Skip to main content

Renaissance Top 48: Vocabulary

Words to Know

Mannerism - A style of later Renaissance art that emphasizes "artifice," often involving contrived imagery not derived directly from nature. Such artworks showed a self-conscious stylization involving complexity, caprice, fantasy, and polish. Mannerist architecture tended to flout the classical rules of order, stability, and symmetry, sometimes to the point of parody. 

Chiaroscuro- light and shade in painting- model the folds of their draperies and emphasize their solidity

Polyptych - hinged multipaneled paintings


Pyramidal composition- artist places objects and figures within the outline of an imaginary triangle or pyramid on the picture plane

Aerial perspective- creates the illusion of distance by the greater diminution of color intensity, the shift in color toward an almost neutral blue, and the blurring of contours as the intended distance between eye and object increases 

Linear Perspective - All parallel lines or lines of projection seem to converge on one, two, or three points located with reference to the eye level of the viewer (the horizon line of the picture), known as vanishing points, and associated objects are rendered smaller and farther from the viewer they are intended to seem. 

Fresco - Painting on lime plaster, either dry (dry fresco or fresco secco) or wet (true or buon fresco)

sfumato: the technique of allowing tones and colors to shade gradually into one another, producing softened outlines or hazy forms.

loggia: A loggia is an architectural feature which is a covered exterior gallery or corridor usually on an upper level, or sometimes ground level. The outer wall is open to the elements, usually supported by a series of columns or arches.