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Q A to Q Z



qi or chi - See feng shui.

(pr. chee)



qiblah - In Islamic tradition, the direction (toward Mecca) in which Moslems face in prayer. Sometimes spelled kiblah.

(pr. KEE-blə)

Also see mihrab, minbar, and mosque.




Qi - See Northern and Southern Dynasties.




Qin - See Quin.



Qing - A Chinese dynasty (also called Ching and Manchu) which lasted 1644-1911. (Not to be confused with the Quin dynasty.) It was preceded by the Ming dynasty and followed by the Republic of China.

(pr. ching)

Examples of works from this period:


see thumbnail to leftWang Hui (Chinese, 1632-1717), Three leaves from Landscapes and Flowers, 1672, ink and color on paper, National Palace Museum, Taipei. See botanical and chop.



see thumbnail to rightDao Ji (Shitao) (Chinese, 1642 - 1707 or 1708), Autumn Landscape, Qing dynasty, 1701, hanging scroll; ink and color on paper, signatures: Zing-Xiang chen ren, Dadizu, and Shitao; seals: five of the artist, two of the collector Ouyang Lin dated 1907, three of collectors in lower left, and four in the lower right corner, Worcester Art Museum, MA.




see thumbnail to leftChina, Chuba, Qing dynasty (1644-1911), 17th century, cut velvet with patterned wefts of multicolored silks, gold-wrapped silk, and peacock-feather filaments, width 55 inches (139.7 cm), Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY. See costume.




see thumbnail to rightYun Bing (Chinese, active c. 1670-1710), Flowers, from an album of 12 leaves, ink and colors on silk, Asian Art Museum, San Francisco, CA. See botanical.



see thumbnail to leftChina, Emperor's 12-Symbol Robe, 18th century, Qing dynasty, silk, metallic thread, 63 1/2 x 56 3/4 inches (161.29 x 144.15 cm), Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY. The emblems reserved for the emperor's ceremonial robes were the twelve imperial symbols seen on this garment: sun, moon, constellation, mountain, pair of dragons, bird, cups, water weed, millet, fire, ax, and the symmetrical "fu" symbol.




see thumbnail to rightChina, Qing dynasty, mark and reign of the Yongzheng emperor (1723-1735), Plate with Birthday Greeting, porcelain with underglaze blue and overglaze enamel decoration, Asian Art Museum, San Francisco, CA.




see thumbnail to leftChina, Qing dynasty, Throne, probably mid to late 1800s, lacquered wood, Asian Art Museum, San Francisco, CA. See furniture.





see thumbnail to rightChina, Jiangxi Province, Qing dynasty, Jingdezhen Saucer (Die) Glazed in Imitation of a Fuzhou Chrysanthemum-Shaped Lacquer, Qianlong mark and period, dated 1774, molded porcelain with clear glaze, overglaze cinnabar and black enamel decoration, and gold inscription on reserved ground, height 1 1/4 inches (3.18 cm), diameter 6 5/8 inches (16.83 cm), Los Angeles County Museum of Art.



qt. - Abbreviation for quart.




quadrant vault - See vault.



quadrilateral - A polygon bounded by four line segments, each of which can be of any length. The sum of its four angles must be 360°. Types of quadrilaterals include the parallelogram (can be equilateral or non-equilateral), the rectangle (can be equilateral or non-equilateral), the rhombus (always equilateral), the trapezium (non-equilateral), and the trapezoid (non-equilateral). The formula with which to find a quadrilateral's area varies with each type.

Also see radial and regular.



quadro riportato - The simulation of a wall painting for a ceiling design in which a painted scene is produced in a panel resembling a composition on the surface of a shallow, curved vault. The plural form is quadri riportati.

Also see mural and fresco.



quality - An inherent or distinguishing characteristic of a person or a thing. Or, having a high degree of excellence. The quality of a thing tends to be increased the more care its maker puts into its making.


Also see aesthetics, artist, assessment, choose, compare, craftsmanship, effort, feminism and feminist art, gemütlichkeit, goal, hallmark, inspiration, isms and -ism, magnum opus, masterpiece, motivation, nuance, posterity, specifications, standards, success, and virtuosity.



quality control - Techniques ensuring that high quality is maintained through various stages of a process.



quality of life - The degree of emotional, intellectual, or cultural satisfaction in a person's everyday life as distinct from the degree of material comfort.

