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Art Smart
Dictionary of Art
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One of the eight spefific types of “Nayikas” mentioned by ancient writers and poets. There are two types of these “Nayikas”, The “Krishna Abhisarika” who meets her lover on a dark new moon night and the “Shukla Abhisarika” who meets her lover on a full moon night.
Abstract art
Any art in which the depiction of real objects has been subordinated or discarded in favour of patterns, lines and colour.
Academic art
It is an art which is non innovative and unoriginal.
Acid-free foam board
A board made of foamed plastic (polystyrene) material sandwiched between coated paper from which the acids have been removed or have been chemically neutralized to raise the pH level above 7 (alkaline).
A vague term, referring to a material with a pH of 7 or higher. Sometimes used incorrectly as a synonym for alkaline or buffered material. Some acidic materials are chemically neutralized with the addition of alkaline products; other materials are processed to remove the acid-producing elements. (Acid-free materials may become acidic over time due to residual chlorine from bleaching, aluminium sulphate from sizing or atmospheric pollutants.)
Acid-free corrugated cardboard
Corrugated board that has been rendered acid-free; may be lignin free and/or buffered to raise the pH to 7 or above (alkaline). Used as a backing board or for making sturdy storage containers for paper art, textiles or other unframed pieces which should be stored in acid-free atmospheres.
Acrylic box
A box-like cover constructed from clear acrylic sheet.
Acrylic paint
Artists’ colours made by polymerizing a methyl methacrylate by emulsification, thus dispersing the resin into tiny particles in water. This fluid is used for a base in compounding polymer colours. Acrylic colours are water soluble when wet, but dry to an insoluble film. Colors are bright, dry quickly and are flexible.
Acrylic painting
An artwork executed with acrylic paint.
A lover or connoisseur of the arts or one who enjoys artistic sensation.
The philosophy and appreciation of the beautiful especially in relation to art.
The fire
Air brush
An instrument, powered by compressed air, used to spray paint with delicate control and precision. Paint (usually a fine water colour) is held in a small cup attached to the side of the pen-like instrument. Paint is drawn through the "brush" by the Venturi effect. The result is characterized by a very smooth, even texture and unbroken tonal gradations.
Air vent
Used in the cire perdue or lost wax process of casting metal.
After the antic, it implies an art object painting or sculpture which is based on the classical model.
Alla prima
Italian phrase for completing a painting in a single session with no preparatory under drawing, glazes or later re-touching.
Ananta shayana
Endless sleeping
Animation cel
A clear plastic sheet onto which a drawing is copied, either by hand-inking or by a xerographic copier process. Coloured paints are applied to the reverse side. One or more cels may be placed over a painted background, which serves as a setting for the action. In animated movies and cartoons, twenty-four cels are required for each second of screen time. Cel is an abbreviation for Celluloid (trademark).
A finishing technique used to give the appearance of age.
Beautiful nymph, born of the ocean according to Indian mythology. They are graceful dancer and are specifically sent by the gods to test the morality of saintly men.
An aquatint is a print made through a specialized technique involving a metal plate coated with a fine layer of powered resin that is heat bonded. Later stop out varnish is applied after which it is placed in acid for biting in the image. Patterns and images are created by stopping out certain areas of the plate with acid resistant varnish or ground before re-immersion in the acid bath. The resin and varnish are later washed off with certain chemicals example bezene. The plate is then inked for printing.
Broadly used to describe materials that have the least harmful effects on the art being framed or stored and thus preserving such pieces for the longest period of time.
A form of human activity created primarily as an aesthetic expression, especially, but not limited to drawing, painting and sculpture
A handcraft work of art which could be either decorative or utilitarian in nature.
A skilful craftsman. One skilled in an applied art.
Artist’s proof
Historically, it was a print retained by the artist for his/her own use or sale. It may bear the designation A/P.
Soul or spirit
A sale involving a series of bids by a group of buyers.
Descent an incarnation as distinguished from re-incarnation.
The space behind the main characters in a landscape, figurative painting and sculpture
The negative area against which, the main forms are placed in and abstract work.
Bark painting
Painting on prepared tree bark. The material is subjected to a variety of processes until the surface becomes smooth enough for painting.
Rough, heavily grained wood with the texture and colouring of weathered wood, as on a barn.
An extremely elaborate and ornate artistic style. This dynamic, theatrical style dominated art and architecture in Europe during the 17th Century.
A sculptural relief technique in which the projection of the forms is relatively shallow.
Originated in Java; a method of dyeing textiles. Wax is applied to sections of material which are to remain uncoloured; the dyes do not penetrate wax. Once dyed, the wax can be removed by various methods, one of which is boiling. Repeated waxing and dyeing results in colourful patterns. The lines typically found in batiks are produced by cracking the hardened wax before applying the dye.
Cutting or shaping the edge or end of a material to form an angle that is not a right angle, such as the bevel cut on the window edge of a mat.
Bhagwad gita
The song of the lord.
God, spiritual being.
Devotion, love.
Wall painting, the Indian term for mural painting.
Seed, germ, drop and zero.
A tree that grows in northern countries. The wood is hard and pale brownish yellow in colour, dense and somewhat heavy. Even though hard, it is easy to carve. Birch bark is waterproof because of its natural waxes.
Bird’s eye maple
A North American hardwood valued for cabinet work and frame moulding. The hard, strong, heavy, close grained wood is beautifully patterned. This wood of the sugar maple is characterized by a wavy grain causing bird’s eye like markings.
Block printing
Method of relief printing from a block of material either wood or linoleum which are commonly used.
Having to do with plants, most often used in reference to artwork depicting plants or flowers.
Bottom mat
In multiple mat combinations, that mat which is nearest the art.
The creator.
Lightweight plastic sheet packaging material with air filled pockets.
The Enlightened One.
Bumper pad
Small self-adhesive pad, made of rubber, cork or felt, used on the bottom corners of the dust cover or back of a frame to hold the frame away from the wall at the bottom, allowing air to circulate. Also steadies the frame on the wall.
A portrait painting or sculpture of the sitter portraying just the head and the shoulder, not the whole body.
- C -
Handwriting as an art. Elegant penmanship with decoration and design of primary importance.
1) A heavy woven fabric usually of cotton or linen, used as a support for a painting. The surface is prepared for painting by applying gesso or rabbit skin glue.
2) Interlocked or woven fibres used as the ground material for needle art.
Canvas board
Common gray cardboard or pasteboard to which a white cotton cloth, prepared for painting, has been glued or pasted.
Canvas pliers
Heavy pliers with elongated jaws for grasping the edges of a piece of canvas when stretching it onto a stretcher frame. A square extension at the middle of the lower jaw is called the hammer; its most important function is to supply leverage against the back of the stretcher bar.
Canvas transfer
A process which lifts the image on a print off the paper support so that it can be transferred to a canvas mount.
It refers strictly to the representation of a person or an object by exaggerating certain key physiognomical characters to produce a humorous or satirical effect.
A term generally used in sculpture or any craft which involves the art of cutting and carving in to wax, wood, stone, marble or any hard material to create forms based on the sculptors conception or a design in the case of craft.

