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Words used to describe works of art and pictures

a

determiner

used before the name of a famous artist to mean a picture by that artist

abstract

adjective

abstract art expresses the artist’s ideas or feelings rather than showing the exact appearance of people or things

accessible

adjective

accessible art, music, literature etc is easy to understand and enjoy

aesthetic

adjective

relating to beauty or to the study of the principles of beauty, especially in art

artistic

adjective

relating to any form of art, including painting, music, literature, acting, and dancing

artistic

adjective

relating to drawing, painting etc

artistic

adjective

painted, arranged, or done in a way that shows skill and imagination and looks beautiful

arty-crafty

adjective

made by someone who enjoys creating and decorating things themselves, but who you think lacks skill

avant-garde

adjective

avant-garde music, art etc is very modern and may shock people because it is so different from what has gone before

baroque

adjective

relating to the very detailed style of art, building, or music that was popular in Europe in the 17th and early 18th centuries

camp

adjective

art or entertainment that is camp deliberately does not follow traditional ideas about what is considered good in order to produce a humorous effect

cubist

adjective

relating to an early 20th-century style of painting in which the artist paints several different views of a person or object in a single painting, usually using straight lines

esthetic

an American spelling of aesthetic

evocative

adjective

an evocative work of art expresses something very clearly and makes you have a strong reaction to it

figurative

adjective

figurative art represents people, objects, and scenes, rather than representing feelings or ideas as abstract art does

folk

adjective

folk art, traditions, stories etc were developed by people in a particular region and have become traditional there

folksy

adjective

made or done in a way that is intended to remind you of traditional art, customs, or stories

formal

adjective

relating to the form or structure of something such as a piece of writing, art, or music

freehand

adjective

drawn without using a ruler or other equipment

Gothic

adjective

Gothic styles of building and art were common in Europe between the 12th and 15th centuries

grandiose

adjective

designed to look very impressive, but really looking artificial or silly

graphic

adjective

relating to drawing

lifelike

adjective

a lifelike picture, model etc looks like a real person or thing

literary

adjective

relating to books that are considered to have value as art

magisterial

adjective

a magisterial work is written by someone whose knowledge and opinions are respected

mature

adjective

the mature work of an artist, writer etc is produced when they are no longer young and have developed their skill to a high level

minimalist

adjective

relating to minimalism

monochrome

adjective

using different shades of a single colour

naturalistic

adjective

a naturalistic painting, novel etc shows people and things as they are in real life

painterly

adjective

with a style or appearance that reminds you of a painter or painting

pictorial

adjective

consisting of pictures

postmodern

adjective

relating to postmodernism

pre-Raphaelite

adjective

typical of a style of art popular in late 19th century England that used a lot of detail and bright colours and showed a very romanticized view of life

pulp

adjective

pulp books, magazines, and films have not been written very well, and are often about sex or violence

pure

adjective

a pure form of art does not have any practical purpose, such as selling something

realist

noun

relating to realism in art or literature

representational

adjective

representational paintings and other works of art show things as they really are

Romantic

adjective

relating to the style of literature, art, and music known as romanticism

satirical

adjective

satirical writing or art uses humour to criticize people or things and make them seem silly

seminal

adjective

a seminal piece of writing or music is new and different and influences other literature or music that comes after it

silk-screen

adjective

printed by silk screen, or related to this method of printing

skeuomorphic

adjective

a skeuomorphic design includes features which make a new thing look older or more familiar

spacey

adjective

spacey music or art seems to have been created by someone who takes drugs that change the way that they think

stereoscopic

adjective

a stereoscopic picture is designed so that when you look at it through a special piece of equipment, it looks solid and real

stylized

adjective

in a style that is artificial rather than realistic (=like life)

surrealistic

adjective

connected with surrealism

three-D

adjective

a three-D film, picture etc looks as if it has height, depth, and width

three-dimensional

adjective

used for describing images that look as if they are three-dimensional

untitled

adjective

an untitled poem, book, painting etc has not been given a title

wearable

adjective

wearable technology or art is worn on the body

aesthetically

adverb

artistically

adverb

expressionist

adjective, noun

freehand

adverb

Impressionist

adjective

lithographic

adjective

modernist

adjective

mural

adjective

photorealist

adjective, noun

pictorially

adverb

pointillist

adjective

postmodernist

adjective

satirically

adverb

scribbled

adjective

surrealist

adjective

three-D

noun

uncompromisingly

adverb

from life

if you draw, paint etc from life, you use a real object or person as your subject instead of copying a photograph or picture

food rave

a very large party where people eat, sell or share many different types of food, usually held outside or in a large public building

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dead white (European) male

a man … whose achievements may have been overestimated because he belonged to the gender and ethnic group … that was dominant at the time

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