|Art Glossary of Terms
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Art Glossary of Terms - Art Lexicon IA to IZ
iconocentrism, iconocentric - Iconocentrism is the belief or attitude that images (or icons) are or should be the central element in the universe. Images play the most important role, other things (the deity, people, objects, or text, perhaps) being subservient to them. Iconocentric is the adjectival form.
iconoclast, iconoclasm - Originally, one who destroys sacred religious images (or icons). The original iconoclasts destroyed countless works of art religious images which were the subject of controversy among Christians of the Byzantine Empire, especially in the eighth and ninth centuries, when iconoclasm was at its height. Those who opposed images did not simply destroy them, although many were demolished; they also attempted to have the images barred from display and veneration. During the Protestant Reformation images in churches were again felt to be idolatrous and were once more banned and destroyed. In the nineteenth century "iconoclast" took on the secular sense that it has today: one who breaks traditions, doctrines, convictions, practices, etc. Dada artist Marcel Duchamp (French, 1887-1968) is the modern archetype of the iconoclast.
iconoduly, iconodulic, iconodule, and iconodulist - Iconoduly is the worship or veneration of images (or icons); iconolatry. Iconodulic is the adjectival form. An iconodule or an iconodulist is one who worships or serves images. This is the opposite of an iconoclast. Also see advocacy, antiquarianism, art appreciation, audience, collect, collector, iconocentrism, idolatry, Islamic art, viewer, and votive. (pr. i:'cuh-nah"dyoo-lee, i:'cuh-nah"dyoo-lick, and i:'cuh-nah"dyoo-list)
iconogenetics, iconogenitor - Iconogenetics refers to the origins of images (or icons). An iconogenitor is the originator (generator) of an image. Also see artist, creativity, iconocentrism, iconographer, iconoplast, memory, new, and originality.
iconography, iconograph, iconographer - Iconography is the pictorial representation of a subject, or the collected images (or icons) illustrating a subject pictures, diagrams, etc. Iconography can mean the description of representational works of art. Also, the study of subject matter and symbolism in the visual arts, as in collections of pictures constituting a complete visual record of a subject, or a visual dictionary.
iconolagny - Sexual stimulation from images (or icons). Also see erotica, obscene, and pornography.
iconolatry, iconolater - Iconolatry is the worship or veneration of images (or icons); iconoduly. Iconolatric is the adjectival form. An iconolater is one who worships or serves images. (pr. i:'cuh-nah"leh-tree and i:-kah"neh-lay'tr) Also see advocacy, aniconic, antiquarianism, art appreciation, collect, collection, collector, iconocentrism, iconography, and iconomania.
iconology - The branch of knowledge which deals with the subject of icons (or images); also the subject matter of this study, icons collectively, or as objects of investigation. Or, symbolical representation; symbolism.
iconomachy, iconomach - A war against images (or icons); hostility or opposition to images, especially to use of images in religious worship. An iconomach is a person who is hostile to images, as are some iconoclasts. (pr. i:'cuh-nah"ma-kee and i:-kah"neh-mack')
iconomancy - Divination using images (or icons). Also see feng shui.
iconomania, iconomaniac - An infatuated devotion to images (or icons), or a mania for collecting icons or images. An iconomaniac is a person who is extremely and excessively interested in images. Also see advocacy, antiquarianism, art appreciation, art buyer, art criticism, art history, artist, audience, iconocentrism, iconoduly, iconolater, iconolatry, iconophile, idolatry, and viewer.
iconomatic - Using images (or icons) to represent sounds of words. Also see auditory, hieroglyphics, pictograph, and text.
iconometer - An instrument with which to measure the size of or distance to an object by measuring its image (or icon). Sometimes an iconometer is a photographic viewfinder, separate from a camera. (pr. i:-kah"neh-mee'tr)
iconomical - Iconoclastic; opposed to using images (or icons) as objects of worship or veneration.
iconophilia, iconophile - Iconophilia is the love of images (or icons). An iconophile (or iconophilist) is a connoisseur, a person who loves images. Also see art buyer, art criticism, art history, artist, iconocentrism, iconolater, iconolatry, iconomania, iconomaniac, idolatry, and xenophilia.
iconophobia, iconophobiac, iconophobic - Iconophobia is fear or anxiety about images (or icons). An iconophobiac is a person who experiences this fear. Iconophobic is the adjectival form. Also see aniconic, censor, degenerate, destroy, fascist aesthetic, fig leaf, gymnophobia, iconoclast, iconology, iconomachy, Islamic art, sacrilege, ugly, vandal, vandalism, and xenophobia.
