Art terms: A to E


Academic art
Academic art is based on the art of ancient Greece and Rome. In Europe, from the Renaissance until the late nineteenth-century, classical art was considered to be the finest form of art. Artists were expected to paint serious historical, religious, or mythological stories in an idealised manner. The skills of drawing and modelling (making objects and figures look three dimensional) were most highly prized, and paintings were supposed to be highly finished with no visible brush marks or areas of unpainted canvas left exposed.

Barbizon School
The Barbizon School was a group of artists so called because they painted in and around the village of Barbizon and the forest of Fontainebleu outside Paris. They painted in front of the subject, out of doors (at least for sketches), and their attempts at capturing the changing effects of light and atmosphere greatly affected the younger painters Monet, Pissarro, Renoir and Sisley.

The marks of paint created by the artist applying paint to canvas with a paint brush. Brushstrokes are almost invisible in a highly finished painting, while they are very obvious in the paintings of Impressionist artists.


Classical art
The art of ancient Greece and Rome.

Colour palette
The range of colours used by artists in their paintings.

The organisation of forms in a painting.


École des Beaux-Arts
The State-sponsored art school in Paris, its curriculum supervised by the Academy.