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strong, coarse cloth of cotton, flax, hemp, or other fibers, early used as sailcloth. Left in its natural color, bleached, or dyed, it has a wide variety of uses, as for game, duffel, sport, mail, and nose bags, tennis shoes, covers, tents, and awnings. Waterproofed with tar, paint, or the like, it is called tarpaulin and used to protect boats, hatches, and machinery. Duck is a fine light quality used for summer clothing, awnings, and sails. Artists' canvas is a light, smooth, single-warp texture, specially treated to receive paint. Art or embroidery canvas is an open-mesh type, usually linen, for working in crewels and for needlepoint.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia™ Copyright © 2013, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



in art, the cloth that receives an oil painting; it may also be used for glue painting and tempera. The canvas is stretched over a frame or sometimes glued to a wood or cardboard backing; it is then grounded.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


A firm, closely woven fabric of plain weave made principally from hemp, but also from flax, jute, cotton, or a blend of fibers.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.


A closely woven cloth of cotton, hemp, or flax; sometimes adhered to a wall or deck to serve as a substrate for paint; used to cover roof decks that are walking surfaces or sun decks.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Architecture and Construction. Copyright © 2003 by McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.


a. a heavy durable cloth made of cotton, hemp, or jute, used for sails, tents, etc.
b. (as modifier): a canvas bag
a. a piece of canvas or a similar material on which a painting is done, usually in oils
b. a painting on this material, esp in oils
3. Nautical any cloth of which sails are made
4. Nautical the sails of a vessel collectively
5. the floor of a boxing or wrestling ring
6. Rowing the tapering covered part at either end of a racing boat, sometimes referred to as a unit of length
7. under canvas Nautical with sails unfurled
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005


(1) A major feature of HTML5. See canvas element.

(2) In an image editing or paint program, the canvas is the window in which the picture is created or edited. It is the on-screen counterpart of the cloth canvas used by an artist. See paint program.

(3) (Canvas) A technical drawing, image editing and page layout program for Windows and the Mac from ACD Systems International, Inc., Victoria, British Columbia ( Acquired from Deneba Software in 2003, ACD's Canvas combines numerous illustration (vector graphics) and image editing tools (bitmapped graphics) in one application. It also includes presentation graphics capabilities for producing on-screen slide shows. Specific versions have been created for GIS mapping, scientific imaging and the professional design engineering market.

Canvas combines extensive drawing and imaging tools in one program. The PC drawing on top is a vector graphics rendering and the "first mouse" below is a bitmap. The open menus show image editing tools that are not normally found in a vector graphics drawing program.
Copyright © 1981-2019 by The Computer Language Company Inc. All Rights reserved. THIS DEFINITION IS FOR PERSONAL USE ONLY. All other reproduction is strictly prohibited without permission from the publisher.
References in periodicals archive ?
We paint chairs, trashcans, lamp shades, staplers and other canvases that children bring to class.
How To Save Just go to or call (01732) 454092 and quote CH5T41 when you order - 15% will automatically be deducted from the cost of any canvases you order - not just three-for - two orders.
The most striking thing about Indian canvases are the colours that typify the country for foreigners in general.
"We use a Roland printer, which provides great detail and color intensity and vibrancy in the giclee canvases," she said.
Throughout the '70s and beyond, Mel Bochner, Dorothea Rockburne, and Richard Tuttle worked with shape in their pictorial investigations of thought's relationship to material, and Ron Gorchov made truculent and repetitive canvases with round corners and a surface curved in two directions like a saddle.
Because these winding ribbons are the most obviously digital elements of the composition, they appear distinct from the "painted" areas in a way that also suggests the patterned wallpaper collaged onto the surface of Picasso's or Braque's Cubist canvases.
To the contrary, it is partly the way their canvases coalesce despite such a restrictive painterly language that makes them compelling.
Gonzales's canvases are divided between abstraction and figuration, between the spectrum of dark grays that occupies the first room and the dawnlike light grays of the second room, between legibility and obscurity depending on whether the gaze drifts into the distance or approaches the surface.
Something more than ennui builds in Cerletty's canvases. The more skilled he becomes in detailing his rich-but-rote atmospheres, the more his subjects seem to fight with their environs and their own physical features.
Poised between aestheticism and asceticism, Shirazeh Houshiary's delicate, elusive new canvases are marvels of formal restraint and rigor that manage to generate extravagantly seductive perceptual effects.
In I Am Monkeys, one of two canvases worked in tones of orange and rusty brown, von Heyl scrubs dry brown paint lightly over the surface, then rubs the canvas clean with thinner, creating buoyant forms that seem to percolate up from the lower depths.
Mark Grotjahn's latest works--a series of variously sized jewel-like monochrome canvases that toy with one-point perspective--are flat-out gorgeous.