Glossary b


A baldachin, or baldaquin (Italian: baldacchino or baldachino), is a canopy of state over an altar or throne, It had its beginnings as a cloth canopy, but in other cases it is a sturdy, permanent architectural feature, particularly over high altars in cathedrals. more..


A baluster (through the French balustre, from Italian balaustro, from balaustra, "pomegranate flower" [from a resemblance to the post], from Lat. balaustium, from Gr. balaustion) is a moulded shaft, square or circular, in stone or wood and sometimes in metal, standing on a unifying footing and supporting the coping of a parapet or the handrail of a staircase. more..


A baradari, in Persian and Moghul architecture, is a building or room with 12 doors which is designed to allow the free draught of air through it. more..


In the arts, the Baroque was a Western cultural epoch, commencing roughly at the turn of the 17th century in Rome, that was exemplified by drama, tension, exuberance, and grandeur in sculpture, painting, literature, dance, and music. more..

Barrel vault

A Barrel vault, also known as a tunnel vault or a wagon vault, is an architectural element formed by the extrusion of a single curve (or pair of curves, in the case of a pointed barrel vault) along a given distance. more..


The Latin word basilica (derived from Greek, Basiliké Stoà, Royal Stoa), was originally used to describe a Roman public building (as in Greece, mainly a tribunal), usually located at the center of a Roman town (forum). more..


A bay is a module in classical or Gothic architecture. more..

Bell tower

A tower containing one or more bells, typically part of a church, is a bell tower; attached to a city hall or other civil building. more..


Belvedere (occasionally Belvidere) is an architectural term adopted from Italian (literally "fair view"), which refers to any architectural structure sited to take advantage of such a view. more..

Blood diamond

In relation to diamond trading, blood diamond (also called a conflict diamond, dirty diamond or a war diamond) refers to a diamond mined in a war zone more..

Blue and white (porcelain)

Blue and white wares: white pottery and porcelain wares decorated under the glaze with a blue pigment, generally cobalt oxide. more..


Boiserie (often used in the plural boiseries) is the term to used to define ornate and intricately carved wood panelling. more..


In architecture, a boss is a knob or protrusion of stone or wood. more..


A boudoir is a lady's private bedroom, sitting room or dressing room. The term derives from the French verb bouder, meaning "to pout". more..


A bracket is an architectural member made of wood, stone, or metal that overhangs a wall to support or carry weight. more..


Breccia (Italian: breach) is a rock composed of angular fragments of rocks or minerals in a matrix, that is a cementing material, that may be similar or different in composition to the fragments. more..

Brick Gothic

Brick Gothic is a reduced style of Gothic architecture in Northern Europe, especially in the regions around the Baltic Sea without natural rock resources. more..


Brickwork masonry is produced when a bricklayer uses bricks and mortar to build up structures such as walls, bridges and chimneys. Brickwork is also used to finish openings such as doors or windows in buildings made of other materials. more..


Bronze is any of a broad range of copper alloys, usually with tin as the main additive, but sometimes with other elements such as phosphorus, manganese, aluminium, or silicon. more..

Bronze sculpture

Bronze is the most popular metal for cast metal sculptures; a cast bronze sculpture is often called simply a "bronze". more..


Brownstone is a brown Triassic sandstone which was once a popular building material. more..


A buttress is an architectural structure built against (a counterfort) or projecting from a wall which serves to support or reinforce the wall. more..

Byzantine architecture

Byzantine architecture is the architecture of the Byzantine Empire. more..

Byzantine art

Byzantine art is the term commonly used to describe the artistic products of the Eastern Roman Empire from about the 5th century until the Fall of Constantinople in 1453. more..

Byzantine mosaics

Mosaics were more central to Byzantine culture than to that of Western Europe. Byzantine church interiors were generally covered with golden mosaics. more..

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