An adhesive or medium, made from powdered cottage cheese (paneer). The cottage cheese is obtained by curdling skimmed milk with acetic acid or vinegar.
The powder is then dissolved in hot water. Later, lime water or ammonium hydroxide is added, to make a syrupy solution that can be used either as a binder or an adhesive.


Meaning an outer covering or reinforcing shell. In sculpture, it is generally composed of clay or plaster to support negative masses and moulds made of flexible materials like rubber.


The object produced by moulding.


To form into a particular shape by pouring fluid matter into a mould and allowing it to harden, such as making a picture frame ornament.

Cast paper

Paper made by pressing the pulp into a die or mould used for casting or shaping, becoming a work of art in and of itself.

Cast stone

A highly refined variety of concrete, which is a mixture of Portland cement, aggregate and water.

Catalogue raisonné

A catalogue which chronicles all known works of an artist, along with pertinent details on each piece.

Cave art

The painting relief and drawings belonging to the Old Stone Age.


It is a mixture of lime and earth-clay or impure calcium aluminium silicate ground to a fine powder and calcinated in a furnace.


A general term used for objects made of different types of clay, covered with slips or glazes and then fired. Also used to mean porcelain and terracotta.


A Sanskrit term meaning “one with six teeth or tusks”


A term used in Indian and especially Buddhist architecture, generally meaning a Cita (mound), stupa (a hall or temple), for religious purposes.


It is an attribute / weapon of the Hindu God VISHNU, his AVATARS and of the Goddess DURGA. Known as Sudarshana, it appears in the form of a disc or wheel with spokes like the rays of the sun. When hurled by VISHNU it never misses its mark. It is represented as rotating around his upraised finger.
Chakra also denotes the six centres of energy in the human body according to the traditions of TANTRA.


Chalk, made of calcium carbonate mixed with gum or by moulding calcium sulphate (plaster of Paris) into a stick form. Conte crayon is sometimes called chalk.


The moon god, a male deity also called Soma.


Sticks of charred wood usually willow.


A technique employed in finishing metal work, and in the case of delicate detailing on jewellery. Chasing is used to correct the imperfections left by casting metal, and smoothening out the rough edges and joints especially bronze. The striking edge of the tool is held against the surface to be chased and lightly hammered.

A method used for enlarging small models or maquettes. It involves the use of a calibrated framework, and two stand, one for the small model and the larger one for the proposed enlargement.

Four armed. Indian gods and goddesses are frequently depicted with multiple limbs and heads.

Chaura panchasika

An 11th century poem of 50 verses written by Bilhana, a Kashmiri robber-poet on his great love for the Princess Champavati. It is translated as the ‘love story of the thief’. It has been illustrated in the Sultanate style of miniature painting, which is a development on the stiff and angular Jain Style.


A tree that grows in the northern hemisphere; the wood is hard and light weight. It is golden brown in colour with a hint of green. It can be easily distinguished from other brownish woods by its golden sheen.


American: A hardwood tree that grows in the north-eastern United States; the wood is coarse in texture, moderately light and strong. It is greyish brown or brown in colour. It seasons well and is easily worked with tools.


A board made entirely from recycled paper products, containing a variety of impurities. It is an inexpensive mounting and backing board for non-conservation/preservation framing.


(v) To cut picture frame moulding, usually at a 45 degree angle, to the length needed for a frame.
(n) The length of moulding cut for a picture frame.

Chop mark

A small embossed seal or impression on a print, generally indicating the printer or artist.


A colour photograph based on the silver dye-bleach system. The necessary colours (azo dyes) are built into the emulsion layers. These colours are bleached out where not needed during developing. Azo dyes produce more brilliant colours and have greater stability and resistance to light than any other current process. Ilford has renamed its process Ilfochrome.


Symbols, initials or signs in the form of a monogram used in the work of art, often used by artists in place of a full signature.


Cityscapes serve as a backdrop to figures, which are mostly painted in watercolours, tempera and oils.

Clear glass

Glass made with a smooth or polished surface on both sides. It is not etched, coated or laminated.

Climate control

The control of temperature and relative humidity to produce an environment with little fluctuation, ideally 50 percent relative humidity and 70 degrees F.

Clip frame

Generic for a method of framing. A set of clips used to hold the glazing, art and backing together for display. Generally made of metal and not to be confused with braquettes or uni-frames.

Coated paper

Paper treated with clay or other adhesive mixture to improve the finish for printing, color, smoothness or other surface property. This also includes lacquered and varnished papers. (29)


Artwork created by securing pieces of paper, fabric or other materials onto a substrate. Though basically two-dimensional, it may have a sculptural effect.


1) Used to refer to perceived qualities that result from the response of vision to the wavelength of reflected or transmitted light.
2) Describes images that have hues, as opposed to black, white and gray tones only and the processes used to make them.

Colour wheel
A spectrum of colours placed in a circle including the three primary colours: red, yellow and blue, and the secondary colours: orange, green and purple. Colors opposite each other on the wheel are complementary colours.
Complementary colours

Colours which are directly opposite each other on the colour wheel, e.g., red and green, blue and orange.


Relief ornaments made from a mixture of whiting, oil, resin and animal hide glue. Pliable when heated, self-adhesive when wet and hard when set.


The arrangement of elements, shapes and colours in a work of art.

Conservation (preservation)

In framing, it is the careful maintenance and protection of works of art. In conservation (preservation) framing, using materials and procedures that will have no adverse effects on a piece of artwork and will protect the artwork from external damage.


Exclusive rights to reproduce, sell and distribute a work, prepare derivative works and display the work publicly.


It is the outline which forms the border of a composition defining it in relation to another. By just changing the texture of the contour line, a good artist is able to suggest many things.

Corner samples

Short molding lengths mitered and joined to form a corner. Used as visual aids during the framing design process. Also referred to as chevrons.


Certified Picture Framer. One who has passed the Professional Picture Framers Association’s certification examination.

- D -

Ten incarnations. The ten incarnations of Vishnu declared to have been assumed by him on ten different occasions, with a view to destroy certain demons and setting the havoc created by them in the world.

Deckle edge

The feathery edge of a sheet of handmade paper, caused by the deckle or frame which confines the pulp to the mold. Also present on some machine-made papers, caused by the rubber deckle straps at the sides of the paper machine.


Decoration of a surface by covering it completely with cut out paper forms. The process used in making collages.


