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Genre- A type or category of artistic form, subject, technique, style or medium. A genre painting is a term used to loosely categorize paintings depicting scenes of ordinary life, including among other things domestic interiors, parties, inn scenes, and street scenes.
Geoglyphs- Earthen designs on a colossal scale often created in a landscape as if to be seen from an aerial viewpoint.
Gesso- A ground made from glue, gypsum and or chalk forming the ground of a wood panel or the priming layer of a canvas. It provides a smooth surface for painting.
Gesturalism- Style of painting and drawing in which the brushwork of line visibly records the artist's physical gesture at the moment the paint was applied or the lines laid down. Associated especially with expressive styles, such as Zen painting and Abstract Expressionism.
Gilding- The application of paper thin gold leaf or gold pigment to an object made from another medium, like sculpture or painting. Gilding is usually used as a decorative finishing detail.
Giornata- Adopted from the Italian term meaning "a days work", a giornata is the section of fresco plastered and painted in a single day.
Glazing- An outmost layer of vitreous liquid (glaze) that, upon firing renders ceramics waterproof and form a decorative surface. In painting a technique particularly used with oil medium in which a transparent layer of paint (glaze) is laid over another, usually lighter, painted or glazed area.
Gloss- A type of clay slip used in ceramics by ancient Greeks and Romans that, when fired imparts a colorful sheen to the surface.
Gold Leaf- Paper thin sheets of hammered gold that are used in gilding. In some cases it is also used as a ground for painting.
Golden section- A ratio between two divisions of a line in which the smaller part is the same proportion to the larger as the larger is to the whole. It is sad to be the ideal proportion and was supposedly discovered by the Greeks.
Good Shepherd- A man carrying a sheep or calf or with a sheep or calf at his side. in classical art, the god Hermes carrying a calf; in Christian art, Jesus Christ with a sheep (an image inspired by the Old testament 23rd Psalm or the New Testament parable of the Good Shepherd.
Gouache- Opaque watercolor mixed with a white pigment. Also a work made with this paint.
Graffiti- Crude inscriptions, designs or drawings scratched or painted on a surface, usually meant to be seen by the public.
Grand Manner- An elevated style of painting popular in the eighteenth century in which the artist looked to the ancients and to the Renaissance for inspiration; for portraits as well as history painting, the artist would adopt the poses, compositions, and attitudes of renaissance and antique models.
Grand tour- Popular during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, an extended tour of cultural sites in southern Europe intended to finish the education of a young upper-class person from Britain or North America.
Granulation- A technique for decorating gold in which tiny balls of the precious metal are fused to the main surface.
Graphic arts- Arts involving the application of lines and strokes to a two dimensional surface or support, most often paper. graphic design includes a concern in the visual arts for shape, line and two dimensional patterning, especially apparent in works of typography and lettering. Both Roy Lichtenstein and Andy Warhol started as graphic artists.
Grattage- A pattern created by scraping off layers of paint from a canvas laid over a textured surface. See also frottage
Griffin- An imaginary creature with the head wings and claws of an eagle and the body and hind legs of a lion.
Grisaille- A style of monochromatic painting in shades of gray, also a painting made in this style.
Groundline- The solid baseline that indicates the ground plane on which a figure stands. In ancient representations, such as those of the Egyptians, the figures and the objects are placed on a series of ground lines to indicate depth.
Hand scroll- A long, narrow horizontal painting or text common in Chinese and Japanese art and of a size intended for individual use. A hand scroll is stored tightly wrapped around a wooden pin and is unrolled for viewing.
Haniwa- Pottery forms, including cylinders, buildings, and human figures that were placed on top of Japanese tombs or burial grounds.
Heliograph- A type of early photograph created by the exposure to sunlight of a plate coated with light sensitive asphalt.
Hemicycle- A semicircular interior space or structure.
Henge- A circular area enclosed by stones or wood posts set up by Neolithic peoples. It is usually bounded by a ditch and raised embankment.
Herm- A statue that has the head and torso of a human but the lower part of which is a plain, tapering pillar of rectangular shape.
Hieratic- In paintings and sculpture a formalized style for representing rulers or sacred or priestly figures. The hieratic scale is the use of different sizes for significant or holy figures and those of the everyday world to indicate importance. The larger the image the greater the importance.
Hieroglyphs- Picture writing: words and ideas rendered in the form of pictorial symbols.
High relief- Relief sculpture in which the image projects strongly from the background.
Historiated- Bearing images or a narrative, as an historiated capital or initial.
Horizon Line- A horizontal line formed by the implied meeting point of earth and sky. In linear perspective, the vanishing point or points are located on this line.
Hue- pure color. The saturation or intensity of the hue depends on the purity of the color. It's value depends on it's lightness or darkness.