Art history is the study of civilization through the evolution of the visual arts. The following is a summary of terms that are commonly used in the field of art history. The terms will be used repeatedly during the semester. An art object is basically made of the following components: (1) Form , (2) Content, and (3) Style.
1. FORM is the physical aspect of the work of art, visual (perceived by vision) or tactile (perceived by touch). It includes the following (a. Medium and Technique) and (b. Visual Elements) and (c. Composition)
A. MEDIUM AND TECHNIQUE : (First component of form )
Medium refers to the material or materials, from which the work of art is made, such as: stone, marble, concrete, steel, glass, wood, oil on canvas ink on paper…etc. Technique is the process that transforms the medium into a work of art. Art can be three-dimensional (1) Architecture, or (2) Sculpture. Art can also be two-dimensional, or what is now commonly called (3) Pictorial Media
1. ARCHITECTURE : The word comes from the Greek words: ( arkhi chief and tekton builder) Architecture is both the process of constructing, and of designing buildings. It is a three-dimensional, spatial and functional visual art. Architectural works are perceived as cultural symbols; civilizations are often identified with and by their surviving architectural achievements.
Since a building is difficult to capture in a photograph, several types of drawings are commonly used to visualize/study it:
1. Floor plan shows a building's masses and voids, as if it had been sliced horizontally - presenting a view from above, or what is commonly called a ‘bird's eye view."
2. Section show s the interior of a building as if it had been sliced vertically from top to bottom.
3. Elevation show s the exterior -usually front- side of the building from a moderate distance, without perspective distortion.
4 . Isometric cutaway shows a building from an oblique (i.e. slanting) angle, often as seen from above, to reveal exterior and interior three-dimensional forms.
Architecture vocabulary will be part of the lectures on individual architectural monuments
2. SCULPTURE is a three-dimensional visual art, classified by method/process:
Carved act of making an image from a material by scraping (removing) away portions of that material
Cast melted meta l cast in to a mo ld
Modeled shaping an image by hand with c lay or any malleable substance
Assembled pieces of one material or of multiple materials put together (assembled) by various methods.
Sculpture is also classified by the way it looks:
Freestanding sculpture is surrounded by space and can be viewed from all angles.
Relief sculpture projects from a supporting background , usually a plane surface , of the same piece of material from which it is made. Relief sculpture can only be viewed frontally. Example: image on a coin.
(Note: the word statue means a sculpture of a figure.)

3. P ictorial M edia is a two-dimensional visual art that includes a variety of materials: among them, pigment plus liquid binder, such as oil or watercolor, or pigment in solid form, such as mosaic and stain glass; and others. It also includes a variety of methods. Below are some examples:
Fresco (water color on freshly plastered wall),
Panel painting (oil or tempera on wood)
Painting (oil or acrylic on canvas),
Mosaics (small colored stones, tiles, or glass pieces affixed to a hard, stable substance) and
Stained glass (glass colored by adding metallic salts during its manufacture - or glass colored then put in kilns for the color to fuse into it. Stained glass windows are made by arranging small pieces of colored glass into patterns or pictures, held together by strips of lead and supported by a frame.)
Two-dimensional techniques also include drawing or printing (such as, woodcut, etching, photography).

B. VISUAL ELEMENTS : (Second component of form )
They are line, shape, color, light, texture, space and composition.
Line is an element, drawn or painted in a two-dimensional work of art. Line can be actual, when visible, or implied when the movement of the viewer's eye follows a path determined by the artist. The outline of a three-dimensional object can also be perceived as