AP Art History : Answering other questions about nineteenth-century 2D art

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 Nineteenth Century 2 D Art

Paul Gauguin's later work depicts the culture, people, and environment of __________.

Possible Answers:

Persia

Japan

Sub-Saharan Africa

Polynesia

Correct answer:

Polynesia

Explanation:

Paul Gauguin was an important French post-impressionist who had considerable success and personal conflicts in late nineteenth century Paris. Gauguin took his first trip to Polynesia in the 1880s, and began living there nearly full time by 1890. Gauguin's work featured the women of Polynesia in his work in bright colors and interesting poses, and with odd symbolism.

Example Question #2 : Answering Other Questions About Nineteenth Century 2 D Art

751px-vangogh-starry_night                     File:Van Gogh - Portrait of Pere Tanguy 1887-8.JPG

                                                        Figure 1                                                                                                                            Figure 2 

The figure in the painting shown in Figure 2 is presented in a pose that makes him appear __________.

Possible Answers:

imposing

haughty

confident

serene

Correct answer:

serene

Explanation:

The use of the many Japanese images behind the central figure suggest a sense of chaos, but the individual's pose suggests serenity and calm. This is an intentional choice by the artist, Vincent van Gogh, so that his subject, Père Tanguy, can have his serene nature enhanced. The comfortable setting and the relaxed position of the arms also strongly contribute to this sense.

Figure 1: The Starry Night by Vincent van Gogh (1889)

Figure 2: Portrait of Père Tanguy by Vincent van Gogh (1887-8)

Example Question #3 : Answering Other Questions About Nineteenth Century 2 D Art

751px-vangogh-starry_night                     File:Van Gogh - Portrait of Pere Tanguy 1887-8.JPG

                                                        Figure 1                                                                                                                            Figure 2 

The painting shown in Figure 2 uses artwork and style from __________.

Possible Answers:

Japan

China

Polynesia

Persia

Correct answer:

Japan

Explanation:

The Japanese government underwent a major shift in 1868 with the "Meiji Restoration," which saw it open up to outside powers for the first time in centuries. In Europe, this sparked an intense interest in Japanese art traditions, particularly among impressionists and post-impressionists. Vincent van Gogh was one of many artists to place Japanese artwork into his own work, as in his Portrait of Père Tanguy from 1887-8.

Figure 1: The Starry Night by Vincent van Gogh (1889)

Figure 2: Portrait of Père Tanguy by Vincent van Gogh (1887-8)

Example Question #4 : Answering Other Questions About Nineteenth Century 2 D Art

Jacques-louis-david-napoleon-crossing-the-alps4          Sir_arthur_wellesley__1st_duke_of_wellington

                              Figure 3                                                                       Figure 4

The above paintings portray the chief generals of __________.

Possible Answers:

the Battle of Gettysburg

the Battle of Waterloo

the Battle of Yorktown

the Battle of Agincourt

Correct answer:

the Battle of Waterloo

Explanation:

These two paintings portray the most famous generals of early nineteenth century Europe. The painting in Figure 3 portrays Napoleon Bonaparte, as painted by Jacques-Louis David, and the painting in Figure 4 portrays Arthur Wellesley, Duke of Wellington, as painted by Sir Thomas Lawrence. These two men met in battle numerous times, most famously at Waterloo in 1815, in Southern Belgium. There, Wellington's allied forces soundly defeated Napoleon's Grand Army of France, forcing him into a second and more permanent exile.

Figure 3: Napoleon Crossing the Alps by Jaques-Louis David (1801)

Figure 4: Portrait of Sir Arthur Wellesley, First Duke of Wellington by Sir Thomas Lawrence (1814)

Example Question #5 : Answering Other Questions About Nineteenth Century 2 D Art

The type of photographic process which placed the image on a silver plate was the __________.

Possible Answers:

camera obscura

daguerreotype

tintype

negative

Correct answer:

daguerreotype

Explanation:

A daguerreotype was a laborious process, which captured an image on a piece of silver, which then had to be rubbed with various chemicals to make the image appear; nonetheless, the daguerreotype, named after its inventor Louis Daguerre, was the first easily reproduceable photographic process on its creation in 1837. The daguerreotype was supplanted by the 1860s with a variety of quicker methods.

