Art Glossary of Terms
The Art History Archive

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Art Glossary of Terms - Art Lexicon QA to QZ

  • qiblah - A type of Islamic compass used for telling the direction of Mecca. Also refers to the direction (toward Mecca) in which Moslems face in prayer. Sometimes spelled kiblah. (pr. kee'blah) Also see mihrab, minbar, and mosque.

  • Qing - A Chinese dynasty (also called Ching and Manchu) which lasted 1644-1911. (Not to be confused with the Quin dynasty.) It was preceded by the Ming dynasty and followed by the Republic of China.

  • qt. - Abbreviation for quart.

  • quadrilateral - A polygon bounded by four line segments, each of which can be of any length. The sum of its four angles must be 360°. Types of quadrilaterals include the parallelogram (can be equilateral or non-equilateral), the rectangle (can be equilateral or non-equilateral), the rhombus (always equilateral), the trapezium (non-equilateral), and the trapezoid (non-equilateral). The formula with which to find a quadrilateral's area varies with each type. Also see radial and regular.

  • quadro riportato - The simulation of a wall painting for a ceiling design in which a painted scene is produced in a panel resembling a composition on the surface of a shallow, curved vault. The plural form is quadri riportati. Also see mural and fresco.

  • quality - An inherent or distinguishing characteristic of a person or a thing. Or, having a high degree of excellence. The quality of a thing tends to be increased the more care its maker puts into its making.

  • quality control - Techniques ensuring that high quality is maintained through various stages of a process.

  • quality of life - The degree of emotional, intellectual, or cultural satisfaction in a person's everyday life as distinct from the degree of material comfort. Also see advocacy, fame, gemütlichkeit, love, posterity, quality, and success.

  • quarry - An open pit or excavation from which stone is taken by cutting, digging or blasting. The most famous quarries for white marble are in Italy around Carrara. Here is a photo of see thumbnail to leftthe mountainous area in which Carrara's quarries are located, and photos of the Amso International quarry at Carrara:

  • quart - A unit of liquid measurement (in the US) equal to 2 pints, or 32 ounces. To convert quarts into gallons divide by 4; into liters, multiply them by 0.94635. Abbreviated qt.

  • quarto - A book or manuscript of the second largest standard size, usually measuring 32 cm (12 1/2 inches) in height, and 24 cm (9 1/2 inches) in width, which is composed of sheets of paper folded into four leaves. The plural form is quartos. Abbreviated q., Q., qto, Qto, and 4to. Also see bookbinding, duodecimo, folio, octavo, rotulus, sextodecimo, signature, text, tricesimo-segundo, and vicesimo-quarto.

  • quatrefoil - An ornament, especially in architecture, having four lobes, or foils. In heraldry, a four-petaled flower. (pr. ka"tre-foyl')

  • quattrocento - Italian, literally "four hundred," it refers to the 1400s CE — the fifteenth century. Italian, It is often used to refer to Italian art of this time — the late Middle Ages and the early Renaissance.

  • quicklime - Lime, burnt lime, caustic lime. Made by burning calcium carbonate.

  • Quick Time - A compression scheme for moving and still digital images. Originally designed for Macintosh computers by Apple Computer Corporation.

  • quill - In drawing and calligraphy, a pen made from a goose's feather. The sharply spikey defenses of porcupines are also called quills, and they have been used by many peoples in several ways.

  • Quin - A Chinese dynasty which lasted 221 - 206 BCE, it was also called the Chin dynasty.

  • Quince Group - A group of American Scene painters who shared a studio on Philadelphia's Quince Street, flourishing briefly in the late 1930s until many members went separate ways. The Quince Group has had among the most peripatetic and quiescent influences on the Philadelphia School of American art. Its leading members were Joseph and Irene Teller, several of whose works have recently been reproduced to certain acclaim in a book by their kid, Teller (of Penn & Teller), When I'm Dead All This Will Be Yours, 2001, Blast Books, NY. Also see Fourteenth Street school and social realism.

  • quoin - In architecture, a large, sometimes rusticated, usually slightly projecting stone (or stones) that often form the corners of the exterior walls of masonry buildings.