Art Terms and Definitions — X

X-Radiography     |     Xylography

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

A medical diagnostic tool used extensively by conservators to determine how artists applied different layers of paint to create an image. The X-rays penetrate through multiple layers of paint to image the atomic weight or density of the various present materials. It can easily detect if repairs have been made to tears in the canvas if there are holes in the panel support, and other such occurrences. This information is extremely valuable to conservators as it helps determine the best procedures to use in preserving the image. It can also assist art historians in the interpretation of the artwork and more specific dating.
Photographic process that uses an electrically charged metal plate. The electrical charge is destroyed on exposure to light, leaving a latent image in which shadows represent charged areas. A powdered pigment dusted over the plate is attracted to the charged areas, producing a visible image. Also called photocopying or xerocopy, a lesser-used term.
Art Terms and Definitions -- XXylography 
An early form of wood engraving was first seen in China in the 1st century. It is the oldest known engraving technique.

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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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