1) The selection and arrangement of the formal elements in a work of art; the expression of the artist’s     conception in terms of a composition. Click here for a description of design styles.


One of the two main sects in Jainism, Digambara literally means sky-clad. 


The overall measurement of a work of art. In the case of paintings, height is given before width. In the case of free-standing sculpture, only its height, usually without the base or pedestal is given.

It means out of shape or proportion

1) A set of two prints making one complete image.
2) An ancient writing tablet consisting of two pieces of wood or ivory hinged together, with the inner     sides waxed for writing on with a stylus.


Also known as the festival of lights.


A technique used mainly in oil painting, in which a brush loaded with almost dry pigment is drawn over a wet undercoat, producing textural effects of broken colour.

Dry cleaning pad

A soft cloth bag filled with erasing powder. Used for removing dirt and smudges on mat board and paper.


A simple engraving technique involving the use of a sharp needle to carve or scratch directly into the metal plates, without a prepared ground.


Impenetrable. Durga has different names each one representing Shakti.

- E -

A freestanding structure designed to hold an artist’s canvas or panel during painting. Also may be decorative for display.


The total number of copies printed from the same plates or blocks and published about the same time.


To beautify by ornamentation..


An embellishment raised in relief from the surface.


A combination of two liquids which do not ordinarily mix, one being suspended in the other in the form of minute droplets.


1) A glossy substance, usually opaque, applied by fusion to the surface or metal, pottery, etc., as an ornament or for protection. 2) Any of various enamel-like varnishes or paints.


Lines cut into a plate by hand with a steel burin or graver; no acid is used. The metal which is displaced in cutting is smoothed with a scraper which results in crisp, meticulous lines. Then the entire plate is thoroughly inked, with care taken to force the ink down into all of the lines, completely filling them. The surface is wiped clean, leaving the incised lines filled. A press is used to transfer the image onto paper.

Erotic art

Erotic term refers to expression of love or sexual desire and excitement.


A printing process. A metal plate is covered with an acid-resisting ground. The design is scratched through this ground, exposing the metal beneath. The plate is then immersed in an acid bath, causing the scratched or exposed areas to be eaten away. The plate is wiped clean, inked and the higher surfaces cleaned again, allowing the ink to remain in the incised areas. A press is then used to transfer the image onto paper. (n) Art work so executed.

- F -
Fabric mat

A mat which has been covered with fabric.


To lose or cause to lose brightness or brilliance or definition of line, form and colour.


A style of painting, in which discordant and bright striking colours were sketchily applied on distorted bold forms with boldly decorative effects

Fillet (wood)

A small molding with profile that may be used as an edging on a mat or frame lip. Profiles may differ somewhat. May also be called a slip.


The process of assembling glass, mats, artwork and filler board into a picture frame, including the addition of a dust cover, hangers and bumper pads.


A means of securing artwork to a rigid support so all edges are visible.

Float mat

A window mat raised or elevated off the underneath surface by spacers.


A molding designed to give the artwork the appearance of floating within the frame. Floater frames have a rabbet in reverse; the artwork is fitted in from the front.

Flora & fauna paintings

Natural history paintings with flowers and plants; birds and animals, etc., as the main subject.


A flat container for holding/storing artwork

Folk art

The term refers to the indigenous art of a particular community; the signs, symbols and style being the result of a collective consciousness rather than one individual’s vision and repeated with minor variations through the ages. The style is simple with bold linear drawings, bright, flat colour application and decorative rhythmic repetitions.


The images or figures that seem nearest to the viewer on the picture plane. The term is generally used when describing the composition.


Classification of substance-creation, arrangement or volume in the work of art, and also its components and their relationship within an outer appearance of the work. The composition in the same degree, is distinct from its contents.


That decorative or functional element which surrounds an item, providing protection and display functions. Typically made of wood or metal, a frame generally provides the architectural support element for a work of art.

Frame design

1) The characteristic appearance of a frame, identified with a historical period or as being that of a particular frame maker. 2) The process whereby the appearance of a frame is planned, designed and executed. 3) The process whereby framing components are selected for a particular artwork.

- G -

The ordinary Indian club or mace, held by Vishnu and various other gods, and heroes. It is usually shown held in the hand or rested on the floor with the hand placed on it.


An elephant.


The son of Shiva and Parvati, is one of the most popular and lovable of all the Indian Gods and in invoked at the beginning of every venture as he is the bestower of success. He is depicted as being elephant-headed and potbellied. His vehicle is the mouse, Mushaka.


The personification of the holy river Ganga, running through the northern and eastern part of India.


A hybridized version of the eagle, a mythical bird, it is the mount of Vishnu.

Genre (French)

Kind; type. A collective term for paintings which depict scenes from everyday life, including still life, portraits, history paintings.

Gicleé (gee-clay)

Giclee' - is a French term meaning "spraying of ink." Printing is directly from information obtained from the original painting, Iris Printers spray microscopic drops of colour on to a fine art paper or canvas. Displaying the full colour spectrum, these artworks have vibrant, brilliant colours and a velvety texture. This gives the finished product the look and texture of an original painting.


The art of adhering thin metal, silver or gold leaf to a surface.

Glass mat

A style of matting, the mat is painted, etched or leafed onto the surface of a piece of glass.


A semi-transparent paper. A smooth, non-abrasive surface makes it ideal for interleaving or overlaying delicate artwork, such as a fragile etching or pastel painting, and it will not adhere to the varnish on oil paintings.


1) A protective interface between the environment and the work of art including glass and acrylic sheets. 2) In oil painting, a thin layer of a transparent coating applied to the dried painting. 3) In ceramics, a thin coating applied to a piece before it is put in the kiln. It functions as a means to waterproof the object, change its color or generally alter its appearance. 4) On frame molding, a thin coat of color applied over a base finish to change its appearance.


Deva, a Deity, a Cerator; Heavenly divine, the gods as the heavenly or shining ones. The representation of gods in art form was replete with the use of symbolic poses, gestures, weapons and attendant figures.


A precious yellow colour metal capable of being beaten into extremely thin sheets. It has been used throughout the ages both as a medium and to decorate sculpture, paintings, manuscripts artefacts, etc.

Gold leaf

A very thin sheet of beaten gold used in gilding. Also referred to as "loose leaf." Gold leaf is available in 12-23 karat gold. Each leaf is cut to a standard 3 3/8 inches square and has a thickness of approximately 1/300,000 of an inch. Gold leaf is packaged in books of 25 leaves, each leaf separated by tissue paper. A pack or box of gold leaf contains 20 books, for a total of 500 leaves.


1) An opaque watercolor paint. 2) A painting done with such a medium,

- H -
Hansa, Hamsa

Swan, goose.


The monkey god, son of Pavana-the wind god.


A hardwood tree that grows throughout the eastern half of the United States; the wood is exceptionally tough, heavy, hard and strong.


