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Quillwork- A native American decorative craft technique. the quills of porcupines and bird feathers are dyed and attached to materials in patterns.
Raigo- A painted image that depicts the Amida Buddha and other Buddhist deities welcoming the soul of a dying worshipper to paradise.
Raku- A type of ceramic pottery made by hand, coated with a thick, dark glaze and fired at a low heat. The resulting vessels are irregularly shaped and glazed and are highly prized for use in the Japanese tea ceremony.
Readymade- An object from popular or material culture presented without further manipulation as an artwork by the artist.
Realism- In art, a term first used in Europe around 1850 to designate a kind of naturalism with a social or political message, which soon lost it's didactic import and became synonymous with naturalism.
Register- A device used in systems of spatial definition. In painting a register indicates the use of differing ground lines to differentiate layers of space within an image. In sculpture, the placement of self contained bands of reliefs in vertical arrangement.
Reintegration- Anthropological term for the process of adaptation and transformation of European techniques and styles by artists in colonial areas.
Replica- A very close copy of a painting or sculpture, sometimes done by the same artist who did the original. (Vincent van Gogh did over 10 replicas of his "Sunflower " painting)
Repousse- A technique of hammering metal from the back to create protruding images. Elaborate reliefs are created with wooden armatures against which the metal sheets are pressed and hammered.
Rhyton- A vessel in the shape of a figure or an animal, used for drinking or pouring liquids on special occasions.
Ribbon interlace- A linear decoration made up of interwoven bands, often found in Celtic and Northern European art of the medieval period.
Rinceau- A decorative foliage scroll, usually acanthus.
Rood- a crucifix.
Rose window- A round window, often filled with stained glass, with tracery patterns in the form of wheel spokes. Large elaborate rose windows are usually a central element of the facade of French Gothic cathedrals.
Running Spirals- A decorative motif based on the shape formed by a line making a continuous spiral. "Life One" is an abstract painting using a running spiral as it's base.
Sand painting- Ephemeral religious art created with different colored sands by Native Americans, Australian Aborigines, and other peoples in Japan and Tibet.
Scarification- Ornamental marks, scars, or scratches made on the human body.
Sculpture in the round- Three dimensional sculpture that is carved free of any attaching background or block.
Sepia- An ink medium often used in drawing that has an extremely rich, dark brownish tone. "Maribel" was painted using sepia tones.
Sfumato- Italian term meaning "smoky", soft, and mellow. In painting the effect of haze in an image. Resembling the color of the atmosphere at dusk. Sfumato gives a smoky effect.
Sgraffito- Decoration made by incising or cutting away a surface layer of materials to reveal a different color beneath.
Shade- Any area of artwork that is shown through various technical means to be in shadow. Shading the technique of making such an effect.
Shoji- A standing Japanese screen covered in translucent rice paper and used in interiors.
Sinopia- The preparatory deign or under-drawing of a fresco. Also a reddish chalklike earth pigment.
Slip- A mixture of clay and water applied to a ceramic object as a final decorative coat. Also a solution that binds different parts of a vessel together, such as the handle and the main body.
Stele (stelae)- A stone slab placed vertically and decorated with inscriptions or reliefs, used as a grave marker or memorial.
Still Life- A type of painting that has as it's subject matter inanimate objects, such as food, dishes, fruit, or flowers.
Stretcher- The wooden framework on which an artist's canvas is attached, usually with tacks, nails or staples. Also a reinforcing horizontal brace between the legs of a piece of furniture as a chair.
Stupa- In Buddhist architecture, a bell-shaped or pyramidal religious monument, made of piled earth or stone and containing sacred relics.
Style- A particular manner, form or character of representation, construction, or expression typical of an individual artist or of a certain school or period.
Stylus- An instrument with a pointed end used for writing or printmaking, which makes a delicate line or scratch, Also a special writing tool for cuneiform writing with one pointed end and one triangular wedge end.
Sublime- Adjective describing a concept, thing, or state of high spirited moral, or intellectual value; or something awe-inspiring. The sublime was a goal to which many nineteenth century artists aspired in their artworks.
Swag- Ornament representing a garland of fruit or flowers draped in a curve between two points.
Syncretism- In religion or philosophy, the union of different ideas or principles.