AP Art History : Identifying artists, works, or schools of fourteenth- through sixteenth-century sculpture

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for AP Art History

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Example Questions

Example Question #3 : Renaissance To Contemporary 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 sculptor of this work is ___________.

Possible Answers:

Michelangelo

Leonardo da Vinci

Bernini

Donatello

Correct answer:

Donatello

Explanation:

This work is Donatello's David. It predates the Davids of both Michelangelo as well as Bernini. Donatello was known among his colleagues for his freestanding work, and had in fact created a freestanding marble version of David that predates even this one. That David, though, was not nude where this one clearly is.

Example Question #4 : Renaissance To Contemporary 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 subject of the work is ___________.

Possible Answers:

David

John the Baptist

Socrates

Saul

Correct answer:

David

Explanation:

This sculpture is a depiction of David, the young man who defeated the Giant Goliath in the First Testament story of the bible. He can be identified by his youthful appearance (David was one of the only youths being depicted at the time, apart from the baby Jesus). He can also be identified through his pose, where he stands atop the severed head of the giant Goliath, as the victor in their battle. 

Example Question #1 : Identifying Artists, Works, Or Schools Of 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 medium of the work is __________.

Possible Answers:

bronze

marble

obsidian

nickel

Correct answer:

bronze

Explanation:

As is traditional, Donatello's statue is made of bronze, after the practice of Classical Greece. Though marble is a more popular medium later (it is cheaper and its whiteness appealed to the Renaissance masters), the freestanding bronze works are a testament to the renewed interest in Classical works.

Example Question #2 : Identifying Artists, Works, Or Schools Of Fourteenth Through Sixteenth Century Sculpture

Which Early Renaissance Italian sculptor influenced later sculptors with his characteristic "figura serpentinata" forms?

Possible Answers:

Filippo Brunelleschi 

Donato di Niccolò di Betto Bardi (Donatello)

Lorenzo Ghiberti 

Andrea Pisano 

Correct answer:

Donato di Niccolò di Betto Bardi (Donatello)

Explanation:

Sculptures by Donatello (ca. 1386–1466) often feature a spiraling "figura serpentinata" composition style that entices the viewer to move around the piece to view it from every angle. Sculptors who came after him often used this technique, and it could be said that he introduced it. 

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