A small piece of paper or tape generally used to attach paper art to a mounting board.


Holi is a popular Indian festival dedicated to Krishna and Gopis. It is celebrated in the month of Phalgun (February – March).

Hors de commerce

Similar to an artist’s proof. Impressions pulled outside of the regular edition for the use by the publishers.

- I -

This refers to the overall style and expression used by artists. In India, this could span the traditional, the religious and secular themes, in a combination of traditional folk and tribal art.


A figure or image, often a statuette of god i.e. the object of worship found in both temples and private shrines.


Different pictorial devices used by painters throughout the ages to deceive the eye in order to persuade the spectator that the figure or object in the picture is real.

Illustration board

A sheet of cardboard with a sheet of drawing paper mounted on one side. Illustration boards are mostly used by commercial artists


The deity who fights the demons. The supreme god of the atmosphere and sky of Vedic times.


1) The printed or colored portion of a print. 2) A physical likeness or representation of a person, animal or thing; photographed, painted, sculpted or otherwise made visible.


A mark or depression made by pressure.


A term that includes all metal plate engraving and etching processes in which the printing areas are recessed, e.g., engraving, etching, drypoint and aquatint.

- J -
Japanese paper

Handmade paper with a web of strong naturally formed fibers; ideal for hinging purposes. The best are made with 100 percent kozo or gampi fibers, which have not been bleached or chemically processed.


In framing, the operation of gluing and nailing the corners of a frame.

- K -

Also known as time; Kaal, according to many Indian myths is endlessly cyclical, with creation leading to destruction and vice-versa, with good times following bad and so on. This is different from the Christian and Islamic belief that time moves in a straight path starting from the day of Creation and ending once and for all on the day of Judgement.


Blackness, destroyer of time. Kali is Durga in her fearsome form representing time, both giving life and taking it.

Kalighat Pat, Kalighat Folk Painting

Kalighat – an area in Kolkata WB, Pat – scroll. An Indian school of popular or folk style painting which originated near the Kali temple at Kolkata around 1820 from the village Patauas who migrated to Kolkatta.

Kaliyadamana, Kaliyamardana

The vanquishing of Kaliya, the hydra-headed snake by Krishna.


An ancient Indian text on the art of making love and other erotica by Vatsayana. Kama means wish, desire, longing. Sutra means to string or put together.


Fate. It presupposes that all human actions, mental or physical, are motivated by desires, and one has to face the consequences in this or next world resulting in the Samsara (transmigration) of the ATMA (soul or principal of life).


A triangular wedge of wood or plastic inserted into the grooves at the inside corners of a stretcher frame. Used to tighten the canvas by expanding the stretcher frame joints.

- L -

(n) A protective coating consisting of a resin or cellulose ester or both, which is dissolved in a volatile solvent sometimes with a pigment added. (v) To cover with a coating to produce a smooth, hard finish.


Good, future, prosperity. Lakshmi is the goddess of wealth, good future and prosperity. She is generally depicted sitting with her leg crossed, carrying a lotus in her left hand, with the right resting on the Padma (lotus).


A frame or object that has had gold, silver or metal leaf applied to it.

Lift mat

To raise or elevate the window mat off the artwork by means of spacers made of mat board or foam board strips attached to the mounting board or the underside of the mat and not visible.

Limited edition

The issue of something collectible, such as prints, limited to a certain quantity of numbered copies. The first number indicates the number of the piece; the second number indicates the total quantity of the edition, e.g., 135/250.


1) A frame molding used within the outer molding. May be covered with fabric, often velvet or linen. Many liners are made from fully finished frame stock, including gold or silver. Sometimes called an insert. If over 2 1/2 inches wide, called a panel. 2) Inner mats and fillets are also called liners.


A form of relief printmaking, the linocut is a softer material to work with. Linoleum can be carved into and incised quite easily by V-shaped tools, knives and gouges, thus creating different textures. After the block is designed and prepared with the help of the tools, ink is applied with the roller, and the print is taen, either by passing the block and a sheet of paper on it, through the press, or by placing the paper over the inked block and gently rubbing on it with back of a spoon or any rounded object. Multicoloured lino prints are possible with the use of several blocks of differently inked lino.


A generic term used to designate a print made by a planographic process, such as an original lithograph done on a lithographic stone or a commercial print made by a photo-mechanical process


The traditional planographic printing method which involves drawing or painting with greasy crayons or inks on a limestone block. The surface is then moistened with water. An oily ink is applied to the stone and adheres only to the drawing. The ink is repelled by the water which has soaked into the areas around the drawing. The print is pulled by pressing paper against the inked drawing, using a press. Variations of the technique are widely used in commercial reproductions.


The word as used in describing works of art, refers to the poetic or the aesthetic sensibility, awakened by certain painterly or sculptural passages.

- M -

A type of folk painting practised by the women of Mithila (a region in the state of Bihar) replete with religious fervour and symbolism. The paintings were originally confined to the nuptial chambers and conveyed the wish for a fertile married life. There are two visibly different styles; one being a rendering of stylized forms as practised by the educated Kayashta women and the other, a naïve, earthy style with brilliant colours preferred by others.


A printer’s name for red, in the four-color additive printing system which includes cyan, yellow and black. (8)


One of the greatest epics ever compiled; Vyasa is the semi-mythical editor of the 220,000 line-long Mahabharata. It narrates the saga of war between the Pandavas and the Kauravas.


A tree which grows in West Africa, South and Central America; the wood is quite soft and light weight; has a coppery-red color. Valued for its color, workability and because it does not shrink or warp.


A disk or a sacred circle. A sacred form of the cosmos, as seen in Indian sculpture, painting and architecture. It can be applied in any square or triangular unit which also appears in tantric and neo-tantric art.


A tree which grows in northeastern North America; the wood is hard, heavy and strong; the color varies from pale grayish to yellowish white. It is not durable for outdoor use, but is the best of all woods for flooring.


A replica of the face made by taking a cask. Masks can be made from a variety of materials such as carved wood, papier mache, cloth and even pumpkin sheels, which are then richly painted and decorated.


In sculpture, a small scale model.


(window mat) A border, usually made from mat board, placed around a print, photograph, etc., to serve as a spacer or separation between the picture and the frame.

Mat board

A multi-ply board usually comprised of a core, adhesive, facing and backing paper. Commonly four-ply, but available in other thicknesses. May be rag board or made of wood fiber. The surface paper comes in a wide variety of colors. In framing, used to make the window mat and as a mounting board for artwork.

Mat cutter

A tool for cutting the window opening in a mat. May be a small hand-held tool or include various levels of sophistication with regard to guide bar, measuring devices, fittings for special effects, oval cutting capability and possibly hydraulic clamps.


