AP Art History : Understanding terminology that describes African sculpture

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for AP Art History

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Example Questions

Example Question #1 : Understanding Terminology That Describes African Sculpture

Which of the following is generally true about African sculpture?

Possible Answers:

Realist depictions are rare, with the head in particular being oversized

Statues were typically larger than life size to emphasize the subject's grandeur

Depictions of human beings and animals were banned for religious reasons

Historically, the most prized skill has been the exact recreation of human features without flattery

Correct answer:

Realist depictions are rare, with the head in particular being oversized

Explanation:

Most African sculpture fits a tribal religious background, often depicting subjects that embody ancestors, spirits, or gods. Carved out of wood and stone, the statues were generally small enough to be relatively portable. These statues were usually human figures, but somewhat distorted in certain body parts, especially in the head and sexual characteristics.

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