Art Terms and Definitions — N

Naïve Art     |     Numbered Prints

A dictionary of art terms and definitions that begin with the letter N.

Naïve Art
Art created by untrained artists. It is characterized by simplicity and a lack of the elements or qualities found in the art of formally trained artists. Click for more information about naïve art.
Naples Yellow
Art Terms and Definitions -- NThe oldest synthetic yellow hue of a muted reddish yellow to a bright light yellow pigment. Known to have been created by the Ancient Egyptians. Often used in paintings during the 1700-the 1850s.
Narrative Art
A type of visual art that tells a story or represents elements of a story. An example of this genre would be Leonardo da Vinci’s “The Last Supper,” or illustrations often found in children’s books.
Negative Space
The unoccupied or empty space left after the positive shapes have been laid down by the artist; however because these areas have boundaries, they also function as shapes in the total design.
Neutral Color
Colors of very low saturation, approaching grays. Neutral colors include blacks, whites, grays, and browns.
New Media Art 
A genre of art that encompasses artworks created with new media technologies, including digital art, computer graphics, computer animation, virtual art, Internet art, interactive art, video games, computer robotics, 3D printing, and art as biotechnology.
NFTs (Non-fungible tokens)
The latest development in digital art. Unique digital identifiers that are recorded on a blockchain. NFTs cannot be copied, reproduced, substituted, or subdivided. They are used to certify ownership and authenticity of one-of-a-kind items like art, music, or films.
Non-Western Art
See “Tribal Art“.
A work of art (most often a painting or sculpture) depicting an individual without clothing or very little clothing.
Numbered Prints 
A term used in printmaking to indicate the number of editions struck from one plate. The number is generally placed over the size of the edition. For example, 24/100 shows the unique number of that impression and the total edition size. Modern artists produce only limited editions of their works, usually signed by the artist in pencil and numbered.

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Contributing to The Art Dictionary

This art dictionary is a work in progress. New terms and definitions are added on a regular basis. If you know of an art term and definition that isn’t already listed in it, but you believe it should be, send it to us and we’ll consider adding it. We’ll let you know if we do. Thanks!

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UPDATED: 13 March 2023 

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