1) The specific tool and material used by an artist, e.g., brush and oil paint, chisel and stone. 2) The mode of expression employed by an artist, e.g., painting, sculpture, the graphic arts. 3) A liquid that may be added to a paint to increase its manipulability without decreasing its adhesive, binding or film-forming properties.


Collection of objects that have a sentimental value.

Metal sectional frame

A frame of anodized extruded aluminum sections.


An intaglio process in which the plate is pitted all over with a tool called a "rocker." By scraping or burnishing the raised burrs, gradations of light and shade may be produced in the printed image. Mezzotints are characterized by a rich, velvet overall appearance with numerous tonal ranges.

Miniature Painting

A small-sized painting, usually executed in watercolour, gouache or tempera. In India, however, the word miniature refers to paintings other than murals, executed in a portable size.

Mint condition

Describes artwork which is in the same condition as it was when originally finished, printed, etc. Taken from coinage, in the same condition as it was when it was minted

Mirror hanger

A heavy duty hanging device attached to the back of a frame with screws, characterized by having a holding ring at the top through which a thin, narrow metal strip has been passed and folded in half.

Miter (mitre)

To cut frame molding on an angle for joining to other mitered pieces.

Mixed Media

The word refers to the type of art that results when two or more different mediums are used in the execution of a single work. The media used must be compatible with each other, in the sense that while it is not possible to use watercolour and oil painting in a single work, pastels, pencils, gouache, acrylic and collage can still be used to enhance a watercolour.


In general art terms, modern refers to contemporary art or art of the present day, and usually implies innovation and initiative on the part of the artist.


Emancipation, liberation, freeing, salvation, deliverance and release from the worldly existence. It is the release of the soul from the endless cycle of birth and rebirth and can only be achieved through the total annihilation of Karma (deeds).


(mwa-ray) A lustrous watermark of wavy design placed on fabric by passing it through heated ridged rollers under pressure. Makes an attractive fabric pattern covering for mats.


A painting or drawing of different shades of one color.


A one-of-a-kind print made by painting on a sheet or slab and transferring the still wet painting to a sheet of paper by a hand method; if the painting is done on a metal sheet, it may be run through a press.


A distinctive and recurring form, shape or figure.


Wood or metal which has been refined and shaped and which includes a rabbet for use in the framing industry as frame stock.

Mounting board

A surface, substrate or secondary support to which any art or object is attached.


Headgear, crown. Refers to the elaborate headgear worn by gods, goddesses and heroes.


A mural is a synonym for wall painting, as against miniature painting or easel painting. It is directly painted on the wall or is attached in such a manner so as to make removal difficult, if not impossible. Mural painting or decoration as it can be more appropriately termed, can be executed with a wide variety of media and techniques.

Mythology (Greek)

Mythos = tale, history, communication. Mythology is the study of myths, i.e. stories from every corner of the world, which need not be historically or scientifically accurate, but nevertheless offers a fascinating insight into the culture of various people.

- N -

Snake. In Indian mythology, refers to the snake or snake spirit usually depicted as a denizen of the lower world the hell or patala. They represented with a human face and the tail of a serpent.

Naive Art

Naive art is distinguished only by the basic colour-sense and form, untutored appearance and finish. It is very similar to primitive art, but differs from the primitive in the sense that it is produced by artists living in a sophisticated society. These artists would produce works that were unconsciously naive, simple technology similar to the works of Grandma Moses.


The vahana of Shiva, Nandi is a white/black bull, the guardian of all quadruples. He always accompanies Shiva and is also the chief of his Ganas.


The man-lion form assumed by Vishnu (in his fourth incarnation) to fight the demons Hiranyaksha and Hiranyakashipu. He is represented with a lion’s face, the body of a man and is depicted springing out of a pillar or placing the demon on his lap and ripping his chest apart.


A narrative work of art, implies a literary theme; i.e. a story to be communicated to the spectator.


Nata = dancer, Raja = king. A synonym of Shiva, meaning the Lord or King of Dancers. Here, he is depicted dancing the Tandava-Nritya, the cosmic dance of both destroying and recreating the universe.

Natural Colours

This refers to the colours obtained directly from nature as opposed to chemical colours. They are earth colours, colours obtained from herbs or minerals, made of plant substances, vegetables, oils and fem stones, which have been traditionally been used for centuries in India.


1. Refers to the work that is landscape based, and mostly figurative though recently even abstract art has turned organic and hence based in nature. 2. Refers to the studies from nature.


The hero or the protagonist depicted in the Rajpput miniature paintings. Krishna is the Nayaka in a large number of these Vaishnav Bhakti-inspired miniatures.


A heroine in a drama, noble lady, a mistress or even a courtesan. The Ashtanayika describes the eight types of heroines. Nayika are a popular theme in Rajashthani miniature paintings illustrating the traditional stories from Sanskrit or Brajbhasha texts like Ragamala, Krishna Lila, Nayika Bheda.

Non-figurative Art

A synonym of abstract art, or art in which no figures appear.

Non-glare glass

Glass which has been etched on one or both sides, which defuses the light, resulting in a minimum of glare and reflection.


The word is used in preference to “naked” to describe the undraped human figure as depicted in sculpture, graphic and painting.

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A tree that grows in northern countries; the wood is hard, heavy, has a strong distinctive grain and is very acidic. Most oak has a yellowish brown color.


A process in which the printed image is transferred, or offset, from one roller or plate to another and then transferred to the printing paper. Offset lithographs should be termed reproductions rather than originals prints. This process eliminates the need to draw the image in reverse on the stone or plate.

Offset Printing

As against direct printing, offset has the advantage of printing the same image that is worked on a plate, rather than giving a mirror image. This process overtook lithography and could be operated manually or through the machine, in the printing process.

Oil paint

Artists’ colors made by dispersing pigments in linseed oil or another vegetable drying oil and having the consistency of a smooth paste.


A process used in lithography to reproduce multi-coloured paintings or designs in oil. A separate stone or plate is used to print each colour individually on the required paper or canvas. However, oil-based paints rather than printer’s ink are used to further illusion of oil painting.


The spiritual sound-symbol sacred to the Hindus. The Vedic time symbol which is creation, development and destruction; pronounced as “A” “U” “M” meaning Vishnu, Shiva and Brahma respectively, to create spiritual energy. The syllable “OM” represents the deepest vibration of the cosmos.

Open edition

An edition having an unlimited number of prints in it.


A unique piece of artwork that cannot be exactly duplicated, e.g., an oil painting on canvas. While the image may be duplicated as a print, the reproduction is not oil paint on canvas.


Heavily ornamented, overly adorned, showy.

Oval frame

A frame with an elliptical shape.

Oval mat

A mat with an elliptical opening; may have an oval or rectangular perimeter.


In animation art, a portion of a scene, generally a foreground element, painted on or applied to a cel and laid over the action to create the illusion of depth.


