Glossary

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Composition

Composition is the term given to a complete work of art and, more specifically, to the way in which all its elements work together to produce an overall effect. A 'static composition', for example, might stress horizontal and vertical accents, closure at the edges of the painting, and subdued colour and tonal contrasts, to give an effect of orderliness and repose - see for example Claude.

A more 'dynamic composition', such as Rubens's 'Peace and War', on the other hand, might be based on intersecting diagonals, a lack of closure, vigorous contrasts of colour and light and dark accents - stressing movement, activity, conflict.

 
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