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Repousse
a type of metal relief sculpture in which the back side of a plate is hammered to form a raised relief on the front
Reserve column
a column that is cut away from rock but has no support function
Rib vault
a vault in which diagonal arches form rib-like patterns. These arches partially support a roof, in some cases forming a web-like design
Rose window
a circular window, filled with stained glass, placed at the end of a transept or on the facade of a church
Rückenfigur
in Romantic painting, a figure seen from the back, often in the contemplation of nature
Rusticate
to deeply and roughly incise stones to give a rough and rustic texture to its appearance
Sacra conversazione
an altarpiece in which the Madonna and Child are accompanied by saints and engaged in a "holy conversation"
Salon
a government-sponsored exhibition of artworks held in Paris
Sarcophagus
a stone coffin
Scarification
scarring of the skin in patterns by cutting with a knife. When the cut heals, a raised pattern is created, which is painted
School
a group of artists sharing the same philosophy who work around the same time, but not necessarily together
Scriptorium
a place in a monastery where monks wrote manuscripts
Sfumato
the technique of allowing tones and colors to shade gradually into one another, producing softened outlines or hazy forms.
Shaft
the body of a column
Shiva
the Hindu god of creation and destruction
Skeleton
the supporting interior framework of a building
Spandrel
a triangular space enclosed by the curves of arches
Spolia
in art history, the reuse of architectural or scriptural pieces in buildings generally different from their original contexts
Squinch
the polygonal base of a dome that makes a transition from the round dome to a flat wall
Stele
an upright stone slab or column typically bearing a commemorative inscription or relief design, often serving as a gravestone
Still life
a painting of a grouping of inanimate objects, such as flowers or fruit
Stringcourse
a horizontal molding
Stucco
a fine plaster used for wall decorations or moldings
Stupa
a dome-shaped Buddhist shrine
The Sublime
any cathartic experience from the catastrophic to the intellectual that causes the viewer to marvel in awe, wonder, and passion