Word Power: How Artful Is Your Vocabulary?

Take our quiz to see if you've got a flair with artful words.

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1. What does "graphic" mean?

A: clearly pictured
B: sculpted of marble
C: roughly composed

1. Graphic means...

[A] clearly pictured. 
The depiction of the embrace was 
a little too graphic for me.

Next: canon

2. What does "canon" mean?

A: string of images.
B: standard for evaluation.
C: negative review.

2. Canon means...

[B] standard for evaluation. Monet’s works are certainly the canon by which to measure other Impressionist paintings.


Next: symmetry

3. What does "symmetry" mean?

A: framing and matting
B: balanced proportions
C: imitation

3. Symmetry means...

[B] balanced proportions. Ever the jokester, Dean asked, “When Picasso looked in the mirror, was his face all out of symmetry too?”


Next: cartography

4. What does "cartogrophy" mean?

A: mapmaking
B: painted 
wagons
C: traveling exhibits

4. Cartography means...

[A] mapmaking. No need to test my cartography skills when I’ve got a GPS in the car.


Next: panoramic

5. What does "panoramic" mean?

A: of film artistry
B: shown 
in miniature
C: sweeping

5. Panoramic means...

[C] sweeping. Eric and Christine were overwhelmed by the photo’s panoramic proportions.


Next: opaque

6. What does "opaque" mean?

A: deceptive
B: not transparent
C: molded in plaster

6. Opaque means...

[B] not transparent. 
Notice the opaque colors he chose for the backdrop.


Next: juxtapose

7. What does "juxtapose" mean?

A: sit for a portrait
B: render 
precisely
C: place side by side

7. Juxtapose means...

[C] place side by side. Now that you’ve juxtaposed the photos, I agree—they’re not at 
all alike.


Next: kinetic

8. What does "kinetic" mean?

A: copied identically
B: showing movement
C: picturing countryside

8. Kinetic means...

[B] showing movement. I thought someone was behind me, but it was a particularly kinetic statue.


Next: kitschy

9. What does "kitschy" mean?

A: in a collage
B: tacky
C: macraméd

9. Kitschy means...

[B] tacky. Leo thinks anything that isn’t Rembrandt is 
just kitschy.


Next: baroque

10. What does "baroque" mean?

A: highly ornamented
B: plain in style
C: traditional

10. Baroque means...

[A] highly ornamented. Alex’s baroque-inspired sketches were criticized for being too busy.


Next: manifesto

11. What does "manifesto" mean?

A: statement of principles
B: gallery opening
C: watercolor technique

11. Manifesto means...

[A] statement of principles. Art manifestos often come across as pretentious and superior.


Next: avant-garde

12. What does "avant-garde" mean?

A: retro
B: scandalous
C: cutting-edge

12. Avant-garde means...

[C] cutting-edge. Holly dropped out of school to join an avant-garde painting troupe.


Next: aesthetics

13. What does "aesthetics" mean?

A: acid engravings
B: pleasing 
appearance
C: works in the 
outdoor air

13. Aesthetics means...

[B] pleasing appearance. Ironically, Joziah’s darker 
portraits most accurately captured the aesthetics of the city.


Next: anthropomorphic

14. What does "anthropomorphic" mean?

A: of cave art
B: made from clay
C: humanlike

14. Anthropomorphic means...

[C] 
humanlike. The artist combined 
everyday street items into an 
anthropomorphic figure.


Next: analogous

15. What does "analogous" mean?

A: shapeless
B: made of wood
C: having a likeness

15. Analogous means...

[C] having a 
likeness. Right now, my brain is 
analogous to that flat, empty canvas.

Travis Rathbone for Reader's Digest

How did you do?

If you scored 9 and below, you're a light sketcher. Between 10 and 12, you're a more skilled artisan; 13 to 15 makes you an old master. More word power: When people save tickets, clippings, or menus—items intended to last only briefly but often placed in scrapbooks—they are collecting ephemera (from the Greek ephemeros, "lasting a day"). Such items may not have been made by artists, but over time they acquire value for their place in history. And a cultural trend that passes away quickly is considered ephemeral.

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