Describes the size of a frame or materials that are larger than standard 32- by 40-inch mat board.

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1) A non-absorbent surface on which to mix paint. 2) The set of colors on such a surface. 3) The range of colors a given artist or school of art prefers.

Palette knife

A thin blade of varying flexibility set in a handle; used for mixing paints or applying them to a surface.


A large number of gods/deities belonging to one religious sect. i.e. Hindu pantheon.


A substance made from cotton, wood or other fibrous material, usually in thin sheets, used for writing, printing or drawing.

Paper grain

The direction in which most of the fibers in a piece of paper are oriented and the axis along which the paper tears and flexes most easily. Grain is usually found only in machine made papers, although it is also present in some handmade oriental papers. (24)


1) A translucent or opaque material made from split skins of small animals, usually lambs or kids (goat) that have been limed, void of hair, scraped and dried under tension to produce a fine, thin, strong surface for writing, bookbinding or other uses. 2) Paper with a texture resembling true parchment.


Daughter of the mountain. The wife of Shiva, the reincarnation of Sati, an aspect of Shakti.


1) A crayon made from pigment mixed with just enough biding agent to hold it together. 2) A drawing (painting) made with pastel crayons.


1) A film or encrustation, usually green, appearing gradually on a surface of copper and bronze, due to weathering and as a result of oxidation. 2) An opaque toning used to stimulate aging or to dull the brightness of a gilded surface. 3) A deep, soft polished gleam acquired by wood and metal after years of wear and polishing.


A rhythmic usually repetitive use of certain motifs, to create a design, in painting, sculpture, architecture and most of the minor arts. It is usually decorative and pleasing to the eye.


A tree that grows in the warmer parts of the United States and Mexico. It is large with hard, but brittle, wood.

Photo frame

A frame specifically designed for standard sized photographs, often with an easel backing.


A method of etching by using a photographic light with sensitive coating. The film negative is placed on the plate, which has been coated with a light sensitive material. The resist hardens when it is exposed to light. The plate is then cleaned, etched, inked and printed in the normal way.


A printing technique in which a negative is exposed to a photo-sensitized lithographic plate, the image is then developed on the plate. Non-image areas are desensitized and the image area becomes an ink attracting surface. The plate is inked and printed in the normal manner.

Picture frame

A structure, usually of wood or metal in which a painting, print or other object is enclosed to improve or enhance its appearance, to isolate it from a wall or to link it to a decor, as well as to support and protect it.

Picture hanger

A device attached to the wall on which the frame is hung or attached to the molding of a frame by which the picture is hung.

Picture wire

A soft braided or solid wire, available in several thicknesses to support various weights, which may be coated with flexible plastic, attached to the back of framed pictures.


A tree that grows in a variety of locations around the world. The wood varies from very soft to hard, is light weight and straight grained. It is white or yellowish in colour.

Plaques (brass)

AA small metal plate mounted on a frame, usually showing the artist’s name and name of the artwork.


A painting, sculpture, drawing, photograph or other representation of a particular individual.


1) An inexpensive printed reproduction of a piece of artwork. 2) A placard or print intended for posting in a public place as an advertisement.


The Professional Picture Framers Association. A professional trade association that serves the art and framing industry.

Primary colours

Red, yellow and blue. No combination of other colours will yield a primary colour; combinations of the primary colours yield all other colours.


A generic term used to describe an impression made on paper from a block, plate or film negative, for example.


The technique of making prints, using one of several media available to the printmaker. Each printmaking medium permits its own unique visual characteristics, which are exploited variously by different printmakers. There are three basic printmaking processes 1. relief, 2. intaglio and 3. planographic. 1.The relief process includes wood cuts and engraving, metal cut and etching, and linocut. 2. The intaglio process includes dry-point, engraving, etching, mezzotint and aquatints. 3. Lithography is the most common form of planographic processes.


1) The outline of the exposed surface of a molding cross-section. 2) An outline of the contour of a face, viewed from the side.


A record of previous ownership and previous locations for a work of art.


Old rituals, old book. The Puranas are a distinct category of Sanskrit religious literature, describing the stories and the exploits of the gods in several volumes. Each Purana is titled with the main name or the praise name of a god or his incarnation.

- Q -

An ancient pen made from feather, bamboo or wood to write or draw.

- R -

Radha is one of the Gopis (cowherdesses) in the myth of Krishna. The love story of Radha and Krishna is one of the most prolifically illustrated themes in the history of Indian miniatures. Radha is a beautiful woman, and her dalliances with Krishna run into several romantic episodes, of which the most popular would be the “Cheerharana” (the stealing of her clothes) and the interludes in the forests of Vrindavan.


Selection of musical modes, where each mode has minimum of five notes up and down the scale, set in a certain order. Raga especially when rendered by an expert, has the power to evoke in the listener, rhythms as well as certain images. This gives the Ragas pictorial forms, by personifying them into six principal male Ragas, namely Bhairava, Malkauns, Hindola, Deepal, Shree and Megha. Each personification of these Ragas evokes a particular mood or sense of a particular season or time of the day and night; and many of these have been expressed in various forms of paintings especially Ragamala paintings from Mewar. These are based on the belief that each Raga has sound body symbolized by a god.


Necklace or string of Ragas. As applied to visual art, they refer to miniature paintings depicting life in the courts of Rajput Kingdoms of Raj especially Mewar, from the 17th century onwards. A unique feature of a Ragamala painting, is that it gives a pictorial image to the moods and sentiments of Ragas.


A female counterpart to the male Raga. Certain configuration is followed for each Ragini e.g. Todi depicts a beautiful maiden playing the Veena (a musical instrument) in the fores and intoxicating the birds and animals with the sweet sound. She is shown feeding the deer at her feet.

Rag board

Mat board from non-wood products such as cotton linters or cotton which are naturally lignin free, stable and durable. Made with a non-acidic (pH neutral or alkaline if buffered) sizing.

Rag paper

Paper with all the qualities and benefits of rag board, but much thinner. Used to make photo corners and for other light weight applications in framing.


Omnipresent, all pervading, charming, enchanting. He is the hero of Ramayana and an Uttamapurusha, the ideal man and brother and the perfect king. He is the seventh avatar of Vishnu, he is blue skinned, and is usually accompanied by his wife and brother.


The adventures of Rama, one of the two major epics (other being the Mahabharata) in Indian mythology. The Ramayana relates to the life and exploits of Lord Rama the 7th Avatar (incarnation) of Lord Vishnu. The Ramayana was one of the sources of inspiration for Rajastani miniature painting. Several modern artists have also illustrated scenes from the epic.


1.A Sanskrit word meaning sap, juice, extract from plants, fluid. 2. To taste, or relish. 3. In the world of Indian art, it refers to a state of bliss, emotions or aesthetic experience.

