U

Ubi sunt --(Latin, 'where are') The words with which many medieval Latin poems started, and now used as a term to identify any such poem.

Uchiwa --A Japanese folding fan, usually painted by an artist. The uchiwa and sensu represent some of the finest examples of fan painting in the world. See fan.

Uda --In ceramics, a purplish-brown pigment used in the decoration of Hindu pottery; also, any glazed pottery so decorated.

Udakea --A drum-type musical instrument of India in the shape of an hourglass. The ends are covered with parchment, the overhanging edges of which are laced with strips of skin. It is beaten with the fingers.

Udaltzy --Name by which the legendary Russian bogatyri were known prior to 1240. See bogatyr.

Uganda mahogany --See mahogany.

Ugaritic Tablets --In archaeology, a 'find' of hundreds of clay tablets excavated in Ras Shamra on the northern coast of Syria from 1929 to 1939. Most of them are inscribed in an alphabetic writing of cuneiform appearance which was deciphered without the help of a bilingual inscription (see Rosetta Stone). Written in Ugaritic dialect, akin to Hebrew, Canaanite and Phoenician, they offer fragments of epic, liturgical, and mythological literatures and date from about 1400 B.C. They have been found of value in the study of the Semitic languages and of the OLD TESTAMENT.

Ugly --In art, the property ascribed to an object which brings painful disappointment to an esthetic ideal; offensive, displeasing or repulsive to a sense of beauty.

However, the ugly is acknowledged as possessing esthetic merit, chiefly in the sense of being true to life; also, as an item which enhances true beauty through contrast.

Uilleann pipes --Early name for a variety of bagpipe devised and used in old Ireland; subsequently referred to as union pipes.

Ukelele --See ukulele.

Ukiyoye --17th and 18th century technique of Japanese print-making; literally, 'pictures of the floating world.' Popular in the sense that these prints depicted scenes from everyday life, they were consequently opposed in theory and practice to the religious and imperial art motifs favored by the upper classes. Particularly rare is the kwaigetsudo type of ukiyoye, of large size, only 39 of which are known to exist in the world. An extensive ukiyoye exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, in 1949-1950, drew great interest.

Ukulele --A musical instrument of Hawaiian origin, resembling a small guitar. Popular as a device of self-accompaniment during the 1920's, esp. in the U.S., it waned into obsolescence thereafter, probably because of the fact that it carried a strummed chordal effect only, and no melody. Sometimes spelled ukelele.

Ulinka --In Russian painting, a style in which the artist makes deliberate effort to create pale, colorless figures; found in much of the work of Nikolai Gogol ( 1809- 1852). Literally (Russian), 'dead souls.'

Ultra-baroque --The inclusive term applied to several extravagant Mexican art styles in the first ¾ ths of the 18th century.

-744-

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Dictionary of the Arts
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Introduction v
  • Acknowledgments ix
  • A 1
  • B 62
  • C 119
  • D 203
  • E 236
  • F 260
  • G 290
  • H 318
  • I 343
  • J 359
  • K 368
  • L 385
  • M 411
  • N 455
  • O 471
  • P 490
  • Q 562
  • R 567
  • S 605
  • T 692
  • U 744
  • V 751
  • W 767
  • X 782
  • Y 785
  • Z 792
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