AP Art History : Identifying artists, works, or schools of Early Christian, Byzantine, and Early Medieval 2D art

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for AP Art History

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Example Questions

Example Question #1 : Identifying Artists, Works, Or Schools Of Early Christian, Byzantine, And Early Medieval 2 D Art

The Book of Kells (c. 800) is best known for its _____________.

Possible Answers:

descriptions of the Abbey of Kells

inclusion of previously unknown gospel texts

abnormally small dimensions

manuscript illumination

Correct answer:

manuscript illumination

Explanation:

Likely produced in either Britain or Ireland, this Gospel book is best known for its illuminations and was named after the Abbey of Kells, where it was housed for many centuries. Because of its illuminations, it is often considered the pinnacle example of insular art — an artistic style from the post-Roman British Isles ("island" is insula in Latin)-which is characterized by intricate inter-weaving designs, vibrant colors, and large Celtic crosses.

Example Question #2 : Identifying Artists, Works, Or Schools Of Early Christian, Byzantine, And Early Medieval 2 D Art

The Bayeux Tapestry depicts scenes from which great medieval battle?

Possible Answers:

The Battle of Hastings (1066)

The Battle of Agincourt (1415)

The Battle of Crécy (1346)

The Siege of Antioch (1098)

Correct answer:

The Battle of Hastings (1066)

Explanation:

The Bayeux Tapestry was made in England in the decade following the Battle of Hastings, which was part of the larger Norman Conquest of England spearheaded by William the Conqueror. Depictions of the battle were embroidered onto a cloth over 200 feet in length, which means that it is technically not a tapestry (since it is not woven), though the name stuck. While it was also made in England and not in Bayeux, France, the piece "rediscovered" at Bayeux Cathedral by art historians in the eighteenth century.

Example Question #3 : Identifying Artists, Works, Or Schools Of Early Christian, Byzantine, And Early Medieval 2 D Art

Bayeuxtapestryscene57

The work shown above is in the medium of ________________.

Possible Answers:

a mosaic

a tapestry

a mural

a fresco

Correct answer:

a tapestry

Explanation:

This work is one of the most significant tapestries created in Medieval Europe, the Bayeux Tapestry. The Bayeux Tapestry commemorates the invasion of England by William the Conqueror, Duke of Normandy and his eventual defeat of the English King Harold. Housed at Bayeux Cathedral in Normandy, a tapestry was able to show the full story of William's invasion and display it in a prominent place, due to its large scale and durability from being made of cloth.

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

Example Question #4 : Identifying Artists, Works, Or Schools Of Early Christian, Byzantine, And Early Medieval 2 D Art

Bayeuxtapestryscene57

The panel of the work shown is an illustration of __________________.

Possible Answers:

the death of King Harold of England

the retreat of the English forces

the sailing of Duke William of Normandy

the coronation of King Harold of England

Correct answer:

the death of King Harold of England

Explanation:

The Bayeux Tapestry depicts the invasion of England by William, Duke of Normandy, and his succession to becoming King of England. The panel shown here is one of the most significant elements, as it depicts the death of Harold II, then King of England. The Latin legend "Hic Haroldus Rex Interfectus Est," meaning "Here King Harold is killed," is placed above an image of a soldier being impaled in the eye with an arrow.

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

Example Question #5 : Identifying Artists, Works, Or Schools Of Early Christian, Byzantine, And Early Medieval 2 D Art

The Lindisfarne Gospels are an important medieval work of art from which region?

Possible Answers:

The British Isles

The Baghdad Caliphate

The Roman Empire

The Byzantine Empire

Correct answer:

The British Isles

Explanation:

The Lindisfarne Gospels are highly detailed, illuminated manuscripts that are highly representative of Hiberno-Saxon Art. Also known as Insular Art, from the Latin for "island," the style of Art flourished in the British Isles between the decline of Roman Britain in 410 to the Norman Conquest in 1066. The Lindisfarne Gospels were created at the monastery of Lindisfarne in the Northern England Kingdom of Northumbria around the year 700.

Example Question #6 : Identifying Artists, Works, Or Schools Of Early Christian, Byzantine, And Early Medieval 2 D Art

Meister von san vitale in ravenna 003

The work of art shown here is an example of ________________.

Possible Answers:

a bas-relief

a fresco

a mural

a mosaic

Correct answer:

a mosaic

Explanation:

This work, known as The Justinian Panel, is placed on a wall inside the Basilica of San Vitale in Ravenna, Italy, depicting the Byzantine Emperor Justinian I. Although the work is in Italy and Justinian was known as "the last Roman" for his desire to reclaim the territory of the Roman Empire, this work is classically Byzantine in composition, style, and especially in its use of mosaic. Mosaic is a work of art which is composed of small pieces of glass or stone placed together to form larger images and was widely used in the late Roman and Byzantine empires in large scale works.

Image accessed through Wikipedia Media Commons: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Emperor_Justinian_%26_entourage_in_St_Vitale,_Ravenna.JPG

Example Question #7 : Identifying Artists, Works, Or Schools Of Early Christian, Byzantine, And Early Medieval 2 D Art

Meister von san vitale in ravenna 003

The work of art shown here is located in a ___________________.

Possible Answers:

mausoleum

royal palace

Christian church

public square

Correct answer:

Christian church

Explanation:

The Justinian Panel, depicting Byzantine Emperor Justinian I, is one of many mosaics placed around the Basilica of San Vitale in Rome, and is one of two depicting royalty, with the other featuring Justinian's wife Theodora. The mosaic is in one of the great Byzantine churches in Italy, which reflects Justinian's two main aims as Emperor: regaining the lost territory of the Western Roman Empire and reinforcing Christianity in the Mediterranean world.

Image accessed through Wikipedia Media Commons: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Emperor_Justinian_%26_entourage_in_St_Vitale,_Ravenna.JPG

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