Rasa Lila

Rasa lila is a devotional dance of Krishna with his consort, Radha and Gopis. The dance symbolizes the universality of god and that every being is equally beloved (each Gopi thought that she was the favoured partner of Krishna).


Cluster of delights.


Evil king of Rakshashas (demons) in Lanka, and osn of Visravas and Kaikasi. He was supposed to be invulnerable and was described as Dashanana, having ten heads, twenty arms, burning eyes and sharp teeth. He had incredible strength, being able to break mountains, cause storms in the oceans and block the sun, moon and the course of wind with his hands and body. He could assume any form. Indra and Vishnu tried to destroy him with Vajra – thunderbolt and Sudarshana Chakra (discus/wheel) without success. Finally Vishnu had to descend to earth in his 6th incarnation in the avatar (form) of Rama to vanquish Ravana.

Ready made frame

A frame ready for purchase as is, as opposed to a custom-made frame. Ready mades are usually produced in standard sizes, e.g., 8x10, 11x14, 16x20.


Pertaining to realism, it refers to the technique in painting, in which the two-dimensional surface appears to be realistic and three-dimensional.


To remove an artwork from a frame and reinstall in the same or different frame.

Register marks

In multicolor printing, small dots, circles, crosses, etc., placed in the margin of the key (main) block, plate, etc., and which are transferred exactly to each printing surface made from the key. These marks enable the printer to align all the printing surfaces, so that each color impression will be in register with all the other impressions.

Regular glass

A designation for standard single-strength window glass (2.5 mm).


1) A small sketch engraved in the margin of a printing plate, usually removed before the final edition is printed. 2) A printing plate with such a mark.


Produced after the original edition was issued and from the original plates or blocks.


A copy.


Cosmetic repair of an object to recreate its original appearance.


Produced after the original edition was issued and from the original plates or blocks. Often made years after the artist’s death.


A pattern or sequence of regular, repetitive sounds, movements or in the case of visual arts, shapes or colours, i.e. lines as well as forms or brushstrokes, which are rhythmic.

Rice paper

A common misnomer for Japanese paper. A smooth, white material favored by Chinese painters; cut off, in a spiral manner, from the pith of the Fatsia papyrifera tree. Not a paper, similar to papyrus and tapa in that regard.


Literally means season.


It refers to a ceremony or procedure (usually religious in nature) followed at certain times or for special occasions.


A tree that grows in India, South and Central America. The wood is hard and very heavy. A special feature is the silvery sparkle it gives off when placed under light.


Howling, roaring or angry.

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Sawtooth hanger

A strip of metal approximately 1/4 inch wide with a sawtooth configuration cut into one edge. The hanger is attached to the back of the frame and combined with a nail or hook in the wall to complete the hanging assembly.


Goddess of wisdom, science, art and music. She is variously represented in painting and sculpture as 1. A river-goddess. 2. The daughter of Brahma and later his consort, she also has the swan (hansa, hamsa) as her Vahana. In addition to the swan, later artists have variously depicted her riding a peacock or sitting on a lotus throne.


A common frame molding shape, a cross section showing a concave or hollowed profile.

Screw eye

A screw with a head shaped into a loop to which the hanging wire on the back of a picture frame is attached.


It refers to the art of consciously creating forms and images in the three-dimensional, also referred to as plastic art. This could either be in round or in relief. Traditionally sculpture could be made in either of the two methods – i.e. by carving or by modelling.


It is a view of the coastline, boats, seabirds etc. in which the sea, along with the sky forms the chief element.

Secondary Colours

Colours which are made by mixing two primary colours in equal proportion.

Self Portrait

A portrait of the artist by the same artist. Artists painted realistic self portraits by watching themselves in a mirror with slightly narrowed eyes.

Secondary market

An arena where limited edition prints are resold after the edition has been sold out at the original sources.

Security hanger

A type of hanger with one section attached to the back of the frame and the other to the wall. When positioned together, the frame is held securely and requires a special tool to separate the hanger parts.


1) A dark brown color. 2) A dark brown pigment, used in paints and inks.


Artwork created to resemble an animation cel, but using screen printing techniques.


A method of printing using a hand-cut or photographically prepared stencil attached to silk or a polyester fabric through which color is forced. Also, referred to as a silk-screen or screen print.

Shadow box

A frame made from a deep molding in which three-dimensional objects may be displayed.


Power, strength, might energy. Shakti is the symbol of fertility as well as ferocity.


The conch shell carried by Vishnu and his incarnations.

Shrink wrap(ping)

(n) A clear plastic film which shrinks when heated. It comes in various qualities and thicknesses. (v) The act of wrapping an object in this film.


The Auspicious one. Shiva the Destroyer is the third god of the Hindu Trinity; the other two are Brahma the Creator, and Vishnu the Preserver.

Shula, Trishula or Trisula

The trident, the favourite weapon of Shiva, usually represented as a triple metal spike mounted on a long wooden handle. It is also seen on top of Shaivite temples.


A stencil process of printing in which a cloth (originally silk) is stretched over a heavy frame and the design painted by tusche or affixed by stencil. It is printed by having a squeegee force colour through the pores of the fabric in areas not blocked out. The term silk-screen now implies a commercial use, the same process used in fine art is termed serigraph.

Silver leaf

Silver that has been beaten into thin sheets. Silver leaf is more delicate than imitation gold, but sturdier than genuine gold; can be cut with scissors and picked up with fingers. A very versatile leaf; the colour can be modified with a tinted shellac, sometimes known as gamboge.


1.Refers to the dimensions of the work and material. 2. A gelatinous solution or glue made from animal skin.


Rough draft, general outline. It is also a preliminary study of the drawing or painting. It is also a preliminary study of the envisioned composition, for a landscape painter.

Social Realism

Refers to contemporary art about life styles of the working class usually projecting socialist or leftist view points.

Spring clips

There are various types of spring clips, used to hold a stretcher frame in a wooden frame or artwork in a metal frame. The canvas type hook on the stretcher bar and to the inside of the wooden frame. The type for metal frames fits between the back inside edge of the frame and the backing board.


Religious, divine, mystic. Refers to that quality of art that appeals to the metaphysical rather than the physical plane. From Tantric Art to contemporary paintings, Indian artists have constantly attempted to explore the theme, both on the spiritual and abstract plane.

Stamp print

A limited edition print of a game stamp, e.g., duck stamp print.

Standard size frame

A frame built to one of a variety of sizes deemed standard in the framing industry, e.g., 5x7, 8,10, 16x20.

Still life

A painting or drawing of a group of inanimate objects contrived by the artist according to some theme, either symbolic or merely aesthetic.


To pull a fabric taut over a rigid support and secure; e.g., a canvas over a stretched frame or a needle art over foam board.

