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 
    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 
    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 
    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...

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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