AP Art History : Answering other questions about fourteenth- through sixteenth-century sculpture

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for AP Art History

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Example Questions

Example Question #1 : Answering Other Questions About Fourteenth Through Sixteenth Century Sculpture

Michelangelo's statue known as the Pietà is remarkable for its depiction of the Virgin Mary as __________.

Possible Answers:

remarkably unattractive

extremely youthful

completely exultant

horrifically ancient

Correct answer:

extremely youthful

Explanation:

Michelangelo's Pietà follows the traditional theme of such pieces of art by having the Virgin Mary cradling a dead Jesus Christ after his crucifixion. Michelangelo depicted Mary in stunning realism for the sixteenth century, while also presenting her as extremely youthful. Michelangelo claimed that a completely chaste woman would hardly age, despite being the mother of a thirty-three year old man.

Example Question #2 : Answering Other Questions About 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

Who was the likely patron of this work?

Possible Answers:

The artist himself

The Catholic church

A wealthy private family

David

Correct answer:

A wealthy private family

Explanation:

Given the nature of the work (David is nude and sensually posed), the patron was unlikely to be the Church. Though it was not wholly unusual later to see the church represent its prominent figures in the nude or seminude, this particular piece predates that. Donatello also would not have had the resources to commission this work himself, and David is a biblical figure. It is believed, actually, that the Medici family commissioned the piece for their courtyard. 

Example Question #3 : Answering Other Questions About 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 from the __________, and is influenced by __________.

Possible Answers:

late Renaissance . . . Imperial Rome.

Renaissance . . . Imperial Rome. 

early Renaissance . . . Classical Greece

pre Renaissance . . . Classical Greece.

Correct answer:

early Renaissance . . . Classical Greece

Explanation:

The Renaissance literally means "rebirth" and did include a revival of both Greek as well as Roman style, though it is largely agreed that Classical Greece and a renewed interest in its art birthed the Renaissance in Italy. This work is early Renaissance for a number of reasons; one, the piece is not yet the heavily muscled figure reminiscent of Hellenistic Greece and its heroes. Two, the curvature, much like an S-curve, is reminiscent of a lingering Gothic interest. 

Example Question #4 : Answering Other Questions About 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

This David is depicted in his moment of __________.

Possible Answers:

reflection

triumph

longing

defeat

Correct answer:

triumph

Explanation:

This David is depicted the moment after he defeats the giant Goliath. He is standing triumphantly over the giant's severed head, carrying his sword and looking particularly smug over the giant's defeat. He is sensually and salaciously posed in only a hat and boots, and is the only figure of his kind from this time period.

Example Question #5 : Answering Other Questions About 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

What about this statue sets it apart from its Gothic predecessors?

Possible Answers:

Its nudity

Its material

Its pose

None of these

Correct answer:

Its nudity

Explanation:

David is fully nude here, wearing only a hat and boots. This is a novel sculptural form for its time, as this is the first time since the end of the Classical era in which a freestanding nude sculpture can be found. The lack of clothing on this young David will set the precedent for more nudity in the Renaissance movement, especially with the works of Michelangelo.

Example Question #6 : Answering Other Questions About 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 has been interpreted as a figural representation of __________.

Possible Answers:

A comment on Italian society of the era

All of these

A personal artistic representation

Donatello's sexual preference

Correct answer:

All of these

Explanation:

There are a number of controversies surrounding the work, not the least of which is the homoerotic undertones one can see in David's pose, in his face and his open and inviting demeanor. Historians have argued that Donatello was himself gay and this was a representation of that sexual preference. Others say he was commenting on the homosocial Italian society, which condemned but still widely practiced sodomy. Many, though, believe Donatello was simply a pioneer of form. 

Example Question #7 : Answering Other Questions About 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

David is standing on the severed head of Goliath, and this image is understood in the biblical community as what?

Possible Answers:

The defeat of the kingdom of Gath

None of these

The triumph of Christianity over Paganism

The triumph of the minority over the majority

Correct answer:

The triumph of Christianity over Paganism

Explanation:

In the bible, Goliath is the giant from Gath. He is also, though, the representation of Paganism, especially in the Old Testament. He is withholding the throne from the true king, David, anointed by God. He is meant to represent the end of Pagan culture and rule, suffering at the hands of Christianity and Judaism and the prevalence of those cultures.

Example Question #8 : Answering Other Questions About 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 most emphasized feature of the figure is __________.

Possible Answers:

his nudity

his hat

his pose

his sword

Correct answer:

his pose

Explanation:

While Donatello has carved this figure nude, and donned him with a hat and a sword, it is his pose that is most striking. He is sensual and almost womanlike in his pose, inviting and soft. This is so emphasized because Donatello doesn't know where to draw the line between Gothic s-curved nonsexual figures and the sexual and manly figures of the Classical era.

Example Question #9 : Answering Other Questions About Fourteenth Through Sixteenth Century Sculpture

David 1475.jpg large

It is sometimes claimed that Verrochio modeled this sculpture, created 1473-1475, on what young artist who worked for him?

Possible Answers:

Michelangelo

Da Vinci

Raphael

Donatello

Titian

Correct answer:

Da Vinci

Explanation:

The answer is Da Vinci. Donatello was dead when this sculpture was made, while Michelangelo, Titian, and Raphael were born either during or after it was being created.

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

Example Question #10 : Answering Other Questions About Fourteenth Through Sixteenth Century Sculpture

David 1475.jpg large

The sculpture was commissioned by what banking family?

Possible Answers:

The House of Orsini

The House of Colonna

The House of Sforza

The House of Este

The House of Medici

Correct answer:

The House of Medici

Explanation:

While all of these were influential, wealthy families around the time of the Renaissance, the famous Medici family commissioned this sculpture along with countless other enduring works of art.

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

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