AP Art History : Analyzing fourteenth- through sixteenth-century sculpture

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for AP Art History

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Example Questions

Example Question #1 : Analyzing Fourteenth Through Sixteenth Century Sculpture

the following image is public domain, and can be found at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_(Donatello)#/media/File:Florence_-_David_by_Donatello.jpg

The work is noteworthy for bringing attention to __________.

Possible Answers:

the overt sexuality of the human body

the triumph of the anointed

the true end of Classical Paganism

the blending of Classical and Christian culture

Correct answer:

the blending of Classical and Christian culture

Explanation:

David is the first instance in which there is a genuine blending of the Christian faith and the styles and forms of Classical figural art. Here is the first time that biblical figures are represented in the styles of the Classical masters. Yes, he is not the freestanding nudes we recognize- the Boxer, the Discus Thrower, those trim and muscled figures. David clings to the vestiges of Gothic figures, but he is nude and freestanding and has paved the way for more of his kind. 

Example Question #2 : Analyzing Fourteenth Through Sixteenth Century Sculpture

the following image is public domain, and can be found at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_(Donatello)#/media/File:Florence_-_David_by_Donatello.jpg

The work demonstrates Donatello's interest in __________.

Possible Answers:

Italian Christian society

new artistic styles and figural forms

All of these

the human body

Correct answer:

All of these

Explanation:

Donatello had a clear interest in the human form. Many believed when he unveiled the piece that it had to have been done in life, it was so true to form. He also, though, was the first of his kind to use bronze in a freestanding nude (this hasn't been done since the Classical era). He is finally making a statement of Italian society, and the importance of blending Christian art and modernizing life.

Example Question #2 : Analyzing Fourteenth Through Sixteenth Century Sculpture

David 1475.jpg large

Who is the subject of this sculpture, a popular figure in Renaissance art?

Possible Answers:

David

John the Baptist

Hercules

Moses

Samson

Correct answer:

David

Explanation:

This is David, also sculpted by artists like Donatello and Michelangelo. The head of Goliath sits at David's feet. John the Baptist was also beheaded, but by Salome, a woman. Hercules and Samson tend to be represented with more muscularity, and Moses is usually an older figure. 

Work is in the public domain, accessed through WikiArt: http://www.wikiart.org/en/andrea-del-verrocchio/david-1475

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