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Some commonly used words and their definition to better understand art! 




Abstract: artistic style emerged during the 20th century, which does not represent the visible world: it is non-figurative and non-narrative and only portrays colors and shapes. The spectator doesn’t try to read a story or recognize characters but wanders off into a purely formal world. In the History of Art, one of its most famous representatives is the German painter Hans Hartung (1904-1989), who painted solely colored lines and shapes. At Carré d'artistes, the painter Daniel Reymann explores all kinds of textures and emotions, painted with great elegance.

Acrylic: painting created with colored pigments, mixed with an aqueous emulsion of synthetic resins. It emerged during the 20th century, it dries up very quickly and is known for its solidity. Very glossy, it is the shiniest painting technique. 

Art brut: Invented by the painter Jean Dubuffet (1901-1985), this expression designates the works of self-taught people, not trained by any art school. Works of art brut have been acknowledged and collected right from the 20th century. At Carré d'artistes, C.Bost's works readily depicts children's drawings with their funny characters and simple houses, although each composition is smartly developed and unveils great talent as a colorist.

Art objects: 3D objects (jewelry, furniture, etc.) designed with great aesthetic detail. At Carré d'artistes, our visual artists are delighted to use everyday objects and they add their artistic touch to it (examples: skateboards, construction pallets, etc.). Frank Lamboley paints on spray cans, and Zoro on road signs.


No definition for the moment.



Cast iron: a technique in sculpture which involves making a sculpted object through fusion and molding. Emerged in the 19th century, it is mainly used in decorative arts - for example, for an ornate handrail of a staircase. Casting is an obligatory step to obtain a bronze sculpture. This can involves various processes: lost wax casting (only for a limited number of copies, and ideal for complex and large projects) and sand casting (ideal for a large number of reproductions of sculptures of small or medium size, but extremely rare today). For lost wax casting, the sculptor needs to produce a model (wax, plaster, stone or metal), then make a cast from that model, and cover it in wax. The bronze is then poured within, the wax melts and leads to a sculpture. Sand casting doesn’t differ much from lost wax casting but is simpler: there is only one sand mold. Since there is no wax mold, the artist doesn’t get the chance to change his work, one last time. 

Chassis-frame: wooden frame, which holds the painting on stretched canvas in place.

Collage: a technique which involves assembling with glue various elements (cut newspapers, manufactured products…). It became famous during the 20th century by the Surrealists, for its poetic ability of heterogeneous assemblies.

Cubism: artistic movement from the beginning of the 20th century, which breaks down shapes into geometric elements, painting, or sculpture. The term was coined by the poet Max Jacob (1876-1944), friend of the painter Pablo Picasso (1881-1973), who thoroughly explored the possibilities of Cubism.


Daily painting: A very sober style of painting whose subjects are intentionally simple and common (still life fruits or everyday objects).

Dripping: technique which consists of letting it drip or spray painting on a canvas, placed on the ground. It emerged during the 20th century and was made popular by the American painter Jackson Pollock (1912-1956).


Expressionism: movement and painting style where the intensity of emotions and graphic expression prevails, even if it means twisting reality. Emerged in the beginning of the 20th century, it was very successful in Germany where many painters wanted to portray the violent and aggressive aspects of life: street scenes, parties, prostitutes, war scenes ... At Carré d'artistes, the painter Pascal Marcel represents dreamlike characters, with large fascinating eyes.



Fauvism: painting movement and style that emerged during the early 20th century, based on the usage and juxtaposition of pure colors - in other words, vibrant and vivid. Henri Matisse (1869-1954) is the most famous representative.

Figurative: an artistic style which represents the form of something, that portrays the sensitive and visible world. The history of painting is dominated by figurative art. 

Floater frame: an elegant framing principle which gives the impression, through four assembled rough lumber battens, that the canvas is floating in its medium. Invented during the 20th century by an American, this type of frame leaves 1 to 2 centimeters between the canvas and the edge of the rod.


Gouache: water-based paint, covering and opaque (unlike watercolor which is more or less transparent), its binder is acacia gum. 

Graffiti: inscription, drawing or painting drawn on a wall. Recognized as artwork in the 20th century, graffiti is much older and dates back to prehistoric men, who also drew on walls (like in the Lascaux cave). Though today, one uses markers or spray while creating graffiti and it is banned in most public places. It can also be created on canvas or paper, and of course is in keeping with all possible surfaces.

Hyper-realism: style of painting and sculpture which represents objects, people and the world through great detail. Emerged during late 20th century, hyperrealism confuses viewers who may wonder if the painting is a photo, or if the sculpture is alive. The Australian sculptor Hans Ronald Mueck (b. 1958) is one of its most famous representatives. At Carré d'artistes, painters Sergi Castignani and Carlos Ferg apply this technique to landscape art: both of them paint city views in great detail. 


Illustration: an image which accompanies a text. It can be a drawing, a painting, an engraving, which can be reproduced in books or edited in limited edition. At Carré d´artistes, the illustrations regroup dreamlike works that boost the imagination but can be read without any text. The artist Elisabeth Davy-Bouttier mainly creates very unique universes, such as scenes of dreams or symbolic visions.

Impressionism: artistic movement during late 19th century. The idea is to paint reality as artists experience and perceive it. The canvases are small, the points of view new (because influenced by the recent appearance of photography), the brush strokes visible and fast. The artists painted outdoors, mainly in Paris and its suburbs. At Carré d´artistes, Catherine Vaudron and Ivica Petras like to choose simple subjects, just like the Impressionists (bouquets of flowers, landscapes), which they enhance through a beautiful chromatic palette.


No definition for the moment.


No definition for the moment.



