Concept

Horror vacui (art)

Summary
In visual art, horror vacui; UKˌhɒrə_ˈvækjuaɪ; US-_ˈvɑːk-), or kenophobia, is a phenomenon in which the entire surface of a space or an artwork is filled with detail and content, leaving as little perceived emptiness as possible. It relates to the antiquated physical idea, horror vacui, proposed by Aristotle who held that "nature abhors an empty space". Origins Italian art critic and scholar Mario Praz used this term to describe the excessive use of ornament in design during the Victorian age. Other examples of horror vacui can be seen in the densely decorated carpet pages of Insular illuminated manuscripts, where intricate patterns and interwoven symbols may have served "apotropaic as well as decorative functions." The interest in meticulously filling empty spaces is also reflected in Arabesque decoration in Islamic art from ancient times to present. The art historian Ernst Gombrich theorized that such highly ornamented patterns can function like a picture frame for sacre
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