Maki-e- In Japanese art, the effect achieved by sprinkling gold or silver powder on successive layers of lacquer before each layer dries.
Mandala- An image of the cosmos represented by an arrangement of circles or concentric geometric shapes containing diagrams or images. Used for meditation and contemplation by Buddhists.
Mandoria- Light encircling or emanating from the entire figure of a sacred person.
Manifesto- A written declaration of an individual's or groups ideas, purposes, and intentions. The Futurist art manifesto was written by a group of artists including, Gino Severini.
Matte- Term describing a smooth surface that is without shine or luster.
Mediums- In general the material from which any given object is made. In painting, the liquid substance in which pigments are suspended.
Memento mori- From Latin for "remember that you must die"". An object, such as a skull or extinguished candle, typically found in a vanitas image, symbolizing the transience of life. "The Repentant Magdalene" by Georges de la Tour is a great example with a candle, a book and a skull shown with the woman.
Memory image- An image that relies on the generic shapes and relationships that readily spring to mind at the mention of an object.
Metope- The carved or painted rectangular panel between the triglyphs of a Doric frieze
Middle ground- Within the depicted space of an artwork, the area that takes up the middle distance of the image.
Mithuna- The amorous male and female couples in Buddhist sculpture, usually found at the entrance to a sacred building. The mithuna symbolize the harmony and fertility of life.
Mobile- A sculpture made with parts suspended in such a way that they move in a current of air.
Modeling- In painting, the process of creating the illusion of three dimensionality on a two dimensional surface by use of light and shade. In sculpture, the process of molding a three dimensional form out of a malleable substance.
Module- A segment or portion of a repeated design. Also a building block.
Molding- A shaped or sculptured strip with varying contours and patterns. Used as decoration on architecture, furniture, frames, and other objects.
Monoprint- A single print pulled from a hard surface, such as a blank plate or stone, that has been prepared with a painted design. Each print is an individual artwork, as the original design is a transient one, largely lost in the printing process. Also called monotype.
Mosaic- Images formed by small colored stone or glass pieces (tesserae) affixed to a hard, stable surface.
Motif- Any recurring element of a design or composition. Also: a recurring theme or subject n artwork. Michael Arnold Art created a Michael Stipe motif with "Stipe", "Psychedelic Stipe", and "Stipe Three".
Movable type printing- A method of printing text in which the individual letters cast on small pieces of metal, are assembled into words on a mechanical press. When each edition was complete, the type could be reused for the next project.
Mudra- A symbolic hand gesture in Buddhist art that denotes certain behaviors, actions, or feelings.
Mural- wall like. A large painting or decoration, done either directly on a wall or separately and affixed to it.