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Art History Exam


Ambulatory The passage (walkway) around the apse in a church, especially a basilica, or around the central space in a central-plan building.
Ark of The Covenant Also known as the Ark of The Testimony, is a gold-covered wooden chest described in the book of Exodus as containing the two stone tablets of the Ten Commandments.
Blind Wall A wall without an opening; a blank wall
Cathedral The principal Christian church in a diocese, the bishop's administrative center and housing of his throne (cathedra)
Centrally-planned Church A building in which the sides are of equal length and in which the main space is symmetrical when bisected laterally and longitudinally. A centrally-planned building may be square, circular, or polygonal.
Clerestory : In a basilica, the topmost zone of a wall with windows, extending above the aisle roofs. Provides direct light into the nave.
Cloisonne An enameling technique in which artists affix wires or strips to a metal surface to delineate designs and create compartments (cloisons) that they subsequently fill with enamel.
Continuous Narrative A picture that recounts an event drawn from a story, either factual (e.g. biographical) or fictional. In continuous narrative, multiple scenes from the same story appear within a single compositional frame.
Cubiculum/Cubicula A small private room for burials in a catacomb.
Donor Portrait Or votive portrait is a portrait in a larger painting or other work showing the person who commissioned and paid for the image, or a member of his, or (much more rarely) her, family.
Eucharist The central rite of the Christian Church, from the Greek word for "thanksgiving." Also known as the Mass or Holy Communion, it reenacts Christ's sacrifice on the cross and commemorates the Last Supper.
Icon An image representing a sacred figure or event in the Byzantine (later the Orthodox) Church. Icons are venerated by the faithful, who believe their prayers are transmitted through them to God.
Iconoclasm The banning and/or destruction of images, especially icons and religious art.
Iconophile From the Greek for "lover of images." In periods of iconoclasm, iconophiles advocate the continued use of sacred images.
Iconic Image A picture that expresses or embodies an intangible concept or idea.
Illuminated Manuscript is a manuscript in which the text is supplemented with such decoration as initials, borders (marginalia) and miniature illustrations.
Kufic Script An ornamental, angular Arabic script.
Loculus/Loculi A compartment in an altar, in which relics are kept. 3. a recess in an ancient catacomb or tomb, where a body or cinerary urn was placed
Lusterware Pottery decorated with metallic glazes.
Madrasa An Islamic institution of higher learning, where teaching is focused on theology and law.
Menorah A Jewish lampstand with seven or nine branches; the nine-branched menorah is used during the celebration of Hanukkah. Representations of the seven-branched menorah, once used in the Temple of Jerusalem, became a symbol of Judaism.
Mihrab A recess or niche that distinguishes the wall oriented toward Mecca (qibla) in a mosque.
Minbar A high platform or pulpit in a mosque.
Mosque A building used for communal Islamic worship.
Muqarnas In Islamic architecture, one of the nichelike components, often stacked in tiers to mark the transition between flat and rounded surfaces and often found on the vault of a dome.
Narrative Image : A picture that recounts an event drawn from a story, either factual (e.g. biographical) or fictional. In continuous narrative, multiple scenes from the same story appear within a single compositional frame.
Narthex The vestibule or entrance porch of a church
Nave The central space of a church, two or three stories high and usually flanked by aisles.
Pendentive The concave triangular section of a vault that forms the transition between a square or polygonal space and the circular base of a dome.
Qur'an The Islamic sacred book, believed to be the word of God as dictated to Muhammad by the archangel Gabriel and written down in Arabic.
Spolia Fragments of older architecture or sculpture reused in a secondary context. Latin for "hide stripped from an animal."
Synagogue : the building where a Jewish assembly or congregation meets for religious worship and instruction.
Syncretism A process whereby artists assimilate and combine images and ideas from different cultural traditions, beliefs, and practices, giving them new meanings.
Created by: Silentcatcake
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