iconophor, iconophoric, meta-iconophor - An iconophor is an image whose first distinctive feature consists of the letter which begins the name of its referent. "Iconophoric" is the adjectival form. A meta-iconophor is an image whose first distinctive feature consists of the letter which begins the name of a referent that is connoted, not denoted by the image.
iconoplast - A person who makes images (or icons). Also see artist, iconogenitor, and iconographer.
iconoscope - A part of a video camera in which light is converted into electric waves.
iconostasis - In Eastern Christian churches, a screen or partition, with doors and many tiers of icons, that separates the sanctuary from the main body of the church.
ideal - A theory or conception of something in its absolute perfection. Or, a standard or model of excellence. Also, an ultimate object of endeavor; a goal. And, an honorable or worthy principle or aim.
idealism - The pursuit of things in an ideal form. In philosophy, any of several theories (principally of Berkely, Hegel, and Kant) which hold that reality has no objective existence but is produced in some way by the mind.
idealistic - Of, relating to, or having the nature of idealism.
idealization - The representation of things according to a preconception of ideal form or type; a kind of aesthetic distortion to produce idealized forms. A possible motive might be to make things appear as they would if the world were perfect. Also see anime, Apollo, archetype, avatar, exemplar, idealism, nude, style, and stylize.
idealized - Regarded or treated as ideal, or made or envisioned as ideal. Also see aesthetic, anime, style, and stylize.
identity - The characteristics by which a thing (e.g. a product, event, fictional character, concept), a person, or a people (a company, government, or other organization) is definitively known as any of these might be identified by a name, signature, sign, symbol, portrait, monogram, flag, heraldic crest, seal, logo, trademark, etc. "Identity" refers to individuality in some ways, and sameness (identical) in others.
ideogram - A simple picture-like sign or graphic symbol used either in a signage or a writing system, so that it represents a thing or an idea instead of a letter or specific word, as does the common symbol for "no smoking" or many of the characters used in Chinese writing. In typography, ideograms are often available in fonts known as dingbats. (pr. i'dee-o-gram)
ideology - A body of ideas reflecting the social needs and aspirations of an individual, a group, a class, or a culture; examples are ethnocentrism and class consciousness. A set of doctrines, beliefs, or ideals that form the basis of a political, economic, or other system which attempts to put experience of the world into some order. The result, particularly in Marxist thought, is a distortion of reality to maintain authority over it. Various applications of this sense of the word can be found in feminism and other types of critical activity, often very politically oriented. Others use the term with less political load, meaning one type of symbolic system among others, like art, religion, and science. Also see existentialism, formalism, humanism, multiculturalism, and other isms.
idiom - A style or technique characteristic of an individual artist, period, movement, or medium. A potter might be said to be working in the idiom of early New England potters; or a painter, that she or he works in the abstract expressionist idiom.
igneous rock - Rock formed by the cooling and solidifying of the subterranean molten mass of the earth. Examples of igneous rocks include: basalt, diorite, dolerite, granite, granodiorite, obsidian, and porphyry. Also see metamorphic rock, Mohs Scale of Hardness, sedimentary rock, and stone.
ikebana - Literally Japanese for "living flowers," ikebana is the Japanese art of formal floral arrangement. Also known as kado, it is based upon a study of the "way of flowers," resulting in practitioners' showing special regard to balance, harmony, and form. Attention is paid to the vase or other vessel in which the plant material is composed. Ikebana has a history of at least seven centuries, and has come to embrace several distinct types or styles of arrangement.
illusion - A deceptive or misleading image or idea.
illustrate - To create designs and pictures for books, magazines, or other print or electronic media to make clear or explain the text or show what happens in a story.
illustration board - A bristol board made with a close weave. Illustration board is a strong, heavy paper or card appropriate as a support for pencil, pen, watercolor, collage, etc. It is more archival if it is acid-free. Also see oaktag.
illustrator - Among those in art careers, a person who creates designs and pictures for books, magazines, or other print or electronic media. Specialties among illustrators include fashion illustrator and medical illustrator.
image - A picture, idea, or impression of a person, thing, or idea; or a mental picture of a person, thing, or idea. The word imagery refers to a group or body of related images.
