Variety

DEFINITION

A principle of design that refers to a way of combining elements of art in involved ways to achieve intricate and complex relationships. Variety is often obtained through the use of diversity and change by artists who wish to increase the visual interest of their work. An artwork which makes use of many different hues, values, lines, textures, and shapes would reflect the artist's desire for variety. Unity is the principle which is its variety's opposite; but when there is too little variety, the result is monotony.Quotations: "No pleasure endures unseasoned by variety." Publius Syrus (1st century BCE), Roman writer of mimes. "Vive la difference!" (Hooray for the difference!) French proverb. This saying is often cited in reference to the differences between the sexes, but surely it could be applied to differences (variations) of other kinds too. "Variety's the very spice of life." William Cowper (1731-1800), English poet. "Variety is the mother of enjoyment." Benjamin Disraeli (1804-1881), English statesman, author. "Variability, not uniformity, is the hallmark of the huan condition." Elliot W. Eisner (contemporary), American leader in art education. The Kind of Schools We Need. New York: Heinemann, 1998, p. 185. Also see comparison, harmony, horror vacui, interesting, tension, variation, various, variegated, vary, xenophilia, and xenophobia.

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