Elements of Art

To be visually literate, an individual must be able to derive meaning from what he or she sees. Knowing the language of art is one approach to becoming visually literate. The Elements of Art provide a basic vocabulary for describing what you see.


The following gallery contains works of art from the collection of The Toledo Museum of Art. Click on the images to examine The Elements of Art: shape, line, color, space, and texture.

While describing works of art can help one become more visually literate, visual literacy is not restricted to just the art world. No matter a person's occupation - whether they are a doctor, a police detective, a housewife, a software developer - anyone can benefit from being visually literate.