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Abacus  

Uppermost element of a capital on a column or pilaster (see Greece, ancient, fig. n; Orders, architectural, fig. xii). On the Doric, Ionic and Tuscan orders of architecture it is square in plan, but on the Corinthian each face is convex (see Orders, architectural...

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Small apse-like chapel, usually projecting from the eastern side of a transept (see Church, fig.).

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Anna Moszynska

Term applied in its strictest sense to forms of 20th-century Western art that reject representation and have no starting- or finishing-point in nature. As distinct from processes of abstraction from nature or from objects (a recurring tendency across many cultures and periods that can be traced as far back as Palaeolithic cave painting), abstract art as a conscious aesthetic based on assumptions of self-sufficiency is a wholly modern phenomenon (...

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Term applied to a drawn or painted representation of the human figure, most commonly made as part of the instruction in an academy or art school. Although the practice of making drawings from nude models had developed during the Renaissance and was commended by such theorists as Alberti, it was only with the foundation of academies of painting in the 17th century that such drawing became formalized as part of a rigorous programme of training. Indeed, by the mid-18th century, the word ‘académie’ was defined in Diderot’s ...

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Bruce Tattersall and Eva Wilson

Ornamental motif based on the leaves of the acanthus plant, an evergreen shrub native to the Mediterranean area. Two species have been proposed as likely models for different forms of decorative leaf motifs: Acanthus mollis, with broad, blunt tips to the leaves, and Acanthus spinosus...

Article

Michael Forsyth

Sound can be defined as audible vibrations within a relatively steady medium, and in buildings sound may be air-borne or structure-borne. The science of architectural acoustics is divisible into noise control and room acoustics. The following article is mainly concerned with the latter and the ‘desired’ sound generated within a space, because its design has had a significant impact on architectural form; it concentrates on examples of Western architecture....

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Gordon Campbell

Ancient Greek statue with a wooden body and the head and limbs made of stone (usually marble, sometimes limestone). This technique seems to have come into use in Greece at the end of the 6th century bc or the beginning of the 5th, and was predominantly, but not exclusively, employed for cult statues. The wooden bodies of acrolithic statues were covered in sheets of precious metal or draped with textiles regularly renewed in cult ceremonies. In ancient Greece the term ...

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A. Delivorrias

Decorative finial crowning the apex and lower angles of the pediments of ancient Greek and Roman buildings. Acroteria were normally made of terracotta, poros, limestone or marble, although bronze acroteria are mentioned in the literary sources: Pausanias (Guide to Greece V.x.4) noted gilded Victories framed by bronze cauldrons at the lower angles of the pediments of the ...

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Carmen Bria, Celia Rabinovitch and Michael Sickler

Although ‘acrylic’ has become a generic term for any synthetic paint medium, acrylics are a specific type of manmade polymer that has become standard in the commercial paint industry as well as widely used by artists from the mid-20th century; most synthetic paint media in contemporary artistic use are based on acrylic emulsions. Acrylics are thermoplastic, have great optical clarity and excellent light stability, good adhesion and elasticity and resist ultraviolet and chemical degradation. Their unique surface properties, transparency and brilliance of colour, together with the possibilities they offer for indeterminacy, immediacy, randomness and the ability to rework immediately and to achieve extremely thin or thick surfaces, are qualities that have been exploited fully by such painting movements as Abstract Expressionism in the 1950s, and, subsequently, colour field painting, hard-edge painting and Pop art....

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C. V. Horie and Eddy de Witte

Substances used to bond two surfaces. The surfaces may consist of the same material, as when mending a broken object, or of different materials, for example a collage. When applied to pigments the adhesive is called a Fixative, when applied to a crumbling solid a ...