Landscapes: drawing, engraving, or painting revealing a part of nature. Ecole de Barbizon, which was founded around 1820, bordering the Fontainebleau forest, brought together one of the most famous assemblies of landscape painters, who wanted to paint outdoors, "on the pattern" (in other words, in front of their subject and not in their workshop). At Carré d'artistes, Jose Cabello Ruiz paints greatly diverse landscapes, and is attentive to the passing of seasons; Liisa Corbiere, in love with Provence, mainly focuses on this wonderful French region and portrays all its variations.



Mixed Media: this expression refers to the diversity of the various techniques and materials of artwork. Its use is very common in the case of installations, which brings together many different materials, that are difficult to name as a whole. 

Modeling: is a technique in sculpture which involves shaping a form in a soft substance, such as wax, clay, loam. Also refers to its result, the work.

Molding: a technique in sculpture which makes it possible to make an imprint through a material, to obtain a sculpted object. Also refers to its result, the work.

Monochrome: in one color. An extension of canvas covered with a single color. The most famous monochrome in the history of art is also the very first: Le Carre blanc sur fond blanc (White on White) painted in 1918 by Kasimir Malevich (1879-1935). French artist Yves Klein (1928-1962) gave his name to Klein blue, a color he used in an obsessive manner, especially in monochromes.



Nude: drawing, canvas or sculpture using a naked human being as a model. At Carré d'artistes, the painter Yo creates evanescent nudes through a few strokes, as if caught ink dancing.


Oil: a technique which involves painting on paper or canvas (or other media) with colored pigments bound in oil (linen for example). The invention is commonly related to the Flemish painter Jan van Eyck (1390-1441), but it did exist before him, and he only made it popular. The rendering is brilliant and favors fine and precise lines.



Painting: an operation which involves representing a subject or shapes on a surface, using bound colored pigments. It also refers to a painted picture.

Passe-partout: generally, a white cardboard frame, placed inside a frame.

Photographic painting: very refined painting technique which involves painting with the help of a photograph to resume the features: precise details, blurry effects, captured movement... In the History of Art, its most famous representative is the German painter, Gerhard Richter (born in 1932). At Carré d'artistes, painters like Sergi Castignani and Carlos Ferg carry this out brilliantly, through city views immersed in a particular atmosphere.

Pigment: a chemical substance, in the form of powder, which gives binders (such as oil or water) their color.

Pop art: an artistic movement which treats the consumer society as its topic and twists it around through paintings, installations, and sculptures. Daily objects, supermarket products, movies and comics are among the constant sources of inspiration. Emerged during the 1950s in England, Pop art quickly emulated all over the world, mainly in the United States. Andy Warhol (1928-1987) is its most famous figure. 

Portrait: drawn, painted or photographed representation of a person, usually cropped on the face, neck and the beginning of the shoulders.


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Realism: representation style which is true to reality. 

Romanticism: artistic movement that highlights the artist’s feelings. Emerged during late 18th century in Germany and England, the movement quickly won over entire Europe during the 19th century. The painter Caspar David Friedrich (1774-1840) and his painting Le Voyageur contemplant une mer de nuages (The Traveler gazing at a Sea of Clouds) (1817-1818) is an eloquent portrayal of this. 



Sculpture: a three-dimensional representation using a material which we model or impose a shape on. Can be cut, molded, shaped, assembled, melted.

Seascapes: a painting based on sea. These can be port views, sea storms, beaches, boats... At times very minimalist, seascapes can also be filled with details. At Carré d'artistes, Bruno Klein represents elegant boats, emerging from poetic vaporous backgrounds, through elegant painting strokes.

Sizing: an operation in sculpture which involves giving a shape to a block (of stone, for example) by removing the material (with a chisel, for example).

Spray can: refers to a commonly used container that sprays and scatters fine paint particles. Widely used for graffiti.

Still life: representation of inanimate objects. The French artist Jean Simeon Chardin (1699-1779) is one of the most famous still life painters. 

Street art: see "Urban art". "Street art" also means art on paper or canvas using the graphic codes of street art, such as graffiti. At Carré d’artistes, Graffmatt explores the possibilities of urban art through stencils, spray paint, fluorescent colors...

Surrealism: artistic movement that appeared at the beginning of the 20th century in France, which offered to go beyond reality. The artist harnesses his dreams, fears, or fantasies, in other words, goes with the flow of his overflowing psyche, while not letting reason get the upper hand. All kinds of media are urged: paintings, installations, performances, books…Les montres molles (The persistence of memory) by Salvador Dalí (1904-1989) are the most famous patterns. At Carré d’artistes, Carlo Trévisan is a poet of shapes, who readily takes up Magritte’s patterns (tobacco pipe, the bowler hat) or invents others to combine them in compositions with a blue-sky background.


Trompe-l’œil: drawn or painted representation aimed at creating an embossed illusion (or even confusion) of real objects or people, as if they were coming out of the drawing or the painting.



Urban art: in the History of Contemporary Art, Urban Art is a style which emerged in cities during late 20th century, that brings together all the practices which are directly involved in urban space: graffiti, stencils, collages ... At Carré d'artistes Urban Art refers more to landscapes of turbulent and lively cities around the world, like New York, or soothing and romantic ones like Venice.



Visual artists: refers to artists who use different materials, techniques and means to produce artwork. 



Watercolor: a technique which involves painting on paper or (less often) on canvas with colored pigments, diluted in water. It emerged during the late 13th century in England and is marked by a matt finish, often misty, where colors vary with great intensity right until absolute lightness (when they are extremely diluted).  



No definition for the moment.


No definition for the moment.


No definition for the moment.

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