AP Art History : Analyzing Gothic architecture

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for AP Art History

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Example Questions

Example Question #71 : Architecture

 

389px-file0004          Bath_abbey__1875

 

Both of these buildings are representative of ___________.

Possible Answers:

Romanesque architecture

Renaissance architecture

Gothic architecture

neo-classical architecture

Correct answer:

Gothic architecture

Explanation:

On the left is Notre Dame de Paris, the seat of the Archbishop of Paris, and on the right is Bath Abbey, a medieval Anglican church. Both of these buildings are prime examples of Gothic architecture, characterized by tall facades, ornate stonework, and large amounts of stained glass.

Example Question #1 : Analyzing Gothic Architecture

 

389px-file0004          

 

 

The object in the middle of the building is a ___________.

Possible Answers:

Arab arch

crypt

rose window

nave

Correct answer:

rose window

Explanation:

Rose windows were a common feature of Gothic architecture. The rose window in Notre Dame is one of the most famous.

Example Question #2 : Analyzing Gothic Architecture

Florence Duomo from Michelangelo hill.jpg

 

The previous images are all public domain and can be found at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Florence_Cathedral. 

When was this building constructed?

Possible Answers:

Seventeenth century

Fourteenth century

Fifteenth century

Sixteenth century

Correct answer:

Fifteenth century

Explanation:

This church was constructed in 1436, at the height of the Gothic era of architectural construction. It cannot be the fourteenth century (1300s), as that was the Romanesque era, and churches were not being built with this kind of grandeur and detail. This is also, though, not a Renaissance building. You can tell this because the Renaissance boasted a revival of Classical Greek architecture, which is not seen here. The answer must be fifteenth century.

Example Question #3 : Analyzing Gothic Architecture

Florence Duomo from Michelangelo hill.jpg

 

The previous images are all public domain and can be found at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Florence_Cathedral. 

The large window on the front facade above the middle door is called __________.

Possible Answers:

an intrados

a rose window

an oculus

a stained-glass window

Correct answer:

a rose window

Explanation:

The window is a Rose window, a staple of Romanesque and Gothic architecture, and is very revealing of the time when it appears on a church. These were often made of stained glass, and featured intricate and delicate panes of glass that were in themselves a work of art. The Rose window always sits atop the middle door, and is sometimes flanked by smaller windows on either side. 

Example Question #4 : Analyzing Gothic Architecture

Florence Duomo from Michelangelo hill.jpg

 

The previous images are all public domain and can be found at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Florence_Cathedral. 

Which is the following is NOT a feature that sets this Gothic cathedral apart from its Romanesque predecessors?

Possible Answers:

A true Basilican plan

A large and overbearing Rose window

A King's Gallery

A tall Eastern facade

Correct answer:

A true Basilican plan

Explanation:

The Gothic building tradition is a furthering of the Romanesque, and is more intricate and detailed than Romanesque counterpart buildings. The rose windows are larger and the stained glass more intricate. There was an introduction of the King's Gallery, the row of king sculptures that sit under the rose window. And the facades grew taller and taller until Gothic churches towered over the surrounding city. What didn't change, though, was the Basilican plan. 

Example Question #5 : Analyzing Gothic Architecture

Florence Duomo from Michelangelo hill.jpg

 

The previous images are all public domain and can be found at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Florence_Cathedral. 

The dome of this cathedral was built after the nave of the church and was architected by ____________.

Possible Answers:

Arnolfo Di Cambio

Andrea Orcagna

Filippo Brunelleschi

Leonardo Da Vinci

Correct answer:

Filippo Brunelleschi

Explanation:

The main architect of the entire church was Arnolfo Di Cambio, who mastered the nave and the aisles. It was Brunelleschi, though, who pioneered the dome, which is the largest of its kind and was considered an architectural wonder of its time. He was a mathematical genius, and the dome reflected his prowess. Serving under him was the apprentice Leonardo da Vinci, who was young at the time and would go on to pioneer a number of Renaissance buildings. 

Example Question #6 : Analyzing Gothic Architecture

Florence Duomo from Michelangelo hill.jpg

 

The previous images are all public domain and can be found at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Florence_Cathedral. 

The plan of the church is oriented like a cross following the plan of what building tradition?

Possible Answers:

Hall Church plan

Octagonal

Basilican

Cruciform

Correct answer:

Basilican

Explanation:

This church is Basilican, which is noteworthy for its cross-style plan, where the long nave is flanked by an aisle on either side. It is longer than it is wide, like a cross would be. The church cannot be a hall plan, as it has aisles and is not oriented in a single rectangular plan. The same is true with octagonal; the church plan does not follow the format of an eight-sided church. Cruciform churches were not popular until much later than this point. 

Example Question #7 : Analyzing Gothic Architecture

Florence Duomo from Michelangelo hill.jpg

 

The previous images are all public domain and can be found at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Florence_Cathedral. 

Who was the likely patron of this work?

Possible Answers:

The Medici family

The Italian King, Louis XIV

The Catholic denomination of Florence

The Eastern Orthodoxy

Correct answer:

The Catholic denomination of Florence

Explanation:

The church at the time had more money than the state and the wealthiest families of Italy. Likely it was the Catholic church itself that commissioned the cathedral. Given also the time it took to build, kings had come and gone and the Medici had gain and subsequently lost their prominence in Italian society, but the church was omnipresent and dominating for the three hundred years it took to go from construction to completion. 

Example Question #8 : Analyzing Gothic Architecture

Florence Duomo from Michelangelo hill.jpg

 

The previous images are all public domain and can be found at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Florence_Cathedral. 

The cathedral facade is Gothic, but the dome is like an addition from what tradition?

Possible Answers:

Romanesque

Dada

Renaissance

Neoclassical

Correct answer:

Renaissance

Explanation:

The dome is Renaissance; it was built two hundred years after the facade of the cathedral, under the guidance of Brunelleschi and his pupil, Leonardo da Vinci. both were pioneers of the Renaissance movement. Note also the shape and nature of the dome; it is very much in the tradition of Classical Greek and later Roman temple construction styles. It is meant very much to emulate the grandeur of the Parthanon, much like the rest of the Renaissance movement emulates Roman and Greek wonders. 

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