AskDefine | Define painter

Dictionary Definition



1 an artist who paints
2 a worker who is employed to cover objects with paint
3 a line that is attached to the bow of a boat and used for tying up (as when docking or towing)
4 large American feline resembling a lion [syn: cougar, puma, catamount, mountain lion, panther, Felis concolor]

User Contributed Dictionary



From the verb paint


  • (UK) /ˈpeɪntə/, /"peInt@/
  • (US) /ˈpeɪntɚ/, /"peInt@`/
  • Rhymes: -eɪntə(r)


  1. An artist who paints pictures.
  2. A laborer or workman who paints surfaces using a paintbrush or other means.
  3. A rope connected to the bow of a boat, used to attach it to, e.g. a jetty or another boat.



Extensive Definition

Painting is the practice of applying color to a surface (support) such as, e.g. paper, canvas, wood, glass, lacquer or concrete. However, when used in an artistic sense, the term "painting" means the use of this activity in combination with drawing, composition and other aesthetic considerations in order to manifest the expressive and conceptual intention of the practitioner.
Painting is used as a mode of representing, documenting and expressing all the varied intents and subjects that are as numerous as there are practitioners of the craft. Paintings can be naturalistic and representational (as in a still life or landscape painting), photographic, abstract, be loaded with narrative content, symbolism, emotion or be political in nature. A large portion of the history of painting is dominated by spiritual motifs and ideas; sites of this kind of painting range from artwork depicting mythological figures on pottery to biblical scenes rendered on the interior walls and ceiling of The Sistine Chapel to depictions of the human body itself as a spiritual subject.


Aesthetics tries to be the "science of beauty" and it was an important issue for such 18th and 19th century philosophers as Kant or Hegel. Classical philosophers like Plato and Aristotle also theorized about art and painting in particular; Plato disregarded painters (as well as sculptors) in his philosophical system; he maintained that painting cannot depict the truth—it is a copy of reality (a shadow of the world of ideas) and is nothing but a craft, similar to shoemaking or iron casting. By the time of Leonardo painting had become a closer representation of the truth than painting was in Ancient Greece. Leonardo Da Vinci, on the contrary, said that "Pittura est cousa mentale" (painting is a thing of the mind). Kant distinguished between Beauty and the Sublime, in terms that clearly gave priority to the former. Although he did not refer particularly to painting, this concept was taken up by painters such as Turner and Caspar David Friedrich.
Hegel recognized the failure of attaining a universal concept of beauty and in his aesthetic essay wrote that Painting is one of the three "romantic" arts, along with Poetry and Music for its symbolic, highly intellectual purpose. Painters who have written theoretical works on painting include Kandinsky and Paul Klee. Kandinsky in his essay maintains that painting has a spiritual value, and he attaches primary colors to essential feelings or concepts, something that Goethe and other writers had already tried to do.
Iconography is the study of the content of paintings, rather than their style. Erwin Panofsky and other art historians first seek to understand the things depicted, then their meaning for the viewer at the time, and then analyse their wider cultural, religious, and social meaning.
In 1890, the Parisian painter Maurice Denis famously asserted: "Remember that a painting – before being a warhorse, a naked woman or some story or other – is essentially a flat surface covered with colors assembled in a certain order." Thus, many twentieth century developments in painting, such as Cubism, were reflections on the means of painting rather than on the external world, nature, which had previously been its core subject. Recent contributions to thinking about painting has been offered by the painter and writer Julian Bell. In his book What is Painting ? Bell discusses the development, through history, of the notion that paintings can express feelings and ideas. In Mirror of The World Bell writes:
‘A work of art seeks to hold your attention and keep it fixed: a history of art urges it onwards, bulldozing a highway through the homes of the imagination.’

Painting media

main Painting styleDifferent types of paint are usually identified by the medium that the pigment is suspended or embedded in, which determines the general working characteristics of the paint, such as viscosity, miscibility, solubility, drying time, etc.
Examples include:

Painting styles

'Style' is used in two senses: It can refer to the distinctive visual elements, techniques and methods that typify an individual artist's work. It can also refer to the movement or school that an artist is associated with. This can stem from an actual group that the artist was consciously involved with or it can be a category in which art historians have placed the painter. The word 'style' in the latter sense has fallen out of favor in academic discussions about contemporary painting, though it continues to be used in popular contexts. Such movements or classifications include the following :

Common painting idioms

Painting idioms include:

See also

External links

painter in Amharic: ስዕል
painter in Arabic: رسم فني
painter in Asturian: Pintura
painter in Belarusian (Tarashkevitsa): Жывапіс
painter in Bulgarian: Живопис
painter in Catalan: Pintura
painter in Czech: Malířství
painter in Welsh: Paentio
painter in Danish: Maleri
painter in German: Malerei
painter in Estonian: Maalikunst
painter in Spanish: Pintura artística
painter in Esperanto: Pentrado
painter in Persian: نقاشی
painter in French: Peinture
painter in Hindi: चित्रकला
painter in Croatian: Slikarstvo
painter in Ido: Pikto
painter in Indonesian: Lukisan
painter in Interlingua (International Auxiliary Language Association): Pictura
painter in Italian: Pittura
painter in Hebrew: ציור
painter in Latvian: Glezniecība
painter in Lithuanian: Tapyba
painter in Limburgan: Sjilderkuns
painter in Lojban: cintylarcu
painter in Hungarian: Festészet
painter in Marathi: चित्रकला
painter in Malay (macrolanguage): Catan
painter in Dutch: Schilderkunst
painter in Japanese: 絵画
painter in Norwegian: Maleri
painter in Norwegian Nynorsk: Målarkunst
painter in Occitan (post 1500): Pintura
painter in Low German: Billers
painter in Polish: Malarstwo
painter in Portuguese: Pintura
painter in Romanian: Pictură
painter in Russian: Живопись
painter in Simple English: Painting
painter in Slovenian: Slikarstvo
painter in Finnish: Maalaus
painter in Swedish: Målarkonst
painter in Thai: จิตรกรรม
painter in Vietnamese: Hội họa
painter in Tajik: Наққошӣ
painter in Turkish: Resim
painter in Ukrainian: Живопис
painter in Yiddish: פעינטינג
painter in Chinese: 绘画

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

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