Glossary of Art Terms - M


Marouflage is a technique for affixing a painted canvas to a wall to be used as a mural, using an adhesive that hardens as it dries such as plaster or cement. Marouflage is a 3,000-year-old technique. Historically, artists used several types of adhesives including a rabbit-skin glue. White lead ore was used in the 19th and 20th centuries in the mixture to help it dry.


Matte, a surface with a non-glossy finish.

Medieval Art

The art of the Middle Ages ca. 500 A.D. through the 14th century. The art produced immediately prior to the Renaissance.


Materials and techniques used by artists to produce art works-Oils- Watercolours etc.


Mezzotint is a printmaking process of the intaglio family. It was the first tonal method to be used, enabling half-tones to be produced without using line or dot based techniques like hatching, cross-hatching or stipple. Mezzotint achieves tonality by roughening the plate with thousands of little dots made by a metal tool with small teeth. In printing the tiny pits in the plate hold the ink when the face of the plate is wiped clean. A high level of quality and richness in the print can be achieved.


That area of an artwork between the foreground and background.


Minimalism describes movements in various forms of art and design, especially visual art and music, where the work is stripped down to its most fundamental features and core self expression. The first artist specifically associated with Minimalism was Frank Stella, whose "stripe" paintings were highlighted in the 1959 show, "16 Americans", organized by Dorothy Miller at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. The width of the stripes in Frank Stellas's stripe paintings were determined by the dimensions of the lumber used to construct the supportive chassis upon which the canvas hung.

Mixed Media

In painting, the term has traditionally been applied to combined mediums in two-dimensional work such as acrylic and watercolour or gouache and tempera. However, with the many experimentations by contemporary artists, especially sculptors, the term Mixed-Media or Multi-Media is now applied to the combining into a single work of art a variety of materials, many of them groundbreaking. Examples of combinations that fall into the newer definition are wood, pebbles, bones, glass, plastic, paper, oil paint, found objects and metals. Source: Lonnie Dunbier, AskART.

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As an art-history term of art, Modernism is focused on a period in western art from the 1860s through the 1970s. The word is difficult to define because it embraced the state of mind of being non-traditional, which meant that a variety of styles came under the label. Early 'modernists' artists such as Gustave Courbet, Paul Cezanne and Edouard Manet in France rebelled against tradition by depicting contemporary life instead of historical subjects. Modernism took hold full force with the introduction of Cubism, Futurism and other isms at the 1913 Armory Show in New York City. A major factor in opening the door to Modernism was the withdrawing of sponsorship and control of the arts by the Catholic Church, governments and aristocrats. Many of the themes of modern art were based on the new industrialism and secularism because technology and challenges to middle-class values increasingly displaced formal religion.


Monochrome comes from the two Greek words mono meaning "one", and chroma, meaning "surface" or "the colour of the skin"). A monochromatic object has a single color. In Art this ofen means using different shades of the one colour.


Monoprinting is a form of printmaking that has images or lines that cannot exactly be reproduced. There are many techniques of mono printing, including collage, hand-painted additions, and a form of tracing by which thick ink is laid down on a table, paper is placed on top and is then drawn on, transfering the ink onto the paper. Monoprints are can also be made by altering the type, color, and pressure of the ink used to create different prints. Examples of standard printmaking techniques which can be used to make monoprints include lithography, woodcut, and etching.So no two prints are ever the same.


A montage (literally "putting together") is an art form consisting of a number of smaller items put together-Collage.


Mosaic is the art of decoration with small pieces of colored glass, stone or other material. It may be a technique of decorative art, an aspect of interior decoration or of cultural and spiritual significance as in a cathedral. Small tiles or fragments of pottery or of colored glass or clear glass backed with metal foils are used to create a pattern or picture.


A mural is a painting on a wall, ceiling, or other large permanent surface.


A museum is a "permanent institution in the service of society and of its development, open to the public, which acquires, conserves, researches, communicates and exhibits, for purposes of study, education, enjoyment, the tangible and intangible evidence of people and their environment.

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