Terminology

Glossary of Art Terms

Acid free
Papers with a 7 pH, or very close to 7 pH. Below 6.5 pH or above 8.5 pH is not considered acid-free. Acid free materials are more permanent, less likely to discolor, or to deteriorate materials they are placed with over time. Works on paper, and the mats, mounts, etc. with which they are framed, are best acid free.

After
When used in an artist’s inscription, it means that that artwork was modeled on the work of another artist. It may either be nearly identical to the other’s work, or differ to some degree from it.

Famous afters: Rembrandt van Rijn, The Last Supper, after Leonardo da Vinci; Vincent van Gogh, First Steps (after Millet); Pablo Picasso, Luncheon on the Grass (Le Déjeuner sur l’herbe) after Édouard Manet.

Agent
An artist’s agent is an artist’s business representative.

Aging
The continuous action of atmospheric components like oxygen, moisture, light, temperature – on materials and structures, leading to deterioration.

Annotation
Information added to an image, such as arrows, pointers, words, notes for special editions (e.a., h.c.), etc.

Applied Arts
The arts concerned with making objects with functional purposes, but for which aesthetic concerns are significant. The applied arts may include architecture, interior design, the design of manufactured items, ceramics, metalwork, jewelry, textile, glass, furniture, graphics, clocks and watches, toys, leather, arms and armor, musical instruments, etc. Commercial art may be considered a branch of applied art. The applied arts are usually contrasted with the fine arts (drawing, painting, sculpture, fine printmaking, etc.), which are seen as serving no purpose other than providing an aesthetic experience.

Appraisal
A type of analysis and evaluation, especially in an official or professional capacity. In appraising works of art, for instance, an art appraiser studies their various qualities, and ultimately estimates their monetary worth, typically for insurance or taxation reasons, or in establishing a price.