Art Terms Glossary beginning with I

Click the letters above to view all terms beginning with that letter.
The decorator or painter of a vellum codex.
The opening words of a text in Latin. Beatus vir (Blessed is the man) is the incipit of the first Psalm.
Early printed books; especially books printed before 1500.
The process of filling in a loss with an easily shaped material such as wax or spackling to even the loss with the adjacent original surfaces.
Infrared reflectography
A photographic examination technique that captures the absorption and/or emission characteristics of reflected infrared radiation. This low energy light near the red band of visible light can penetrate some paintings to reveal the black preparatory drawing (underdrawing) that was often applied over the white ground (underlayer) in preparation for painting. The success of this technique is dependent on the structure of the painting and the composition of the materials used.
An emphasized letter at the beginning of a text; used in medieval manuscripts to form breaks within a text and to prioritize the components of the text by drawing the attention of the reader; a purely medieval invention and often lavishly decorated.
Instantaneous photography
A term that generally refers to photographs with extremely short exposure times, especially those of less than one second, that freeze motion.
The line has been created by incising the plate, as in engraving or etching. The lines are sunken grooves in the plate.
Iron Gall Ink
is naturally a purplish-black, but with time and exposure to light, it changes to a brown color. Its essential ingredients include plant tannins extracted from gall nuts, to which are added iron salts and gum arabic. This ink has a natural acidity whose corrosive effect on paper can often be seen in old master drawings.