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Humanities LibreTexts

2.2: Art Specific Vocabulary

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  • Every discipline has its “jargon,” and the visual arts are no different. Visual artists use a vari- ety of materials and processes to produce their work and art critics use specialized terms to de- scribe that work. It is unavoidable that terms must be invented to serve the purposes of criticism and/or description. Many art terms are in common use and widely understood, some are less so. Some terms come from languages other than English. In the course of describing the different forms that visual art takes, this text will introduce terms by using a bold font, following them with explanations and definitions. As with any discipline, the goal in using specialized art terms here is to make things more clear and direct.

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