image capture - Employing a device, such as a scanner, to create a digital representation of an image. This digital representation can then be manipulated with and stored on a computer. Also see camera-ready.
image manipulation - Making changes (manipulation) to a digital image using image processing. Also see Photoshop.
image processing - The alteration or manipulation of images that have been scanned or captured by a digital recording device. Can be used to modify or improve the image by changing its size, color, contrast, and brightness, or to compare and analyze images for characteristics that the human eye could not perceive unaided.
imbrication - An overlapping, as of tiles, shingles, feathers or scales for instance. There is a basket-weaving technique called imbrication. Also see kern and kerning.
imagines - In ancient Rome, wax portraits of ancestors. (pr. i-maj"i-neez') This is the plural form of the word; the singular form is imago.
imitationalism - An aesthetic theory of art which places emphasis on the literal qualities. According to this theory, the most important thing about a work of art is the realistic representation of subject matter. A work is considered successful if it looks like and reminds the audience of what is seen in the real world. Also see appropriation, copy, counterfeit, emotionalism, forgery, formalism, homage, likeness, and simulacrum.
immutable - Not subject to change; permanent. (pr. myoo'tah-bl)
impasto - A thick or lumpy application of paint, or deep brush marks (brushstrokes), as distinguished from a flat, smooth paint surface. May also refer to a thick application of pastel. (pr. im-pahs'toh)
implied - Something that is suggested or inferred, rather than directly apparent.
impluvium - In the architecture of ancient Rome, a depression in the floor of an atrium to collect rainwater.
impost block - In architecture, a stone with the shape of a truncated, inverted pyramid, placed between a capital and the arch that springs from it. In the illustration, the impost blocks appear to be square platforms on top of the columns.
impression - In general, an effect, a feeling, an image, a percept, or a (usually vague) memory. In printmaking, a single print made from a block, plate, or stone; or the act of impressing the contact between the printing surface and the surface on which the print is made. Sometimes refers more loosely to a mark left on a surface by pressing something against it, or to a single or initial coat of color.
inanimate - Neither moving nor having other qualities associated with living organisms.
inch - A unit of distance measurement equal to 1/12 of a foot, or 1/36 of a yard. To convert inches into centimeters, multiply them by 2.54. To convert square inches into square centimeters, multiply them by 6.4516. To convert cubic inches into cubic centimeters, multiply them by 16.3871. A unit of measurement equal to a thousandth of an inch is a mil. Inch is abbreviated in. or with a " (feet is abbreviated as ft. or with a ').
incident light - The light hitting an object's surface, not that reflected or scattered from it. The wavelength of incident light is usually more varied than that reflected from a surface, determining the colors perceived in the object. It undergoes selective absorption of some wavelengths as it is reflected. The law of reflection is a principle that when light is reflected from a smooth surface, the angle of incidence the angle at which the light hits a surface is equal to the angle of reflection, and the incident ray, the reflected ray, and the normal to the surface all lie in the same plane. Also see additive, mirror, optical mixing, primary colors, and subtractive.
incising - Cutting into a surface, typically in metal, stone, or pottery, often used for lettering and decoration. An example is a Tablet which has an incised glyphic inscription, Mexico: state of Guerrero, Ahuelican, Highland Olmec, Middle Formative period, 900-500 BCE, greenstone, 3 1/2 x 3 1/2 x 3/4 inches, Dallas Museum of Art. (pr. in-si:'zng)
incoherence, incoherent - The opposite of coherence, coherent.
incongruity - A state of two or more things lacking harmony, being incompatible, inconsistent, absurdly combined. Such things would be described as incongruous. This sometimes results in irony. What makes something humorous or tragic is essentially an instance of incongruity. Incongruity is an idea explored often by artists influenced by Dada and Surrealism. (pr. in'con-grew"i-tee)
incrassate - To make a liquid thicker, or to allow a liquid to become thicker; to thicken; inspissate. (pron. in-krass'ayt) Also see soluble, solve, solvent, vehicle, viscosity, waterproof, and water-soluble.
incrustation - Also called "masonry," incrustation is a style of classical Roman wall decoration in which the wall was divided into bright, polychrome panels of solid colors with occasional, schematically rendered textural contrasts, often veined in imitation of polished slabs of marble (see marbling). Of the few Roman paintings that survive, most are frescoes from the area of Campania in the vicinity of Naples, including Pompeii, Herculaneum, and other towns whose people, art and architecture were destroyed and preserved for us by the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 CE. Domestic interiors were windowless and dark, giving Romans a need to visually enliven them. First produced in the 3rd century BCE, incrustation was the earliest of four styles of Roman wall paintings which have been identified.
