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25 Jul 2018

Artistic terms always seem to fare well on Haggard Hawks, and an obscure term used both in artistic composition and, oddly, in geometry proved that point just yesterday. Rabatment, as we explained on Twitter, is an artistic technique in which an object in a composition is emphasized not by being pla...

Another artistic term popped up on HH this week: tenebrism is a word for the use of extremes of light and dark in a painting or artwork. 

As art terminology goes, that’s a relatively recent invention: the OED has no record of tenebrism any earlier than the 1950s, while the word from wh...

You might have spotted the term Droste effect over on HH this week, which ended up another of the week’s most popular facts.

The Droste effect (which is pronounced “dros-tuh”, as if rhyming with “foster”) is an artistic technique in which an image contains inside of itself a smaller version of i...

31 May 2018

Mirror anamorphosis is a fairly obscure art technique in which a distorted image is “hidden” inside a larger artwork, and can only be revealed by placing of a specialized mirror (called an anamorphoscope) in or alongside it:

Everything from sculptures to murals to signposts can be made...

24 Oct 2017

Most popular on HH this week was the fact that a charette is a period of intense work carried out in order to hit a deadline.

No experience of that here at all, of course. Nope. None whatsoever. HH is always totally well organised and days—nay, weeks ahead of schedule. 

Moving on... As some of y...

25 Jul 2017

The fact that orchesography is a bizarre diagrammatic system for notating dance moves ended up one of last week’s most popular tweets: 

So here’s a bit more about it. 

Both the word orchesography and this curious system of notation were invented by Thoinot Arbeau, a French Renaissance historian and sc...

5 Jul 2017

The term Abderian laughter popped up on HH on Monday, defined as:

The adjective Abderian, or Abderitan, literally refers to anything or anyone from the Ancient Greek city of Abdera in Thrace, in the far northeast corner of modern Greece. And among the most noted citizens of Abdera was a fifth-ce...

13 May 2017

The fact that a Flanders-piece is a painting that only looks impressive from a distance cropped up on the HH feed this week—as did a few questions asking where such a peculiar phrase comes from (as well as a few theories of your own). 

It’s a superb idea, but sadly no—this has nothing to do with the...

29 Apr 2017

This week’s most popular tweet was the word nasothek, defined as “a collection of the broken noses of statues and busts”. 

Derived from the Latin for “nose”, nasus, plus the Greek theke, meaning “repository” or “container”, use of the word nasothek is credited to the Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek art museum...

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