Also see advocacy, fame, gemütlichkeit, love, posterity, quality, and success.



quarry - An open pit or excavation from which stone is taken by cutting, digging or blasting. The most famous quarries for white marble are in Italy around Carrara. Here is a photo of see thumbnail to leftthe mountainous area in which Carrara's quarries are located, and photos of the Amso International quarry at Carrara:


see thumbnail to rightA ladder in the upper view provides scale.



see thumbnail to rightA small shed appears in the lower view.


Other Italian marble quarries are located at Colombara, Polvaccio, Sponda, and Campiglia. In other countries, quarries for white marble include: Paros, Proconnesos, and Dokimeion in Greece, Aphrodysias in Turkey, Makrana in India, and Colorado and Georgia in the USA. Reknowned quarries for other stones: Seravezza in Italy for breccia; and Monsummano in Italy for limestone. There are quarries in most of the countries of the world. Quarries have also been referred to as openwork.



quart - A unit of liquid measurement (in the US) equal to 2 pints, or 32 ounces. To convert quarts into gallons divide by 4; into liters, multiply them by 0.94635. Abbreviated qt.




quarto - A book or manuscript of the second largest standard size, usually measuring 32 cm (12 1/2 inches) in height, and 24 cm (9 1/2 inches) in width, which is composed of sheets of paper folded into four leaves. The plural form is quartos. Abbreviated q., Q., qto, Qto, and 4to.

Also see bookbinding, duodecimo, folio, octavo, rotulus, sextodecimo, signature, text, tricesimo-segundo, and vicesimo-quarto.



quatrefoilquatrefoil - An ornament, especially in architecture, having four lobes, or foils. In heraldry, a four-petaled flower.

(pr. KAH-trə-foyl)




see thumbnail to leftA quatrefoil design for fabric and wallpaper in five different color schemes or colorways.

Related link:

The Glossary of Medieval Art and Architecture defines quatrefoil and provides an illustration.



quattrocento - Italian, literally "four hundred," it refers to the 1400s CE the fifteenth century. Italian, It is often used to refer to Italian art of this time the late Middle Ages and the early Renaissance.




see thumbnail to leftFra Filippo Lippi (Italian, Florentine, c. 1406-1469), Portrait of a Man and Woman at a Casement, c. 1440, tempera on wood panel, 25 1/4 x 16 1/2 inches (64.1 x 41.9 cm), Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY. (On the Met's page, you can enlarge any detail.)



see thumbnail to rightSandro Botticelli (Alessandro di Mariano Filipepi) (Italian, Florentine, 1444/45-1510), Allegory of Spring (La Primavera), 1477-78, 10 feet 4 inches x 6 feet 9 inches (315 x 205 cm) painted for the villa of Lorenzo di Pierfrancesco de' Medici at Castello, now in the Uffizi, Florence.




see thumbnail to leftSandro Botticelli, The Last Communion of Saint Jerome, early 1490s, tempera and gold on wood panel, 13 1/2 x 10 inches (34.3 x 25.4 cm), Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY. This painting's exceptionally fine frame has a painted lunette by Bartolomeo di Giovanni.


Italian Terms for the Centuries
Italian term Numerically English term
thirteenth century
fourteenth century
fifteenth century
sixteenth century
seventeenth century
eighteenth century
nineteenth century
twentieth century
twenty-first century



quicklime - Lime, burnt lime, caustic lime. Made by burning calcium carbonate.



Quick Time - A compression scheme for moving and still digital images. Originally designed for Macintosh computers by Apple Computer Corporation.



quill - In drawing and calligraphy, a pen made from a goose's feather. The sharply spikey defenses of porcupines are also called quills, and they have been used by many peoples in several ways.

A related link:

Also see acrylic paints, autographic ink, bistre, body color, gouache, heighten, horn, India ink, ink, iron-gall ink, metal nib pen, oil paint, pen, reed pen, sepia ink, wash, watercolor, and zinc white.



Quin - A Chinese dynasty which lasted 221 - 206 BCE, it was also called the Chin dynasty.



Quince Group - A group of American Scene painters who shared a studio on Philadelphia's Quince Street, flourishing briefly in the late 1930s until many members went separate ways. The Quince Group has had among the most peripatetic and quiescent influences on the Philadelphia School of American art. Its leading members were Joseph and Irene Teller, several of whose works have recently been reproduced to certain acclaim in a book by their kid, Teller (of Penn & Teller), When I'm Dead All This Will Be Yours, 2001, Blast Books, NY.

Also see Fourteenth Street school and social realism.



quoin - In architecture, a large, sometimes rusticated, usually slightly projecting stone (or stones) that often form the corners of the exterior walls of masonry buildings.

(pr. kwoyn)



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