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Impluvium
a rectangular basin in a Roman house that is placed in the open-air atrium in order to collect rainwater
In situ
a Latin expression that means that something is in its original location
Installation
a temporary work of art made up of assemblages created for a particular space, like an art gallery or museum
International Gothic style
a style of fourteenth- and fifteenth-century painting, begun by Simone Martini. The style is characterized by elegant and intricate interpretations of naturalistic subjects and minute detailing and patterning in drapery and color
Jali
perforated ornamental stone screens in Islamic art
Jamb
the side posts of a medieval portal
Japonisme
an attraction for Japanese art and artifacts that were imported into Europe in the late nineteenth century
Ka
the soul, or spiritual essence, of a human being that either ascends to heaven or can live in an Egyptian statue of itself
Keystone
the center stone of an arch that holds the other stones in place
Kiln
an oven used for making pottery
Kiva
a circular room wholly or partly underground used for religious rites
Kondo
a hall used for Buddhist teachings
Koran
the Islamic sacred text, dictated to the Prophet Muhammad by the Angel Gabriel
Kouros
an archaic Greek sculpture of a standing youth
Krater
a large Greek bowl used for mixing water and wine
Kufic
a highly ornamental Islamic script
Kylix
a Greek drinking cup
Lamassu
a colossal winged human-headed bull in Assyrian art
Lantern
a small structure with openings for light that crowns a dome
Literati
a sophisticated and scholarly group of Chinese artists who painted for themselves rather than for fame and mass acceptance. Their work is high individualized
Lithography
a printmaking technique that uses a flat stone surface as a base. The artist draws an image with a special crayon that attracts ink. Paper, which absorbs the ink, is applied to the surface and a print emerges
Loculi
openings in the walls of catacombs to receive the dead
Longhouse
a long Native-American communal dwelling made of wood. Characterized by having supporting interior poles that create long interior corridors
Lunette
a crescent-shaped space, sometimes over a doorway, which contains sculpture or painting
Maestà
a painting of the Virgin Mary as enthroned Queen of Heaven surrounded by angels and saints