incubation - The name used first by Jacob Getzel (American psychologist) for the third stage in the creative process: mulling over the problem in a sort of chaos of ideas and knowledge, letting go of certainties (forgetting); engaging the intuitive, non-sequential, or global thinking at the core of creativity. This is what some call "breathing room" or "downtime." Although we appear to be most productive when we actively pursue our goals, and a sense of urgency can be as speeding as a healthy eagerness, the most creative amongst us must prepare for this stage of work by giving our imaginations time to dwell upon a situation, indirectly as well as directly, dreaming about it in a seemingly idle way. Beware of attempts to remove such incubation periods from any schedule of creative pursuits. Also see memory.
index - A recording of an event produced by a connection between an object and its role in the event. In semiotics, as presented by Charles Sanders Peirce (American pragmatist, 1839-1914; pr. purse), there are three kinds of signs: icon, index and symbol. Whether a sign belongs in one category or another is dependent upon the nature of its relationship between the sign itself (which Peirce called the referent) and its the actual meaning. An icon is a meaning which is based upon similarity or appearance (for example, similarity in shape). According to Pierce, icons are "the only means of directly communicating an idea." An index is a meaning based upon some cause and effect relationship: "Because the indexical sign is understood to be connected to the real object, it is capable of making that object conceptually present."
India ink or Indian ink - The name in the United States for black ink, the pigment made from carbon traditionally lampblack (derived from non-electric lamps). This ink is also used in solid forms, mixed with a binding agent and molded into cakes or sticks. Such solid forms are often called Chinese ink, Japanese ink, or sumi ink.
Indian yellow - A particular yellow pigment.
indigo - A particular blue pigment.
indirect carving - A carving technique in which a sculpture is made by copying the proportions of a small scale model. Also see pointing.
indirect casting - Lost-wax metal casting in which the model that is "lost" is not the original model, but a wax cast from a piece mold taken from the original model. This second wax model is sometimes called an indirect casting, or an intermodel. If the indirect casting is hollow, a core is pored into it. The ancient Greeks developed this method of casting.
inert - Stable, unable to move or act at all, or sluggish in motion. In chemistry, not readily reactive with other elements; thus forming few compounds. Inert substances and materials are not easily decomposed or otherwise modified chemically, which is a particularly desirable characteristic for materials used in art conservation. Acid free papers and cardboards, for example, are more inert than acidic ones, so they degrade much more slowly; they are less likely to become discolored and brittle over time or upon exposure to various conditions during use or storage. Also see hypoactive.
inflatable - A sculpture or other object made with a plastic or PVC film or fabric which achieves its intended form when filled with air or some other gas.
infrared reflectography (IR) and reflectogram - Infrared reflectography (IR) is used to examine the surface of the ground layer of any painting, even when it is covered by one or many layers of paint. The result of the IR technique is a black and white photograph called a reflectogram. Such images permit art historians to read the underdrawings beneath the paint. This is possible because light in the near-infrared region of the spectrum (wavelengths from about 1 up to 2 microns) easily passes through the paint, to be reflected by the marks used to make the underdrawing. Reflectograms allow a researcher to obtain information about the painter's drawing media and techniques, and even to find and read hidden writings. These might include signatures and dates sometimes covered by earlier restorations. Reflectograms occasionally reveal artists' earlier versions of their compositions (pentimenti), and even sketches of things not visible in the painting as it is seen today. Reflectography is often used by restorers and conservators. In many cases it improves analysis of the creative development of the artwork and reveals pieces of previous restorations. Reflectograms were first made in the early 1930s, when the technique was called "IR photography." Various improvements to IR since then have led to a digital version of the technique an infrared scanner is connected to a high-powered computer. This advance has made possible far more useful images than ever before, because more gradations of value are now achieveable.
inkblot or ink blot - An image formed by dripping ink onto a piece of paper, a photo of an inkblotand then folding the paper in half. Inkblots are invariably symmetrical, but making them is largely aleatoric, their shapes depending greatly upon accident or chance. Painted versions of inkblots are called blotto painting. In psychology, inkblots have been used in the Rohrschach test (see thumbnail to rightan example). Also see blot.
inlay - Making an image by setting thin pieces of a material precisely into a depressed ground. Examples of materials typically inlaid are wood, metal, stone, shell, glass, ivory and tile. Also, a piece of work made this way.