Example Question #6 : Answering Other Questions About Nineteenth Century 2 D Art

732px-gustave_courbet_-_le_d_sesp_r___1843_

Figure 1

 

 688px-gustave_courbet_010

Figure 2

The movement represented by these two paintings were a reaction to __________

Possible Answers:

Abstract painting.

Romanticist painting.

Medieval painting.

Renaissance painting.

Correct answer:

Romanticist painting.

Explanation:

Realism, developed and argued for by Gustave Courbet, reacted harshly against Romanticism by attempting to find authenticity and commonality in stark depictions of everyday scenes. In each of these paintings, Courbet portrays himself largely as what he was, a working painter struggling to make a living. In The Desperate Man, Courbet's self-portrait still exhibits some Romantic-era traits, such as energetic strokes and movement. The Meeting, however, is a fully mature Realism, with extremely clean lines depicting a scene of common people rather than monarchs or heroes.

Example Question #7 : Answering Other Questions About Nineteenth Century 2 D Art

385px-claude_monet_-_rouen_cathedral_-_the_portal__sunlight_

Figure 3

 

 800px-paul_c_zanne_199

Figure 4

Figure 3 is a painting of __________

Possible Answers:

the Pantheon.

Rouen Cathedral.

Hotel des Invalides.

the Palace of Versailles.

Correct answer:

Rouen Cathedral.

Explanation:

This painting is one of a series of paintings by Claude Monet that is a study of the front of Rouen Cathedral in different light, with this one taking place in direct sunlight. All of the Impressionists were highly interested in the different effects of light, but Monet went farther than his fellow Impressionists. The avant-garde artistic approach, including incomplete and highly visible paint lines, is contrasted with the subject of the painting, a Gothic cathedral in Rouen, Normandy.

Example Question #8 : Answering Other Questions About Nineteenth Century 2 D Art

385px-claude_monet_-_rouen_cathedral_-_the_portal__sunlight_

Figure 3

 

800px-paul_c_zanne_199

Figure 4

To capture the light on the edifice, the painter of Figure 3 __________

Possible Answers:

layered various colors of oil paint.

drew in bright clear lines.

painted in vivid colors.

used watercolors on top of oil paint.

Correct answer:

layered various colors of oil paint.

Explanation:

Monet's goal in painting Rouen Cathedral was to capture the ever-changing aspect of light off the stone of the building. Due to constantly-shifting nature of the light, however, Monet had to use a unique approach, wherein he layered small amounts of different but related colors to create a naturalistic effect of shimmering light. This technique and effect would be used later by Monet in his famous series of Water Lillies from his own garden.

Example Question #9 : Answering Other Questions About Nineteenth Century 2 D Art

In the "hierarchy of genres," which of the following genres was accorded the highest place by artistic authorities in the early eighteenth century?

Possible Answers:

Portrait painting

Still life painting

History painting

Landscape painting

Correct answer:

History painting

Explanation:

The "hierarchy of genres" was the dominant view of the different forms of painting by the academies that controlled art in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries, especially in France. Different types of painting were seen as requiring more mastery than others. History painting (which included religious and mythological themes) was above all other genres, as it was believed to require more control over its scope and perspective.

Example Question #10 : Answering Other Questions About Nineteenth Century 2 D Art

Van Eyck - Arnolfini Portrait.jpg

Pictured above is the Arnolfini Portrait, and can be found at the Website of National Gallery, London.

The painting was most likely commissioned by __________.

Possible Answers:

Mr. Arnolfini

Jan van Eyck

the King of the Netherlands

the local Bishop

Correct answer:

Mr. Arnolfini

Explanation:

The painting, of the Northern European Renaissance, is of Giovanni Arnolfini and his young wife, and the detail of the characters and their home suggests it was commissioned by the couple, likely the husband, for their wedding.

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