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Article

Ralph Hyde

Prints, drawings or paintings that incorporate high-level perspective: the viewer has the sensation of looking at the ground from the clouds. Views taken from just above roof-level and map-views—pictorial maps that have a consistent scale—fall outside this category. Bird’s-eye views have also been called ‘aeronautical views’, ‘balloon views’ and ‘aero-views’. The advantage of the high angle is that more detail can be displayed, as the foreground does not obscure the background. This has made the bird’s-eye view the ideal medium for representing battlefields, a purpose for which it was first used in the Classical period (...

Article

Rupert Featherstone

Tool with a hard, smooth, tip, mounted in a wooden handle, used for smoothing or polishing. In water gilding, a burnisher of polished agate is used to smooth the underlying gesso and bole after the gold is applied, giving a highly reflective surface. Burnishers used to burnish ancient pots are depicted in Egyptian wall paintings from the 14th century ...

Article

Shirley Millidge

Reversed image of a print or drawing. It is made by pressing a blank sheet of paper against the original, both being dampened slightly and then run through a rolling press together. The counterproof image, usually fainter than the original, is transferred on to the second sheet in reverse. A counterproof is often made as part of the working process: after gauging the effects of the reversal, the printmaker or draughtsman is able to revise, correct or introduce new elements to the original as seems appropriate....

Article

Christian Rigal

Term for processes involving the interaction of light and electricity to produce images and for the production of original works of art by these processes. Since these processes are used by nearly all photocopiers, the production of such works has also been referred to as ‘copy art’, although this is misleading, since it suggests the mere replication of already existing works. Artistic ...

Article

Rupert Featherstone

Method of suggesting relief by shading in closely set parallel lines. It is used in linear styles of drawing, engraving and etching, and sometimes in painting. In egg tempera, the paint was sometimes applied in hatched single strokes so that it did not blend with the layer below. Crosshatching consists of two layers of parallel lines, crossing at an angle....

Article

Ink  

John Winter

Imprecise term applied to a number of more or less fluid materials that are used for either writing or printing the written word or have evolved for a variety of illustrative and artistic purposes. Most inks for the written and printed word have always been ...

Article

Joan H. O’Mara

Japanese paintings or woodblock prints depicting famous poets and poetesses often accompanied by the inscription of their names, with or without additional biographical information, and representative verses. By integrating calligraphy, poetry and painting in a single format, kasen’e (‘pictures of poetic immortals’) illustrate well the close interrelationship between these three art forms....

Article

Alan Donnithorne, Andrew Thompson and Sheila R. Canby

Attachment of a work of art to a support or setting, or the application of accessories or decoration as embellishment. In many types of mount, these two distinct concepts may be combined, and the mount serves both a functional and decorative purpose.

Alan Donnithorne

Although the term ‘mounting’ may apply to the support or fixing of three-dimensional art, this article is concerned with the description and history of the mounting of two-dimensional or flat format pictorial and other graphic material. In East and Eastern Central Asia this includes paintings and calligraphy in scroll, screen, fan, album and banner formats, as well as prints of various sorts; in India and the Islamic world, calligraphy, painted decoration, miniatures and various kinds of banner painting; in the West, mainly prints, drawings and watercolours. The chief substances used in the fabrication of these works of art are such materials as paper and woven silk. These form the original, or primary, support for the pigment with which the pictorial image or script is created. The pigment, usually mixed with a binding medium, may be applied directly to the surface of the support, as in an East Asian scroll painting or European engraved print, or the support may first be coated with a preparation or ground as in a Renaissance metalpoint drawing, an Indian or Islamic miniature painting or a Tibetan tangka. In their unmounted state, all these works of art are fragile and vulnerable to damage from handling and other environmental effects of unprotected storage or display, and adequate physical support in the form of a mount became necessary once people sought to preserve them. In some civilizations mounting evolved with the art form itself, as in the case of East Asian scrolls; elsewhere methods evolved from the need to organize and display collections, initially in the form of albums and later by fixing into a cut-out cardboard surround or ‘window’ mount (USA: mat). In the West this practice developed when collections of drawings and prints began to be assembled from the 15th century onwards. Since then, the ‘window’ mount style of mounting has evolved in conjunction with the increasing practice of framing and displaying graphic art....

Article

Sandra Sider

Abbreviation for ‘optical art’, referring to painting, prints, sculpture, and textiles exploiting the optical effects of visual perception. The term entered American art vocabulary in 1964, referring especially to two-dimensional structures with strong psychophysiological effects. The reasons for these effects had been explained in three 19th-century treatises: Johann Wolfgang Goethe’s ...

Article

Kendall Taylor

Term used to describe images and information produced and disseminated for social, ideological or religious purposes. For some scholars almost any art, including monumental art (see Public monument) and even entire cities, can be regarded as a form of propaganda. The word is most commonly associated, however, with the deliberate manipulation of narrative art and graphic symbols to alter public opinion, a strategy adopted in modern times particularly by totalitarian regimes in the Western world seeking to engineer democratic support. This article therefore concentrates mainly on painting and the graphic arts as vehicles for propaganda in Western art, and in particular on the techniques used in empire-building, social and political reform, revolution and war....