AP Art History : Analyzing nineteenth-century sculpture

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for AP Art History

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Example Questions

Example Question #1 : Analyzing Nineteenth Century Sculpture

Dega bronze sculptures 01102010 natartgallery sofia 09

The exhibition which first featured this sculpture was considered scandalous because __________________.

Possible Answers:

the inclusion of African masks

nudes were presented in erotic poses

the subjects were depicted in quotidian poses, and some of the sculptures used non-traditional mediums 

more famous sculptors were excluded from the exhibition

Correct answer:

the subjects were depicted in quotidian poses, and some of the sculptures used non-traditional mediums 

Explanation:

In 1881 the use of quotidian poses was regarded as appropriate for an artist to do as a study in his studio, but not to present to the public. The use of mixed media in his sculpture The Little Fourteen Year Old dance was also a novelty.

Work is in the public domain, accessed through Wikipedia Media Commons: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Category:Sculptures_by_Edgar_Degas#/media/File:Dega_Bronze_Sculptures_01102010_NatArtGallery_Sofia_09.jpg

Example Question #2 : Analyzing Nineteenth Century Sculpture

Rodin balzac nasher dallas 1

The original version of this sculpture was rejected because ____________________.

Possible Answers:

it took Rodin too long to complete the sculpture

the project was over budget

the subject, Balzac, died before the sculpture could be completed

the group that commissioned the sculpture thought it was grotesque

Correct answer:

the group that commissioned the sculpture thought it was grotesque

Explanation:

The Societe des Gens de Lettres, who commissioned Rodin to sculpt Balzac rejected Rodin's sculpture because they considered Rodin's depiction insulting for being out of proportion and in the nude.

Work is in the public domain, accessed through Wikipedia Media Commons: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Rodin_Balzac_Nasher_Dallas_1.jpg

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