Fine Art Glossary

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Salt Print

The earliest form of photographic positive paper, salt prints were the most common print type until the invention of the albumen. Developed in 1840 by William Fox Talbot, they were created by soaking a sheet of paper in a salt solution and coating it with silver nitrate. This created a light sensitive paper which typically produced sepia prints with a matte surface.


An item's height, width and depth noted in either inches or centimeters.


Excessive cleaning. Occurs when a piece has experienced exorbitant intervention from a restorer or conservationist, removing a portion of the original media. 


Occurs when foreign materials react with the surface of an item and create discoloration or spotting.


Literally meaning “ink painting,” Sumi-e paintings are monochromatic and typically associated with the practice of Zen Buddhism. This elegant form of painting was developed in China during the Song Dynasty (960-1279).

Surface Abrasions

Visible result of wearing, grinding, scratching, or tearing of a surface due to friction.

Surface Soiling

Accumulation of dirt, or other materials, upon the face of an item, including fingerprints.