AP Art History : Answering other questions about Early Christian, Byzantine, and Early Medieval sculpture

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for AP Art History

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Example Questions

Example Question #1 : Answering Other Questions About Early Christian, Byzantine, And Early Medieval Sculpture

Pictured above is the Sarcophagus of Junius Bassus, originally from Rome.

The columns are in what style?

Possible Answers:

Etruscan

Ionic

Doric

Corinthian

Correct answer:

Corinthian

Explanation:

The columns sport the leaves of an acanthus plant, which is stylistically representative of the Corinthian order. 

Example Question #2 : Answering Other Questions About Early Christian, Byzantine, And Early Medieval Sculpture

Pictured above is the Sarcophagus of Junius Bassus, originally from Rome.

The work was comissioned by __________.

Possible Answers:

An ancient Roman emperor

A church bishop

A Christian Roman politician

A young Roman senator

Correct answer:

A Christian Roman politician

Explanation:

Junius Bassus was a powerful senator, and the owner of this work. He must have had enough wealth and influence to commission such a work for his death, and he must have been Christian to justify the imagery. He was not a Roman Emperor, and certainly not an "ancient" one, which typically refers to a period about a thousand years before Bassus lived.

Example Question #3 : Answering Other Questions About Early Christian, Byzantine, And Early Medieval Sculpture

Pictured above is the Sarcophagus of Junius Bassus, originally from Rome.

All of the following can be found in the work EXCEPT __________.

Possible Answers:

visuals of the most prominent Christian stories 

the first images of nude female forms

Roman imperial stylistic influence in the figural elements

the dichotomy of Roman and Christian stylistic elements

Correct answer:

the first images of nude female forms

Explanation:

Female figures have been nude almost since the beginning of figurative art. They are not new to the Romans, although they are seen less often. 

Example Question #4 : Answering Other Questions About Early Christian, Byzantine, And Early Medieval Sculpture

Pictured above is the Sarcophagus of Junius Bassus, originally from Rome.

The work would have been placed in __________.

Possible Answers:

the ground.

a pagan temple.

a Roman forum.

a Christian mausoleum.

Correct answer:

a Christian mausoleum.

Explanation:

The Christian motif is clear on the work, indicating it would have been on display in a Christian burial place. A sarcophagus would not have been placed in the ground, and this one is not pagan in nature.

Example Question #5 : Answering Other Questions About Early Christian, Byzantine, And Early Medieval Sculpture

Pictured above is the Sarcophagus of Junius Bassus, originally from Rome.

The time in which this work was produced was also a time of __________.

Possible Answers:

Macedonian conflict with the Nordic peoples

religious change in the Roman Empire

Roman imperial northern expansion

War with the Insular Celts

Correct answer:

religious change in the Roman Empire

Explanation:

The sarcophagus was made in the middle of the fourth century, just as Chrisitanity began to reshape the Roman Empire and split it into two conflicting Christian worlds.

Example Question #1 : Answering Other Questions About Early Christian, Byzantine, And Early Medieval Sculpture

Pictured above is the Sarcophagus of Junius Bassus, originally from Rome.

The figural element reflects which artistic style?

Possible Answers:

European Renaissance

High Classical

Late Hellenistic Greek

Late Imperial Roman

Correct answer:

Late Imperial Roman

Explanation:

The figures appear in a Roman style of dress and appearance, although their Christian elements, like the naked Adam and Eve, suggest it is a later Roman style.

Example Question #7 : Answering Other Questions About Early Christian, Byzantine, And Early Medieval Sculpture

Pictured above is the Sarcophagus of Junius Bassus, originally from Rome.

The stylized columns in the work appear to be of what influence?

Possible Answers:

Near Eastern

Classical Greece

Late Etrusican

Celtic druid

Correct answer:

Classical Greece

Explanation:

The Corinthian columns and stylized pediment are orginially from pagan temples and would have been introduced to the Romans by the Greeks.

Example Question #8 : Answering Other Questions About Early Christian, Byzantine, And Early Medieval Sculpture

Pictured above is the Sarcophagus of Junius Bassus, originally from Rome.

The work does not demonstrate __________.

Possible Answers:

the notoriety of Junius Bassus

the blending of Christian and Roman cultures

stylistic elements of the Classical Greeks

stylized Byzantine figural elements

Correct answer:

stylized Byzantine figural elements

Explanation:

The work is from the middle of the fourth century and would have predated the height of Byzantium. 

Example Question #9 : Answering Other Questions About Early Christian, Byzantine, And Early Medieval Sculpture

Choose the best answer.

Byzantine art, which developed out of __________, abandoned the concept of perfection, symmetry and idealistic beauty. Instead, the art of the Byzantine Empire focused on symbolism, intricacy and the ornate.

Possible Answers:

ancient Greek art

Baroque art

ancient Roman art

the Italian Renaissance

Mannerism

Correct answer:

ancient Roman art

Explanation:

Byzantine art evolved from ancient Roman art, although this transition is not superficially obvious. It is important to remember that the Byzantine Empire is at times referred to as the Eastern Roman Empire, and that the Byzantine people considered themselves to be Romans through the Fall of Constantinople in 1453. The evolution of style of Byzantine art occurred due to the fact that the Byzantine Empire and Constantinople were considered the bridge between Eastern and Western European cultures. The clash and intermingling of these cultures and religions is what created the unique style and appearance of Byzantine art.

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