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Glossary of Art Terms: 'E'

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In visual arts, an edition is a set of duplicate prints or casts of a particular image. The types of reproduction that the term edition refers to can be offset-lithography, lithographs, serigraphs, etchings, offset-lithography or cast sculpture. If the number of prints to be produced is unlimited, the edition is usually referred to as an open edition, whereas if the number if prints is predetermined and limited, the edition is then referred to as a limited edition. These limited edition prints are usually signed and numbered indicating the sequential number of the print and the edition size. Many states have laws governing how limited edition prints are marketed.


A method of printing where the image is cut into a metal plate with a sharp tool called a graver. The resulting grooves of the engraved metal surface are inked and then the plate and paper are pressed together through a printing press to transfer the image. See etching for a similar method of printing.

en plein air

French for "in open air," used to describe paintings that have been executed outdoors, rather than in the studio. Plein air painting was taken up by the English painters Richard Parks Bonington and John Constable, and the French painters of the Barbizon School, and it became central to Impressionism. Its widespread practice was influenced by the emergence of more portable easels and the growing availability of paint sold in tubes. This practice was an important development in the art world as it allowed artist to produce works at the very moment of inspiration.


An intaglio printing process in which various etching needles are used to draw into a wax ground applied over a metal plate. The plate is then submerged in a series of acid baths, each biting into the metal surface only where unprotected by the ground. The ground is then removed and ink is forced into the etched grooves. When the plate surface is wiped clean only the ink from the grooves are applied to the paper during printing. Etching is sometimes confused with engraving.


In the world of Fine Art, a usually formal public display of the works of either an individual artist or several artists represented by a Fine Art gallery hosting the event. Often referred to simply as an artist's "show".


An art movement dominant in Germany from 1905-1925, especially Die Brücke and Blaue Reiter, which are usually referred to as German Expressionism. Some of the movement's leading painters were Vincent van Gogh, Paul Gauguin, Edvard Munch, Wassily Kandinsky among others. Expressionist painters emphasized subjective expression of their inner experiences.