Art Terms Glossary beginning with E

Click the letters above to view all terms beginning with that letter.
Edition
A limited number of prints from a negative produced for commercial purposes. As in traditional printmaking processes, the photographs are assigned serial numbers in the form of a fraction (one of twenty, 1/20, for example). The numerator denotes the position of the print in the sequence, and the denominator the total number of prints made.
Efflorescence
A white powdery crust formed by extraneous salts evolving on the surface of an object as a result of water migration. Typical efflorescence on masonry surfaces occurs when moisture dissolves water-soluble salts, then seeps to the surface, where the water evaporates leaving a salt residue. In faience manufacture this refers to a glazing process in which the colored salts are mixed in the paste before fabrication. The salts rise to the surface during drying and form the glaze when the object is fired.
Egyptian blue
A synthetic inorganic pigment consisting of coarse, irregular particles and ranges in color from a powdery blue to a royal blue. It is composed of a double silicate of calcium and copper prepared by heating a mixture of silica, copper salts, calcite and sodium salts to 830 C. This forms a stable blue frit that usually contains some calcite and quartz as impurities. The Egyptians used Egyptian blue since the time of the pyramids as a pigment. It was also made into a paste to form objects in a technology similar to faience.
Embossing
Any process used to create a raised or depressed surface, sometimes without ink. E.g. The decoration of metal plate by hammering it up in relief from the inside.
Engraving
Lines are incised into a copper plate with a burin. The curls of copper thrown up at the sides of the furrow are cleaned away with a scraper.
Etching
A metal plate is coated with a varnish-like substance (known as the ground) that is impervious to acid. The artist creates an image by drawing through the ground with an etching needle, thus exposing areas of metal. The whole plate is then immersed in acid until the exposed lines are sufficiently bitten, producing grooves in the metal that will hold the ink. The ground is then removed, and the plate is ready to be inked and printed.
Evangelary
A book containing the Gospel readings for the Mass, arranged according to the liturgical year (also known as a Gospel lectionary).
Evangelists
Sts. Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John - the Four Evangelists - authors of the Gospels whose portraits usually precede their respective texts in certain manuscripts such as the Gospel books and the books of hours.
Exemplar
A corrected original from which a duplicate text is copied.
Exposure
The act of exposing photosensitive material to light. In a camera, exposure of film is determined by the size of the aperture and how long it is open.