Also known as a ‘baldachin’, this is a canopy placed over the high altar of a church. In the Baroque era, they usually had Solomonic columns.
Art period of the 17th century characterised by its dramatic, over the top nature. Originally a derogatory term coming from the Portuguese ‘barroco’ meaning ‘irregular pearl’.
Literally meaning ‘light-dark’ in Italian, this refers to the strong contrast between light and shadow.
The captains of mercenary armies. Comes from the word ‘condotta’ which means ‘contract’ – i.e. the contract between them and the city or lord they sold their services to.
The way a figure stands with the weight resting on one leg (the engaged leg), freeing the other to be bent at the knee.
The first half of the Renaissance where a more realistic style was being introduced. Giotto, Masaccio and Donatello were Early Renaissance artists.
A technique of painting on walls executed upon freshly laid, wet plaster which then sets within the plaster.
A style of medieval art developing in France, characterised in architecture by rib vaults, pointed arches and flying buttresses.
The second half of the Renaissance where realism was achieved and built upon. Artists included Leonardo, Raphael and Michelangelo.
A type of philosophy which emphasises the individual and revived the classical world. A humanist education included language, literature, rhetoric, philosophy, art history etc.
An artistic, symbolic reminder of the inevitability of death, usually a skull.
The Middle Ages. The period between the Late Roman era and the Renaissance, spanning the 10th to 14th centuries.
A hollow in a wall which often holds a sculpture. Comes from the word ‘nicchio’ which means ‘sea-shell’ as the traditional decoration for the top of a niche is a scallop shell.
Grand residences, originally the seat of power in the Roman Empire but now any grand residence.
The depiction of the body Christ in his mother’s lap. Comes from the Italian word for ‘pity’.
Illusionistic painting where figures and architecture extend into the space beyond the room. The ‘opening up’ of walls.
The French word for ‘rebirth’, applied to the period in history where there is a rediscovery and revival of interest in Antiquity.
The train of events which followed Martin Luther nailing his 95 Thesis to the door in Wittenberg Cathedral. Also the period following Henry VIII breaking from the Catholic Church.
Twisted spirals which can support any order. Believed to have come from the biblical Temple of Solomon.
The smoky, blurred edge technique in paintings which softens the transitions between colours, famously used by da Vinci.
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