Wednesday, April 17, 2013
Horror vacui art is an art form that expands on Aristotle's theory of horror vacui (that nature abhors a vacuum, and therefore empty space will always try to fill itself with a gas or liquid to avoid being empty) and includes visual interpretations in artwork.
Horror vacui artwork involves the artist leaving no piece of the canvas uncovered. There is a fear of empty space in the works of any horror vacui art, and so artists will cover every inch of their canvas in detail to avoid leaving any remnants of blank space.
Horror vacui art had been practiced by ancient Greek and Islamic artists, and was even evident among the many indigenous tribes of Central and South America. However, with regards to the term horror vacui, this is credited to 20th century author, scholar, and critic Mario Praz. Mario used the term to help describe the suffocating atmosphere created by Victorian Age interior design.