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Abstract
Works of art that may have form, but have little or no attempt at pictorial representation
Academy
An institution whose main objects include training artists in an academic tradition, ennobling the profession, and holding exhibitions
Acropolis
Literally a "high city", a Greek temple complex built on a hill over a city
Action Painting
An abstract painting in which the artist drips or splatters paint onto a surface like a canvas in order to create his or her works
Allegory
Work of art that possesses a symbolic meaning in addition to a literal interpretation
Altarpiece
A painted or sculpted panel set atop an altar of a church
Ambulatory
A passageway around the apse or an altar of a church
Amphora
A two-handled Greek storage jar
Anamorphic Image
An image that must be viewed by a special means, such as a mirror, in order to be recognized
Animal Style
A medieval art form in which animals are depicted in a stylized and often complicated pattern, usually seen fighting with one another
Apadana
An audience hall in a Persian palace
Apotheosis
A type of painting in which the figures are rising heavenward
Apse
The end point of a church where the altar is
Aqueduct
An artificial channel for conveying water, typically in the form of a bridge supported by tall columns across a valley.
Arabesque
A flowing, intricate, and symmetrical pattern deriving from floral motifs
Arcade
A series of arches supported by columns
Arcadian
A simple rural and rustic setting used especially in Venecian paintings of the High Renaissance
Archaeology
The scientific study of ancient people and cultures principally revealed through excavation
Architrave
A plain non-ornamented lintel on the entablature
Archivolt
A series of concentric moldings around an arch
Ashlar Masonry
Carefully cut and grooved stones that support a building without the use of concrete or other kinds of masonry
Assemblage
A three-dimensional work made of various materials such as wood, cloth, paper, and miscellaneous objects
Atrium
A courtyard in a Roman house or before a Christian church
Avant-garde
An innovative group of artists who generally reject traditional approaches in favor of a more experimental technique
Axial Plan
A church with a long nave whose focus is the apse, so-named because it is designed along an axis