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Art Encyclopedia - Volume

Art information > Art Encyclopedia > V > Volume

Volume
Volume is the size, bulk and dimension of a particluar object. It is an object that is usually thick, nontransparent and exists solidly and three-dimensionally in space and it is not flat. In a painting a volume is represented with light and shade and usually in spatial situation to make the nonflatness clear. Volume is closelly allied to mass altough mass implies weight. For example, a blown-up balloon has volume but not mass. A stone has both volume and mass.

Volume is a structured or shaped quantity of matter. It is mass which has definite form. The mass of a piece of sculpture may be made up of a number of volumes. The different volumes each consist of a solid form with particular form and size, and although each volume is joined to other volumes it can be distinguished as a seperate unit. The most important of these component solids are the main volumes of the sculpture. The effect of the majority of sculptures depends on the character, proportional relations, spatial arrangements of these main volumes and the way in which they are joined. A single volume is the basic unit of three-dimensional form that can be perceived or conceived in the round.

Being the representation of mass, volume is a sculptural quality. Volume is the most important of the three main kinds of tactual qualities in sculpture. It is the quality of all-roundness in a sculpture; the extension of a solid in all three-dimensions. When holding and surrounding an object with our hands, we appreciate its volume. Volume being a sculptural quality, it is a sensory property of three-dimensional form, and as such has nothing to do with the physical property that is measured in cubic inches and centimeters. A large version of a small sculpture does not have more volume. The size does not count - it is the way the sculpture was conceived and executed in the round that counts. Volumetric refers to the physical amount of volume in sculpture.






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