AP Art History : Understanding terminology that describes architecture in global Islamic traditions

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for AP Art History

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Example Questions

Example Question #1 : Understanding Terminology That Describes Architecture In Global Islamic Traditions

What is the name for the specific type of high tower found on a mosque, particularly a mosque from the Middle Ages?

Possible Answers:

Parapet

Copula

Turret

Pyramid

Minaret

Correct answer:

Minaret

Explanation:

One of the most important features of any mosque, a Muslim place of worship, is the space to broadcast the regular call to prayer. In the Middle Ages particularly, this was achieved through building a thin, tall tower at one corner of the mosque. This high tower was called a "minaret" and was often the tallest building in a medieval Islamic society.

Example Question #2 : Understanding Terminology That Describes Architecture In Global Islamic Traditions

Minarets serve what function in Islamic architecture?

Possible Answers:

They call Muslims to pray.

They are purely decorative.

They shield onlookers from the sun.

They indicate the location of Mecca.

Correct answer:

They call Muslims to pray.

Explanation:

Minarets are tall shafts. Each contains a staircase and a gallery, from which a muezzin calls Muslims to pray five times each day. Daily prayer is an important element of Islamic life.

Example Question #203 : Architecture

Which artistic technique or structural component is NOT found in Islamic art?

Possible Answers:

Wooden strapwork

Joggled voussoirs

Architrave

Mosaics

Muqarnas

Correct answer:

Architrave

Explanation:

An architrave is the structure that rests above the tops of columns and is found primarily in Greek and Roman architecture. All the other techniques or components are found in Islamic architecture. Examples include the following:

Joggled voussoirs: Madrasa-Mausoleum-Mosqure of Sultan Hasan, Cairo

Muquarnas: Court of the Lions, Alhambra, Granada

Mosaics: Dome of the Rock, Jerusalem

Wooden strapwork: Kutubiya Minbar, Marrakesh

Example Question #204 : Architecture

Many Islamic sculptures, buildings, and other three-dimensional artworks are adorned with detailed __________ due to ideals detailed in the Qur'an. This form of artistic expression is/are one of the most common in the Islamic world.

Possible Answers:

drawings of family life

calligraphy

landscapes

floral work

mosaic

Correct answer:

calligraphy

Explanation:

Calligraphy is the one of the most common artistic expressions due to adherence to Qur'an ideals that prevent idolatry by banning the artistic rendering of figures. Mosaic is characteristic of Islamic architecture, but calligraphy is present in both architecture and sculpture.

Example Question #205 : Architecture

The in a mosque oriented towards Mecca is called a _____________.

Possible Answers:

minaret

minbar

qibla

mihrab

Correct answer:

qibla

Explanation:

The qibla is the wall in a mosque oriented toward Mecca that indicates the direction of prayer for the congregation. The minbar is a niche in the qibla wall, often arched like a doorway or passage toward Mecca, while the minbar is a raised, stepped platform from which the imam addresses the congregation. The minaret is a tall, slender tower in a mosque from which the faithful are called to prayer.

Example Question #3 : Understanding Terminology That Describes Architecture In Global Islamic Traditions

File:Hagia Sophia Cathedral.jpg

In the mosque pictured, there are four column-shaped figures surrounding the central dome. These figures are called __________.

Possible Answers:

pagodas

columns

minarets

obelisks

balusters

Correct answer:

minarets

Explanation:

Minarets are the surrounding towers in a mosque. Mosques have anywhere from one to four minarets (sometimes more).

A pagoda is a type of roof and cannot be the answer. Columns and balusters are not common in Islamic architecture, but these two are not usually independent structures.

Though minarets share the shape of an obelisk, they are not as minimalist in design.

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

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