SAH Archipedia uses terms from the Getty Art and Architecture Thesaurus (AAT) to categorize and classify metadata for the entries in the database. For more information on the Getty AAT, click here

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Vaccinium (genus)

Genus containing around 450 species of shrubs or dwarf shrubs,, many of which produce edible berries.

variegated marble

Marble that is streaked or marked with a different color or colors.


A solution of a resin in a volatile solvent or a drying oil, which when spread out in a thin film, dries and hardens by evaporation of the volatile solvent, or by the oxidation of the oil, or both; applied as a protective coating or to enhance the appearance of the surface underneath.


Plants collectively, usually referring to plants or vegetal growths in a defined area. For the kingdom of plants, use "Plantae (kingdom)."

velvet (fabric weave)

Warp pile weave, typically silk, with a short, soft dense pile produced by a supplementary warp that is raised in loops above the surface of the textile through the introduction of rods during the weaving; the loops may be cut or left uncut.

veneer (material)

Material in the form of thin sheets that is intended to be used for a decorative purpose. Veneer is usually of wood, but also occasionally ivory, tortoiseshell, or brass, often used to cover the surface of furniture or another object constructed of coarser and cheaper wood.

veneered walls

Walls with a masonry face or revetment that is attached, but not bonded, to the body of the wall and does not exert a common reaction under load. Walls with a masonry face or revetment that is attached, but not bonded, to the body of the wall and does not exert a common reaction under load.

Venetian glass

Refers to distinctive glass made in Venice, Italy. It can refer to early glass made from about 450 CE when glass-makers from Aquileia fled there and were soon joined by others from Byzantium. In addition, the term is particularly used to refer to glass made on the Venetian island of Murano from before 1292 to the present day. It is generally a sodiac type of glass; soda glass is light in weight and highly ductile. Venetian glass incorporates a number of styles and techniques although Venetian glass-makers particularly excelled in the making of colored glass, agate glass, opaque white glass (lattimo), cristallo, filigrana, and millefiori. Engraving is rarely found while enameling and gilding are common, particularly in fifteenth- and sixteenth-century specimens. In order to protect their profits and the secrets of Venetian glass, the Venetians confined glassmakers under pain of death to the island of Murano; however, the techniques were eventually imitated in "Altare glass" and "façon de Venise." For glass made exclusively on Murano, see "Murano glass."

Venetian red (pigment)

A permanent, reddish brown pigment that was originally prepared from a natural red ocher, but since the 18th century has been manufactured by calcining ferrous sulfate (copperas) with lime or calcium carbonate in a ratio of around 15-40% ferric oxide and 60-80% calcium sulfate. It is used in oil paints, house paints, and as a paper colorant.

verd antique

A light or dark green massive serpentinite, commonly with veinlets of calcium carbonate and magnesium carbonate. It is capable of being polished and is commercially considered a marble; it is also considered to be among the highest-quality serpentinites.

verdigris (pigment)

Pigment composed of basic copper acetate and having a dark bluish-green color. Verdigris has been manufactured since ancient times by placing copper plates over vats of fermenting grape skins; the acetic acid quickly reacts to form basic copper acetate. When used directly as a pigment, it discolors from green to black in oil paints, fades in watercolor paints, and reacts with a paper support. It is used to make copper resinate, as a drier for linseed oil, to dye fabrics, and as a colorant and fungicide in antifouling paints.

Vermont white statuary marble

A fine-grained white marble from Vermont that is highly valued by sculptors; it may contain bluish-gray veins or clouds.

vernacular architecture

Architecture built of local materials to suit particular local needs, usually of unknown authorship and making little reference to the chief styles or theories of architecture.

vigas (crossbeams)

Primary roof beams in Native American and Spanish American adobe construction; usually rough-hewn logs of fir or pine, and often left projecting beyond the exterior wall plane.


Trailing or twining plants, whose stems require support.


Generic term for materials derived from vinyl chloride, vinyl acetate, or vinylidene chloride. Commonly used with reference to all polymers and copolymers of which vinyl chloride is a constituent. Use more precise terminology for known materials such as "polyvinyl chloride" or "polyvinyl acetate."

Virginia greenstone

Basalt that has chemically changed over time to become a type of soapstone that is blackish-green when cracked open; it is found in the Blue Ridge and Piedmont regions of Virginia.

Vitrolite (TM)

Refers to thick homogeneous opaque structural glass used especially for ornamental finish on surfaces exposed to the weather.