inpaint - In art restoration, to repaint a damaged or missing portion of a painting in order to return the artwork to visual harmony. There may be other treatments necessary in a painting's restoration which should precede the point at which inpainting is appropriate. Preparatory stages might include stabilizing the support and its surface, and filling areas of lost paint to raise the depth of any gap between the support and the surface of surrounding paint. This filling material may need to be textured to match the original paint surrounding it. It may also be necessary to apply several layers of color in order to precisely match the surrounding paint. Inpainting should be carried out with conservationally sound materials, easily reversible and distinguishable from the original. In order to detect inpainting in an old painting, carefully examine it under both white and ultraviolet (UV) light. Although the value of old and new colors may be identical under white light, because recently applied paint absorbs UV, infills will appear to be darker than otherwise matching original paint.
insensitivity - The opposite of sensitivity.
in situ - In place; in the original position. (pr. in si:'too) Also see living rock and public art.
insouciance - Breezy lack of concern; nonchalance.
inspiration - Somebody or something that stimulates a person to a high level of feeling, to creative thought, or to achieve the making of art. Inspiration may be the condition or quality of being stimulated to creative thought or activity. A sudden brilliant idea. To those who are religious, inspiration may be divine guidance and influence on human beings. To inspire someone is to fill that person with confidence and motivation; an inspired person feels that he or she can achieve something difficult or special.
insula - In Roman architecture, a multistoried apartment block.
intaglio - The collective term for several graphic processes in which prints are made from ink trapped in the grooves in an incised metal plate. Etchings and engravings are the most typical examples. It may also refer to imagery incised on gems or hardstones, seals, and dies for coins, or to an object decorated in this way; which when pressed or stamped into a soft substance, produces a positive relief in that substance. (pr. in-tahl'yoh)
intarsia - Inlay work, primarily in wood and sometimes in mother-of-pearl, ivory, bone, marble, etc. This may result in either pattern or picture. To construct intarsia, outline drawings are used as templates for cutting many pieces of thin material. The cut pieces are glued onto a sturdy support. In a wooden intarsia, many types of wood provide the different colors used. Sometimes stains, bleaches, or heat were applied to the wood to provide a wider range of tints, tones, and shades. The English word "intarsia" came from the Italian "lavoro di intarsia." (pr. in-tahr'see-uh)
intensity - The brightness or dullness of a hue or color. For instance, the intensity of the pure color blue is very bright. When a lighter or darker color is added to blue, the intensity is less bright, or more subdued. Also see saturation, shade, tint, tone, and value.
intercolumniation - In architecture, the space or the system of spacing between columns in a colonnade.
interdisciplinary - Involving two or more artistic, scientific, or other academic disciplines. While exploring a concept, issue, or theme, interdisciplinary studies adopt methods and theories from different fields of study, often within an academic context. Artists have produced numerous interdisciplinary works since the early 20th century, and more so since the onset of postmodernism. Emblematic of this trend has been the breakdown of boundaries between such categories in art as painting and sculpture, between painting and theater, between drawing and cinema. Examples of interdisciplinary synthesis can be found among combine paintings, works by Fluxus artists, conceptual art, earth art, environment art, and performance art, among many others. New media is perhaps the latest such example. The visual arts have many traditional interdisciplinary connections with mathematics and the sciences, architecture, design, music, philosophy (empiricism, epistemology, metaphysics, ontology, phenomenology, semiotics, teleology, etc.), history, archaeology, anthropology, ethnology, psychology, technology, manufacturing, and many other fields. Concepts having interdisciplinary aspects include abstraction, analogy, cartography, chronology, civilization, culture, elegance, entropy, ergonomics, feminism, horology, kinesthetic, knowledge, measurement, metallurgy, metamorphosis, mind, model, mystery, ophthalmology, optics, order, pattern, periodicity, photography, simplicity, space-time, structure, transformation, typology, and unity. Also see advertising, art careers, art therapy, Bloom's Taxonomy, bone structure, dance, mass media, mixed media, multimedia, multiple intelligence theory, and multisensory.
interior design - The planning and realization of the layout, furnishing and decoration of an architectural interior. Sometimes called interior decoration, but preferred to that term, because of decoration's more superficial goals. Also see design and furniture.
