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A la Poupee

When coloured ink is applied directly to a surface of a plate, and worked into the area of design using cotton daubs called dollies or poupée in French, the impression printed off this surface is known as la poupée


General wearing of the surface, as a result of constant contact with foreign substances like dirt.

Abstract Art

Art which does not represent reality as we see it, though it may be based on an actual individual, emotion or object. Taking its inspiration from the real world astract art uses lines, patterns, shapes, texture and colour for expression.

Abstract Expressionism

A post-World War II American art movement based in New York, and often referred to as action painting. Major practitioners include Jackson Pollock, Hans Hoffmann and Willem de Kooning.


The emphasis given to certain elements of an art work to attract attention.

Acid Free Paper

Paper that has a neutral or basic pH value (7 or higher) and does not react with environmental agents, thus making it durable and increasing the longevity of art works created on it. Same as archival paper.


Black, white and greys. Artwork that is executed without color. 

Acrylic Paint

Paint that uses a synthetic medium instead of a natural one, thus drying quickly.

Action Painting

Any painting style that calls for vigourous physical activity, like Abstract Expressionism.


The study of subjective sensory values, often referred to as appreiation or taste. It is a branch of the philosophical discipline axiology and is closely related to the philosophy of art.

Alla Prima

Italian for 'at the first'. A painting style where the entire art work is completed at one go, without any underpainting.


A form of representation in which the presented image is emblematic of something else, generally abstract, like a feeling or state. Allegorical figures are human forms used to represent abstract concepts like love and death.

Albumen Print

The albumen print, also called albumen silver print, it used the found in to bind the photographic chemicals to the paper and became the dominant form of photographic positives from 1855 to the turn of the century,

Antique Print

An impression printed and published earlier than 1900 is considered an antique print. In some instances, original prints made before World War II are also considered antique. A modern reproduction of an old print is not in itself an antique print.


A print using the same technique as etching, but where the areas between the etched lines are protected from the acid by a layer of resin powder, which results in a granular effect.

Arches Paper

Air-dryed paper that is available in hot-pressed, cold-pressed and rough varieties. It is favoured for its durability and manufactures at the Arches Paper Mill in Lorraine, France.


Any material like ink or paper that meets certain criteria for durability. These criteria include light-fast and water-resistant (for ink), and acid-free, lignin-free and alkaline-buffered (for paper), etc.

Archival Reproduction

The process of digitally and photographically reproducing art prints, with archival inks on archival photo paper, art paper, or canvas.


A rigid frame, often made of steel or wood, that supports a sculpture or installation during its creation.

Art Deco

An artistic and architectural style pioneered in the 1920s and 30s based on geometric patterns and repetition.

Artist's Proof

An additional print, outside of the edition number usually retained by the artist for personal use.


A sculptural techinique based on the joining together of several individual pieces to create the final sculpture.


French for 'studio' or 'workshop'. Often refers to the studio of an established artist where several other artists, apprentices and assistants may work.

Avant Garde

French for 'vanguard'. A group of people or a work of art that challenges norms through innovation in subject, medium, style, or technique, often with revolutionary or trendsetting consequences.