alabaster - A fine-grained, slightly translucent stone with
a smooth milk-white surface.
fresco - Sometimes called "true fresco." A
painting technique in which pigment suspended in water is
applied to wet plaster. This method is very durable.
cartoon - ;A
full-size preparatory drawing, sometimes colored, from which an
original work such as a fresco or tapestry is copied.
chiaroscuro - The
term chiaroscuro refers to the fine art painting modeling
effect of using a strong contrast between light and dark to
give the illusion of depth or three-dimensionality. This comes
from the Italian words meaning light (chiaro) and dark (scuro),
a technique which came into wide use in the Baroque Period.;
Sfumato is the opposite of chiaroscuro.
condottiere - Until
the mid-fifteenth century, condottieri were mercenary leaders
in the employ of Italian city-states.
contrapposto - The
principle of weight shift in the visual arts. It is commonly
used to depict a figure in a relaxed stance, one leg
weight-bearing, the other bent, the torso slightly shifted off
foreshortening - The term
foreshortening refers to the artistic effect of shortening
lines in a drawing so as to create an illusion of depth.
frescoes) - Simply defined, painting on plaster. There are two
methods, buon fresco and fresco secco.
secco - In this technique, pigment is mixed with
a binding agent and painted on dry plaster. This method is not
as durable as true fresco painting.
Humanism is the movement of the fourteenth to the sixteenth
centuries when all branches of learning, literary, scientific
and intellectual, were based on the culture and literature of
classical Greco-Roman antiquity.
- A style of monochromatic painting in shades of gray, used
especially for the representation of relief sculpture.
illusionism - A
style of painting which makes two-dimensional objects appear to
- A style developed during the Late Renaissance gaining
popularity in much of Europe and northern Italy, Mannerism featured the use of
distorted figures in complex, impossible poses, and strange
perspective - The
term perspective refers to the technique of representing the
illusion of a three-dimensional world on a two-dimensional
surface (a flat piece of paper or canvas).
a person who excels in multiple fields, particularly in both
arts and sciences. Another name for "Renaissance Man."
A decorative frieze or border element running along the front
of an altarpiece at the foot usually consisting of several
- church dining hall
Man - A man who has broad intellectual interests
and is accomplished in areas of both the arts and the sciences.
A "universal man" or polymath.
The term sfumato was coined by Italian Renaissance artist,
Leonardo da Vinci, and refers to a fine art painting technique
of blurring or softening of sharp outlines by subtle and
gradual blending of one tone into another through the use of
thin glazes to give the illusion of depth or
three-dimensionality. This stems from the Italian word sfumare
meaning to evaporate or to fade out. The Latin origin is
fumare, to smoke. The opposite of sfumato is chiaroscuro.
- A term applied typically to the art of Michelangelo
describing the heroic and awe-inspiring power and grandeur of
- A French term meaning "trick the eye." Also known as
illusionism. A painting style designed to give the
apprarance of three-dimensionality.
For more information on Italian Renaissance Art and book
recommendations, click here.