intermediate colors - Also known as tertiary color, they are produced by mixing unequal amounts of two primary colors. For example, adding more red to the combination of red and yellow will produce the intermediate color of red-orange. Intermediate colors are located between the primary and secondary colors on a color wheel. Other intermediate colors are orange-yellow, yellow-green, green-blue, blue-violet, and violet-red (also known as purple) all colors in the spectrum except violet-red a mixture of the two colors at the extremes of the visible spectrum.
intertextuality - The introduction of another text and its meaning inside the present text. Also see reflexivity.
in the round or in-the-round - To be viewed from all sides; freestanding. When referring to sculpture, a type that is surrounded on all sides by space. The opposite of relief. Theater in the round is a kind of performance space in which the audience is arranged to surround the stage. This is also true of amphitheaters and arenas.
intonaco - The final layer of plaster on which a fresco is painted.
intrados - The underside of an arch or a vault. (pr. in-trah'dohs) Also see extrados
invert - To turn inside out or upside down. Or, to reverse the position, order, or condition of something, as when making what is black white, and what is white black.
investment - A thick jacket of refractory material built around a wax model which forms the mold in lost-wax casting. It can be made of plaster or clay mixed with grog, applied in layers, with the finest and softest layers painted or gently worked over the wax model, and the outer layers reinforced with wire. Also see mortar and pestle.
Ionic - The second of the three orders of classical Greek architecture. Ionic columns are more slender than those of the Doric order. Their dimensions are eight to nine meters high, instead of Doric's four to five. Ionic columns have a molded base beneath them. At the top of these fluted shafts, are laterality positioned volutes, beneath rectangular blocks of stone. Dentils are placed along the length of the Ionic cornice.
iridescence - A surface displaying a lustrous rainbowlike brightness, such as seen on see thumbnail to rightoil slicks. This effect is sometimes produced by some glass, glaze, and textile surfaces.
iris - Physically important in sight, a circular band of muscles that another close-up photo of an eyecontrols the size of the pupil. The pigmentation of the iris gives "color" to the eye. Blue eyes have the least amount of pigment; brown eyes have the most.
iris print - Also called a giclιe print. A recently developed printing process using advanced technology to create a lustrous, continuous-tone digital print that meets or exceeds the quality of traditional lithography and screen printing. Organic, water-based inks in four colors are applied to the paper's surface from tiny jets one tenth the diameter of a human hair.
irony, ironic - Irony is a form of expression in which the real meaning is concealed or contradicted by the words or images used a meaning which either markedly contrasts or is entirely opposite to that which appears to be presented. It is a trope in which there is an incongruity between what might be expected and what actually occurs. Irony involves the perception that things are not what they seem to be. The intention of one who uses irony is usually to imagine that there are two kinds of people in the audience: the first kind will not understand that what they see does not carry the ultimate meaning, and the other is aware that there is more meaning intended, and also that the first kind of person doesn't understand this. Irony is a means of expressing an attitude which is disguised by what what will seems to be obvious. The effect of irony is usually intended to be humorous, dramatic, tragic, insulting (sarcastic), or absurd. Irony is essential to satire. When irony is presented by pretending ignorance, is is the kind also called "Socratic irony." "Ironic" is the adjectival form: relating to, characterized by, using, or containing irony. Also see ambiguity, amphibolous, coherence, incoherence, compare, counterpoint, cryptic, illusion, juxtaposition, metaphor, nuance, parody, point of view, and simile.
isocephaly - The arrangement of figures so that the heads are at the same height. (pr. eye'so-sef"uh-lee) Also see hieratic.
issue - An issue is often a point or matter of discussion, debate, or dispute. Some issues of great interest in the art world may be eternal, while others come and go from time to time. There are always issues concerning aesthetics and metaphysics. The word "issue" is often used as a general reference to problematic circumstances that draw upon the common disciplines of knowledge, such as sociology, economics, ethics, and literary criticism. In recent years, among the issues important to artists have been conceptual art, feminism, gender, multiculturalism, commodification, and postmodernism. Further examples of issues can be found in the contexts of articles about cultures, periods, movements, and styles. Also see art criticism, genre, interdisciplinary, isms and -ism, meaning, quality, semiotic, subject, theme, and theory.
italic - In typography, slanted letters. They were first produced in 1506 by the Italian designer Aldus Manutius, who slanted letters to give words special emphasis. Italics now have much the same purpose: adding force to certain words and setting off titles from surrounding text. see thumbnail to rightHere, the first line of text is plain, but the second line is italic.