Rakuyaki is a form of Japanese pottery characterized by low firing temperatures (resulting in a fairly porous body), lead glazes, and the removal of pieces from the kiln while still glowing hot. In the traditional Japanese firing process, the pot is removed from the hot kiln and allowed to cool in the open air. Raku is considered the traditional method for creating bowls for the Japanese tea ceremony. Raku tea bowls are hand-made from earthenware, each with a unique shape and style. Gillian Still is our only artist displaying examples of Raku.
Realism is a style of painting that depicts the actuality of what the eyes can see. Realists render everyday characters, situations, dilemmas, and objects, all in verisimilitude. They tend to discard theatrical drama, lofty subjects and classical forms in favor of commonplace themes. Realism appears in art as early as 2400 BC in the city of Lothal in what is now India, and examples can be found throughout the history of art. In the broadest sense, realism in a work of art exists wherever something has been well observed and accurately depicted, even if the work as a whole does not strictly conform to the conditions of realism. For example, the proto-Renaissance painter Giotto di Bondone brought a new realism to the art of painting by rendering physical space and volume far more convincingly than his Gothic predecessors. His paintings, like theirs, represented biblical scenes and the lives of the saints.
A relief print is an image created by a printmaking process, such as woodcut, where the areas of the matrix (plate or block) that are to show printed black (typically) are on the original surface; the parts of the matrix that are to be blank (white) having been cut away, or otherwise removed. Printing the image is therefore a relatively simple matter of inking the face of the matrix and bringing it in firm contact with the paper; a printing-press may not be needed as the back of the paper can be rubbed or pressed by hand with a simple tool. This contrasts with an intaglio print, such as an engraving or etching, where the areas to print black are below the original surface of the matrix, and the original surface of the matrix will print blank. To print these the whole matrix is inked, and the ink then wiped away from the surface, so that it remains only in the lines (classically) that the artist has made below the surface of the matrix. Much greater pressure is then needed to force the paper into the channels containing the ink, and a high-pressure press will normally be required.
The Renaissance (French for 'rebirth', or Rinascimento in Italian), was a cultural movement in Italy (and in Europe in general) that began in the late Middle Ages, and spanned roughly the 14th through the 17th century. It encompassed the revival of learning based on classical sources, the rise of courtly and papal patronage, the development of perspective in painting, and advancements in science. The word Renaissance is also used as an adjective to describe other historical and cultural moments (e.g. the Carolingian Renaissance, the Byzantine Renaissance).
The Rococo style of art emerged in France in the early 18th century as a continuation of the Baroque style. In contrast to the heavier themes and darker colors of the Baroque, the Rococo style was characterized by an opulence, grace, playfulness, and lightness. Rococo motifs focused on the carefree aristocratic life and on lighthearted romance rather than heroic battles or religious figures; they also revolve heavily around nature and exterior settings. In the mid-late 18th century, Rococo was largely supplanted by the Neoclassic style.which placed emphasis on portraying the carefree life of the aristocracy rather than on grand heroes or pious martyrs. Love and romance were considered to be better subjects for art than historical or religious subjects. The style was characterized by a free, graceful movement; a playful use of line; and delicate colors. Jean-Antoine Watteau (French, 1684-1721) is often referred to as the greatest of the Rococo painters, and his picture of the Embarkation for Cythera demonstrates the elegance of this style.