Deesis- In Byzantine art, the representation of Christ enthroned, flanked by the Virgin Mary and Saint John the Baptist.
Dentil- One of a series of small tooth like blocks arranged in a continuous band to decorate a cornice or molding.
Di sotto in su- Italian for "seen from below" a woman's eye view.
Dipteral- A building that is surrounded by two rows of columns.
Diptych- Two panels of equal size, usually decorated with paintings or relief, hinged together.
Dogu- Small human figurines made in Japan during the Jomon period. Shaped from clay with exaggerated expressions and in contorted poses, dogu were probably used in religious rituals.
Dolmen- A prehistoric structure made up of two or more large upright stones supporting a large flat horizontal slab or slabs.
Domino construction- System of building construction introduced by the architect Le Corbusier in which reinforced concrete floor slabs are floated on six freestanding posts placed as if at the positions of the six dots on a domino.
Dormer- A vertical window built into a slanting roof. A dormer window has its own roof and side walls that adjoin to the body of the roof proper.
Drypoint- An intaglio printmaking process by which a metal (usually copper) plate is directly inscribed with a pointed instrument (stylus). The resulting design of scratched lines is inked, wiped and printed. Also the print made by the process.
Earthworks- Artwork and or sculpture usually on a large scale, created by manipulating the natural environment. A great example is the Spiral Jetty by American sculptor Robert Smithson, which can be viewed here.
Edition- A single printing of a book or print. An edition only includes what is printed at a particular moment, usually pulled from the same press by the same publisher.
Electron spin resonance techniques- Method that uses magnetic field and microwave irradiation to date material such as tooth enamel and it's surrounding soil.
Emblema- In a mosaic, the elaborate central motif on a floor, usually a self contained unit done in a more refined manner with smaller tesserae of both marble and semiprecious stones.
Embossing- The technique of working metal by hammering from the back to produce a relief.
Encaustic- A painting technique using pigments mixed with hot wax as a medium.
Engraving- An intaglio printmaking technique of inscribing an image, design or letters onto a metal or wood surface from which a print is made.
Etching- An intaglio printmaking technique in which a metal plate is coated with acid resistant resin and then inscribed with a stylus in a design, revealing the plate below. The plate is them immersed in acid, which eats away the exposed metal. The resin is removed, leaving the design etched permanently into the metal and the plate ready to be inked, wiped and printed.
Expressive- When used in describing art, a form that seems to convey the feelings of the artist and to elicit an emotional response in the viewer.
Facade- The face or front wall of a building.
Fang ding- A square or rectangle bronze vessel with four legs. the fang ding was used for ritual offerings in ancient China during the Shang dynasty
Fete galante- A subject in painting depicting well dressed people in leisure in a park or country setting. It is most often associated with eighteenth century French Rococo painting.
Filigree- Delicate lacelike work.
Flower Piece- Any painting with flowers as the primary subject.; a still life of flowers.
Fluting- in architecture, evenly spaced, rounded parallel vertical grooves incised on shafts of column or columnar elemnts.
Foreground- Within the depicted space of the artwork, the area that is closest to the picture plane.
Foreshortening- The illusion created on a flat surface in which figures and objects appear to recede or project sharply into space, accomplished through the rules of perspective.
Form- In speaking of a work of art, the term refers to purely visual components: line, color, shape texture, mass, spatial qualities, and composition- all of which are called formal elements.