Stretcher bar

A strip of wood with tongue-and-groove ends. Bars are joined to form an expandable frame over which canvas is stretched.


Style is a term for expression or exact knowledge of the characteristics of any period/school of art or the personal way of doing the work of art by any artist.


A term from substratum meaning a layer lying under another. Generally used to denote a foundation material upon which an item is mounted or otherwise functions as a carrier.


A mystical branch of Islam, which originated in the 8th century, dedicated to the elimination of the self to union with god. It made its tenets known through poetry, using analogies of human love to express the striving of the soul towards the creator.


The sun.


A kind of cross inscripted on objects to denote good luck. It consists of four spokes crossing each other at right angles with short parts of the periphery at the end of each spoke turning around in one direction. This direction usually stands for movement of the sun. In art, Swastika is used as a sign, gesture, posture and a symbol covering various areas of communication such as painting, sculpture and dance.

Symbolic Art

A style of art that employs symbols to express certain ideas, emotions or state of the world. Indian art has always been symbolic in nature. Every gesture, attitude and attribute had a corresponding meaning.

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1) A fabric consisting of a warp upon which colored threads are woven by hand to produce a design, often pictorial, used for wall hanging, on furniture, etc. 2) A machine woven reproduction of this fabric.


The work Tantra is composed of Sanskrit words 1. “Tan” and 2. Trai – meaning “A doctrine of faith”. Tantra is of universal nature, and allows for individual adjustments, so that any person, of any faith can achieve realization of pure and perfect experience.

Tantra Art

Tantra Art is rooted in spiritual values, the artist being in a constant process of discovery, of the origins and the roots of the cosmos – art being not a profession but a path towards truth and self-realization. Certain neo-tantric artists of the 20th century practising Tantra have taken the geometric configurations of the Yantra as their basic image and have worked around certain specific diagrams. Yet others have taken the sexual energy from Tantra, using specific objects with sexual undertones as leitmotifs in their paintings.


A tree that grows in Southern India and Southeast Asia. The wood is extremely hard (ordinary nails cannot be driven into it), very heavy (logs sink in water) and uniquely resistant to attack by insects, fungi and chemicals (it is not harmed by acids or alkalis). The color varies from yellow brown to rich brown. It has a course texture, usually is straight grained and has an oily feel; excellent dimensional stability and durability.


It refers to the mechanical skill in the execution of a work of art. The artist usually blends his inner feelings with creative energies and techniques to express himself and communicate with viewers. A thorough knowledge of technique is equally important for the contemporary artist. A good work of art is one where technique, style and imagery work harmoniously together.


The subject of a work of art.


1.The customs and beliefs of a people, or country or region carried through generations. 2. As in traditional art, the art forms and canons conceived and followed by artists of a by gone era, in a specific region. In Indian traditional art, it would include the art under various dynasties which ruled India in the past. Tradition plays an important role in the works of contemporary artists too. Signs, symbols, even thought process could add significantly to abstract works and newer modes of expression, such as installation and conceptual art.

Tribal Art

The art of various indigenous tribes. A primitive, spiritual and decorative quality permeates the works which are mostly utilitarian. Contemporary artists have been influenced by the images and motifs of specific tribes, often incorporating its rough and ready character into their works.


1) A set of three paintings or bas reliefs, related in subject matter and connected side by side. The two outside half-panels (called wings) may be closed over the central panel. 2) A set of three prints that make one complete image.

- U -
Ultraviolet (UV) light

Short, high energy invisible light waves beyond violet in the spectrum with a length of 250 to 400 nanometers.

United inch

In framing, the combined inches of one length and one width of a frame; e.g., an 8x10 frame is 18 united inches.

UV filtering acrylic sheet

A glazing material consisting of an acrylic sheet which has been formulated to remove the damaging ultraviolet rays from light.

- V -

The mount or vehicle of various gods and deities.


1) The degree of lightness or darkness of a hue. 2) The general degree of lightness or darkness of a surface.


1) Pertaining or belonging to the period during which Queen Victoria of Great Britain reigned, c. 1840-c. 1900. 2) Characterized by the presence of heavily carved ornaments, elaborate molding, etc.; use of strong, generally dark colors; emphasis on geometric form rather than on textural effects and frequently by an effect of harshness.


1) An ornamental design of vine leaves, tendrils and grapes, used as a boarder on a page. 2) A small, pleasing picture or view. 3) Small illustration or design on the title page of a book or at the beginning or end of a chapter. 4) An engraving, drawing, photograph or the like that is shaded gradually at the edges so as to not leave a definite line at the borders.


The protector, the preserver is the most humane of the gods forming the Hindu trinity. The other two being Shiva (the destroyer) and Brahma (the creator). He is usually depicted as having four arms holding an attribute: Shankha (conch shell). Chakra(discus), and Padma (lotus). He is normally represented in three postures: the standing image (Sthanaka–Murti), sitting image (Asana-Murti) or reclining (Sayana-Murti)

- W -

A tree that grows in Australia, Europe and America; the wood is hard, heavy and exceptionally stable (it does not shrink or warp). The color varies from pink to chocolate brown.

Warli Paintings

Also called Warli murals, are executed by tribal people of Warli, Maha, on the mud-plastered reed walls of huts and rock shelters. The Warli images are direct and naïve with nature in its unadorned and seasonal glory being the principal subject.


1) The technique of painting with pigments dispersed in a gum Arabic solution. 2) A work of art so produced. 3) The paint used in this technique.


1) A design, pattern or mark on paper, usually produced by a raised area on which the paper is made. Watermarks on handmade papers are made by very low relief molds or designs of fine wire set on the screen on which the moist pulp collects.

Wood Cut, Wood Cut Printing

One of the relief printing techniques which came into use in the late 14th century for printing from wood blocks. A woodcut is executed in the manner similar to the linocut, with the plank engraved along the grain. The design is traced onto the plank and gouges and chisels are used to remove the non-printing areas, leaving only those areas to be printed in relief. Ink is then rolled on the plank and it is pushed through the press with a suitably dampened sheet of paper. The design will appear in the reverse. In the case of multi block colour printing, more than one block is used, the positive areas of each block being used to print in a different colour.

Wood engraving

A highly exacting technique involving engraving on a piece of polished endwood. Endwood is a cross-cut section of wood which has little or no perceptible grain. This allows for cutting of delicate lines in any direction.

Wood engraving

A highly exacting technique involving engraving on a piece of polished endwood. Endwood is a cross-cut section of wood which has little or no perceptible grain. This allows for cutting of delicate lines in any direction.

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- Y -

An instrument, a spell or a certain mystic geometrical diagram, incised and raised on a metal plate.

- Z -
Zinc Plate

A metal plate used for printmaking, on which the artist draws, engraves and etches.

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