AP Art History : Answering other questions about Gothic architecture

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for AP Art History

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Example Questions

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Example Question #1 : Answering Other Questions About Gothic Architecture

Which kinds of buildings best articulated the various features of Gothic architecture?

Possible Answers:

Museums

Forts

Cathedrals

Castles

Correct answer:

Cathedrals

Explanation:

Gothic architecture dominated between the fall of Rome in the fifth century CE and the rise of the Renaissance in the fifteenth century. Gothic architecture was notable for large, ornate stone structures with many elements and imposing figures. All of these are best seen in the many Gothic cathedrals that allowed architects and designers their most control over the shape of buildings.

Example Question #2 : Answering Other Questions About Gothic Architecture

 

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______________, a key feature of Gothic churces, symbolized an effort to reach heaven.

Possible Answers:

foundation

building materials

verticality

stonework

Correct answer:

verticality

Explanation:

A key feautre of Gothic churches is their extreme height. This verticality was partly for show, but more importantly symbolized an attempt to reach heaven. For many centuries, Gothic cathedrals were the tallest buildings in Europe.

Example Question #3 : Answering Other Questions About 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. 

There are likely three doors because __________.

Possible Answers:

three is a visually appealing number, when applied to architectural feats

the builders needed more bronze panels to feature as much artwork as possible on the doors

three is a powerful and often-used number in the Catholic tradition

the shape and style of the cathedral called for three copies of doors to be used

Correct answer:

three is a powerful and often-used number in the Catholic tradition

Explanation:

Three is perhaps the most powerful number in the Catholic world, representing the holy trinity. Gothic cathedrals often featured three doors- a center door as well as two flanking doors. It was believed that one walked in the door a sinner (these were the flanking doors) and walked back out through the grand center doors absolved of their sins in the eyes of God. 

Example Question #4 : Answering Other Questions About 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 long rectangular plan of the cathedral is due to __________.

Possible Answers:

the aisles

the nave

the apex

the transept

Correct answer:

the nave

Explanation:

The centermost sweeping area of the church is the nave. Its length is what contributes to the rectangular nature of the plan. The aisles are what give the church its cross shape, and the transepts are the outcroppings on the sides. The apex is the half-circle at the top of the nave across from the doors, and is where the church official would stand. 

Example Question #5 : Answering Other Questions About 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's size indicates the importance of __________.

Possible Answers:

Catholic tradition in Gothic society

architectural and visual grandeur in the fifteenth century

Christian dominance over secular culture

the safety of the church from pagan influence

Correct answer:

Catholic tradition in Gothic society

Explanation:

The gothic cathedral in general was a display of grand architecture and ornate visual elements, and the church was dominant over the state at that time. But the best answer is the Catholic church's tradition and value in Gothic society. The churches were not meant to impose dominance over secular law, at least not directly; what they were meant to do is reach towards the heavens, encompass the Catholic's desire to be close to God and to build a holy space as grand as one could. 

Example Question #6 : Answering Other Questions About 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. 

What Gothic element is NOT featured prominently in the Cathedral (likely replaced by a Renaissance dome)?

Possible Answers:

A spire

S-curved figural statues in the king's gallery

A baptistry

A bell tower

Correct answer:

A spire

Explanation:

The cathedral does have a baptistry attached, as was tradition by the time it was completed. There are likely also s-curved figures in the space, as that was the figural building tradition of the time. Bell towers were not featured as much in Gothic architecture, although a spire could have a bell within it. As Gothic cathedrals grew more ornate, square bell towers became spindly and graceful spires, built as high as they could reach. This cathedral, though, does not feature this element. 

Example Question #7 : Answering Other Questions About Gothic Architecture

Which Gothic architectural innovation significantly improved the structural stability of large cathedrals?

Possible Answers:

The cross, or cruciform, plan

Higher steeples

Pointed arches

Flying buttresses

Correct answer:

Flying buttresses

Explanation:

While all of the above choices are aspects of Gothic architecture, flying buttresses are the innovation that allowed for newfound structural stability in Gothic cathedral architecture by pushing the weight of the building outward. Cathedral walls did not have to be as large or as thick any longer, allowing for larger windows (often filled with stained glass). These windows helped to create brighter interiors in comparison to the dim and damp interiors of pre-Gothic cathedrals.

Example Question #8 : Answering Other Questions About Gothic Architecture

This style of architecture thrived during the high and late medieval period, evolving from the Romanesque period of architecture. It is known for pointed arches and impressive heights. The buildings of this architectural period were seen as the skyscrapers of their day.

What style of architecture is the above paragraph describing?

Possible Answers:

Neoclassicism

Gothic architecture

Mannerist architecture

Byzantine architecture

Baroque architecture

Correct answer:

Gothic architecture

Explanation:

Gothic architecture is known for being much more vertically-oriented than its predecessor, the Romanesque architecture movement. It is also known for its pointed arches and expansive interior lighting.

Example Question #9 : Answering Other Questions About Gothic Architecture

___________________, known for its vertical height, intricately decorative stone work, and the flying buttress among other niche architectural elements, experienced a revival from the late 18th century through the 20th century in England and later the rest of Europe.

Possible Answers:

Neoclassicism

Gothic architecture

Romanesque architecture

Baroque architecture

Byzantine architecture

Correct answer:

Gothic architecture

Explanation:

Gothic architecture experienced a revival in England, which spread to Europe, and even reached the United States at one point. It has mostly been used for academic institutions and churches/cathedrals.

Neoclassicism is a revival of Ancient Greek and Ancient Roman art and architecture, but Neoclassicism itself never experience a revival, as it has remained somewhat popular through the 21st century.

Example Question #10 : Answering Other Questions About Gothic Architecture

Which of the following statements about Gothic architecture is false?

Possible Answers:

Gothic architecture refined and popularized the flying buttress as an architectural element

Gothic architecture was subject to many regional differences, such that the Gothic architecture of France and the Gothic architecture of England, for example, were noticeably different

Gothic architecture of the 12th and 13th centuries was highly influenced by the Renaissance

All of these statements are true

Gothic architecture experienced a European revival starting in 18th century England

Correct answer:

Gothic architecture of the 12th and 13th centuries was highly influenced by the Renaissance

Explanation:

Although the Gothic period and the Renaissance coincided -meaning, at one point in time, they were occurring simultaneously- Gothic architecture was not inspired by the Renaissance during the 12th and 13th centuries, as the Renaissance did not begin until the 14th century.

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