AP Art History : Understanding terminology that describes Ancient Grecian and Roman 2D art

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for AP Art History

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Example Questions

Example Question #1 : Understanding Terminology That Describes Ancient Grecian And Roman 2 D Art

The technique of mixing pigment and egg yolk before applying it to a moistened plaster surface is called what?

Possible Answers:

Tempera

Chiaroscuro

Encaustic painting

Fresco-secco

Buon Fresco

Correct answer:

Fresco-secco

Explanation:

Fresco-secco, or dry fresco painting, uses water-based pigment mixed with egg to paint a dry plaster surface that has only been moistened. This is not true fresco, or buon fresco, because in a true fresco the plaster would still be wet. Fresco painting was popular in Classical Greece.

Example Question #2 : Understanding Terminology That Describes Ancient Grecian And Roman 2 D Art

Encaustic painting, a popular technique for Greek painters, can most basically be broken down into which of the following three steps?

Possible Answers:

Mix oils and pigments, apply to wood, heat to dry.

Add pigment to water, mix egg yolk, apply to wet plaster.

Add pigment to water, mix egg yolk, apply to dry plaster.

Mix pigment and water, add beeswax, cool and let dry. 

Heat beeswax, add colored pigment, apply to wood surface.

Correct answer:

Heat beeswax, add colored pigment, apply to wood surface.

Explanation:

The main ingredient of encaustic painting is beeswax, and the mixture is most often applied to wood, though it has other uses. Egg-yolk pigments are a characteristic of fresco, not encaustic painting.

Example Question #3 : Understanding Terminology That Describes Ancient Grecian And Roman 2 D Art

A "tessera" is the main element in creating a __________.

Possible Answers:

mural

stained glass window

mosaic

fresco

Correct answer:

mosaic

Explanation:

Mosaics were one of the more common artistic forms of Ancient Greek and Roman art, being featured as key decorative elements in buildings on walls and floors. The key element of a mosaic is a "tessera" (plural "tesserae"), a Latin term for the small piece of stone or glass which is put together with others to make the much larger image of a full mosaic.

Example Question #4 : Understanding Terminology That Describes Ancient Grecian And Roman 2 D Art

The kind of artwork that features many pieces of glass or tile arranged into a portrait or other image is called a __________.

Possible Answers:

diptych

mosaic

devotional

fresco

mural

Correct answer:

mosaic

Explanation:

While "mosaic" is a very broad term, it refers to any artwork made by assembling together small pieces of glass and tile. Roman artists and architects frequently used mosaics to create artwork in homes and buildings, and these were frequently realistic depictions of people or landscapes. Mosaics are still used by artists today, but can often take on abstract forms.

Example Question #5 : Understanding Terminology That Describes Ancient Grecian And Roman 2 D Art

In general, what is the art style of the Romans and Greeks referred to as?

Possible Answers:

Ancient art 

Classical art

Realism 

Art nouveau

Correct answer:

Classical art

Explanation:

Roman and Greek styles of art are referred to as Classical Art. Classical art is known for its simplicity, humanism and naturally beautiful style.

Example Question #6 : Understanding Terminology That Describes Ancient Grecian And Roman 2 D Art

_______________ refers to the representation of sequential moments in a story in a single image.

Possible Answers:

Abbreviated narrative

Continuous narrative

Collapsed narrative 

Directional narrative

Correct answer:

Continuous narrative

Explanation:

In a continuous narrative, sequential moments of a narrative or story are depicted in a single scene. This type of image is used to tell a whole story within a single image instead of through separate images. A continuous narrative often is distinguished by the reappearance of a single character or characters multiple times within the image.

Example Question #7 : Understanding Terminology That Describes Ancient Grecian And Roman 2 D Art

The ________ of proportions allowed the Greeks to create idealized depictions of the human form.

Possible Answers:

scale

canon

body

table

ratio

Correct answer:

canon

Explanation:

The term to remember is "canon," as it directly refers to the proportion principles employed by both the Ancient Greeks and the Ancient Egyptians.

"Scale" was given as an option to throw off the test-taker; though scale of proportions fits into the sentence quite well, "canon" is the art history term used (for example, we say that paintings are of nude figures, not naked figures).

"Ratio" cannot be the answer since that is a synonym for "proportion." Body does not fit the sentence at all. Table would work, but it is not the answer for the same reason that scale is not.

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