AP Art History : Identifying artists, works, or schools of Asian 2D art

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for AP Art History

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Example Questions

Example Question #5 : Asian 2 D Art

The Burning of the Sanjo Palace is a thirteenth-century handscroll from __________.

Possible Answers:

China

Korea

Japan

Vietnam

Correct answer:

Japan

Explanation:

The Burning of the Sanjo Palace is one of the more famous and most representative works of classical Japanese art. This handscroll painting, done about one hundred years after the event it depicts, features swift brushstrokes to emphasize movement, has a strong use of diagonals, and presents largely undifferentiated figures. All of these are classic hallmarks of Japanese handscroll painting from the Kamakura period.

Example Question #1 : Identifying Artists, Works, Or Schools Of Asian 2 D Art

The Japanese artist who created the series of woodblock prints Thirty-Six Views of Mount Fuji, which included the work The Great Wave off Kanagawa, is __________.

Possible Answers:

Honshu

Hokusai

Sesshu

Eishi

Correct answer:

Hokusai

Explanation:

Hokusai was one of many famous ukiyo-e (woodblock print artists) from his era in Japan, the early nineteenth century. Over time, however, Hokusai's focus on grand landscapes and his immaculate skill, well shown in his series of prints of Mount Fuji, have garnered him more respect than most of his contemporaries. The Great Wave Off Kanagawa is the most famous Japanese woodblock print in the West.

Example Question #2 : Identifying Artists, Works, Or Schools Of Asian 2 D Art

128px-Bijin_Oiran.jpg

Paintings like Takahashi Yuichi’s Oiran characterize the culturally mixed nature of the early Meiji period in which of the following ways?

Possible Answers:

It represents a high class courtesan.

 It represents a woman whose role is part of a traditional Japanese cultural institution, but it demonstrates a more veristic, Western style of portraiture than is typical in traditional Japanese art.

The textiles and garments are rendered in a near-abstract manner.

It portrays the woman’s features in the idealizing manner typical of ukiyo-e artists. 

It does not demonstrate the free, sweeping brushstrokes typical of Japanese ink paintings. 

Correct answer:

 It represents a woman whose role is part of a traditional Japanese cultural institution, but it demonstrates a more veristic, Western style of portraiture than is typical in traditional Japanese art.

Explanation:

Oiran highlights the cultural foment of the early Meiji period. Created to evoke nostalgia for vanishing elements of Japanese culture, the painting's subject matter of a grand courtesan is typical of traditional Ukiyo-e printmaking. It is unique, however, in that it does not represent the courtesan's features in the idealizing manner of ukiyo-e artists, but rather in the more analytical manner of Western portraiture. 

Example Question #3 : Identifying Artists, Works, Or Schools Of Asian 2 D Art

Great wave off kanagawa2

Based on style and composition, this work was created in ________________.

Possible Answers:

Korea

China

India

Japan

Correct answer:

Japan

Explanation:

This work, Kanagawa oki nama ura (Under the Wave off Kanagawa) by Katsushika Hokusai, is a classic of the Japanese woodblock printing tradition. Crafted for replication, Hokusai’s work is from a series known as Thirty-Six Views of Mount Fuji, which showed the iconic Japanese mountain from a variety of perspectives and in different conditions. The sharp lines and highly structured formal representation are characteristic of Japanese art in general and the ukiyo-e style in particular.

Image accessed through Wikipedia Media Commons: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Katsushika_Hokusai,_published_by_Nishimuraya_Yohachi_(Eijudō)_-_Under_the_Wave_off_Kanagawa_(Kanagawa-oki_nami-ura),_also_known_as_the_Great_Wave,_from_the_series_T..._-_Google_Art_Project.jpg

Example Question #4 : Identifying Artists, Works, Or Schools Of Asian 2 D Art

The Burning of the Sanjo Palace is a thirteenth-century handscroll from __________.

Possible Answers:

Japan

Korea

China

Vietnam

Correct answer:

Japan

Explanation:

The Burning of the Sanjo Palace is one of the more famous and most representative works of classical Japanese art. This handscroll painting, done about one hundred years after the event it depicts, features swift brushstrokes to emphasize movement, has a strong use of diagonals, and presents largely undifferentiated figures. All of these are classic hallmarks of Japanese handscroll painting from the Kamakura period.

Example Question #5 : Identifying Artists, Works, Or Schools Of Asian 2 D Art

Fan Kuan was a Chinese artist famous for painting ____________.

Possible Answers:

The Sakyamuni Buddha

Loquats and a Mountain Bird

Travelers by Streams and Mountains

None of these

Autumn in the River Valley

Correct answer:

Travelers by Streams and Mountains

Explanation:

Fan Kuan lived in the Song Dynasty. His only remaining work is Travelers by Streams and Mountains. It is ink on a silk hanging scroll that was almost seven feet tall. This work was part of the Northern Song school of monumental landscapes.

Example Question #1 : Identifying Artists, Works, Or Schools Of Asian 2 D Art

256px-Shiva_as_the_Lord_of_Dance_LACMA_edit.jpg

The work shown here was made in which of the following regions?

Possible Answers:

Thailand

India

Persia

Indonesia

Correct answer:

India

Explanation:

This statue is an image of Shiva, the Hindu god of destruction and renewal, which obviously shows it was created in a predominantly Hindu area. The close attention to Shiva’s traditional iconography, featuring four arms and placing him in the “Lord of Dance” pose known as “Nataraja,” places its creation in a traditionally Hindu area of India. Indeed, the Chola dynasty in southern India was one of the key centers for the worship of Shiva in 10th century India.

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

Example Question #31 : 2 D Art Beyond European Artistic Traditions

Ogata korin   red and white plum blossoms  national treasure    google art project

Based on style and composition, the work shown here was created in ________________.

Possible Answers:

Korea

China

Japan

Thailand

Correct answer:

Japan

Explanation:

Like much Asian art, White and Red Plum Blossoms, by Ogata Kōrin, shown here, is an idealized landscape rendered in simple forms. However, Ogata's extremely representational style and use of gold is a signature of the Rinpa school of Japan, which flourished in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Due to Japan's isolationism in these centuries, artists could develop idiosyncratic styles which were distinct from other related cultural art forms.

Artwork from Wikimedia Commons: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Ogata_Korin_-_RED_AND_WHITE_PLUM_BLOSSOMS_(National_Treasure)_-_Google_Art_Project.jpg

Example Question #32 : 2 D Art Beyond European Artistic Traditions

Ogata korin   red and white plum blossoms  national treasure    google art project

The work shown here was created to be displayed in _______________.

Possible Answers:

a religious temple

a government building

a private residence

a public square

Correct answer:

a private residence

Explanation:

White and Red Plum Blossoms by Ogata Kōrin is a large paper screen, made out of fine ink and gold leaf. The high quality materials used by Ogata for a screen make it a display item that could also be a functional element in a household. The screens created by Japanese artists in the Rinpa school, such as Ogata, were often one of the features of the homes of the elite and wealthy merchants in Edo Period Japan.

Artwork from Wikimedia Commons: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Ogata_Korin_-_RED_AND_WHITE_PLUM_BLOSSOMS_(National_Treasure)_-_Google_Art_Project.jpg

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