto limestone or other suitable surface on which the image to be printed is ink-receptive and the blank area ink-repellent

lithotint (n)
type of lithographic printing patented in 1840 that enabled artists to achieve varied tones similar to watercolor washes

mahogany (adj)
made from one of several tropical trees yielding a hard, reddish-brown wood, often used for making furniture

marine (adj)
of or relating to the sea

mezzotint (n)
engraving type popular during the 18th century, made by roughing the surface of a copper or steel plate with a tool called a rocker and then scraping and burnishing the roughed surface to produce an image

New World (n)
the Western hemisphere, including the continents of North and South America, their islands, and the surrounding waters; discovered by Europeans in the late 15th century

panoramic (adj)
an unobstructed and complete view of an area in every direction

patron (n)
person who hires an artist to create a work of art

pediment (n)
a low, wide triangular form at the top of an architectural structure or decorative object such as a roof, window, or cabinet

personification (n)
the attribution of personal, human qualities to an object or concept

physiognomic (adj)
of, relating to, or characteristic of the face

picturesque (adj)
resembling a painted scene or picture; having pleasing or interesting qualities

plowshare (n)
the part of the plow that cuts a narrow groove in the ground

portrait/portraitist (n)
a pictorial representation (such as a painting) of a person, usually showing the face; one who creates portraits

presentation suite (n)
group of art objects forming a series or set, often made as a gift or for public display

primordial (adj)
initial, first created or developed; fundamental; primary

Quaker (adj; n)
relating to the Religious Society of Friends, a Christian group established in Europe and the United States in the 17th century that rejects outward rites and an ordained ministry and maintains a long tradition of actively working for peace and opposing war; a member of the Religious Society of Friends

Realist/realist (adj)
relating to a movement in 19th-century France that concentrated on the unidealized representation of "real and existing things" (Courbet); a general term used to describe an intent to objectively depict the appearance of the physical world

relief (n)
a type of sculpture in which forms and figures project out from a flat surface, often as an element of architecture

reparation (n)
compensation in money or materials for wrong or injury done

repertoire (n)
complete list of skills or devices used in a particular field, occupation, or practice (for example, art)

replica (n)
a close reproduction or copy; duplicate

schooner (n)
a ship with two or more masts, with sails rigged fore-and-aft (along a line from the front to the back)

scrollwork (n)
ornament characterized by a spiral or coiled form

statuette (n)
small statue

stile (n)
in furniture, any upright members framing the back of a chair, panels in a door, or chest of drawers, etc.

still life (n)
the depiction of a group of inanimate objects, such as flowers or fruit, usually arranged by an artist

style (n)
distinctive manner of expression (as in writing, speech, or art)

swag (n)
something (for example, drapery) hanging in a curve between two points as decoration

symbol (n)
something that stands for or represents something else; a visible sign of a concept or other invisible trait

temperance (adj)
moderation in action, thought, or feeling, especially with regard to indulging in alcoholic liquors

tonal/tonalist (adj)
having a tint or shade of color; referring to a landscape style popular from the 1880s to the early 1900s characterized by softened brushstrokes and muted color harmonies

Tory (n)
American supporter of the British Crown against the supporters of independence during the American Revolution

vantage point (n)
point of view; in a work of art, the position from which the artist or viewer would observe that which is depicted

waistcoat (n)
an ornamental garment, similar to a vest, worn by men of the 18th and 19th centuries under a close-fitting jacket

West Indies (n)
Group of islands in the Caribbean Sea south of Florida that includes the present-day countries of Cuba, Haiti, the Dominican Republic, Jamaica, and Puerto Rico; known collectively during the Colonial period as the West Indies, during which time they were colonies or territories of European powers.