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Glossary of Art Terms: 'L'

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landscape painting

A genre of painting which depicts outdoor scenery. Landscape paintings can vary quite widely in what is depicted. They typically include trees, streams, buildings, crops, mountains, wildlife, rivers and forests.

limited edition

A set of duplicate prints or casts having a predetermined limit in its production. In the past editions were naturally limited since engraving and etching plates would wear until prints could no longer be made. Today with offset-lithographs and digital gicleé prints, the number, which could be unlimited, is limited in order to keep the prints relatively rare and ensure value for the collector. These limited edition prints are signed and numbered indicating the sequential number of the print and the edition size. Some states have laws governing how limited edition prints are marketed.


A cloth woven from thread made from the fibers of the flax plant. Although it has been used in many ways, linen canvas has been an especially desirable support for painting. As opposed to cotton fibers which tend to be much shorter, linen fibers average close to a yard long.


A mechanical planographic printing process based on the chemical repellence of oil and water. Designs are drawn or painted with greasy ink or crayons on specially prepared limestone. The stone is moistened with water, which the stone accepts in areas not covered by the crayon. An oily ink, applied with a roller, adheres only to the drawing and is repelled by the wet parts of the stone. The print is then made by pressing paper against the inked drawing. See offset-lithography for a similar but more modern process.