AP Art History : Understanding terminology that describes fourteenth- through sixteenth-century 2D art

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for AP Art History

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Example Questions

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Example Question #35 : Fourteenth Through Sixteenth Century 2 D Art

The Renaissance painting style of Mannerism was defined by all of the following EXCEPT __________.

Possible Answers:

artificial constructions and poses

highly intellectual approach to art

naturalism in movement

strict compositional forms

Correct answer:

naturalism in movement

Explanation:

Mannerism was essentially the second wave of Renaissance painting, being most prevalent in the second half of the sixteenth century. Mannerism took many of the Renaissance values of clarity and formal achievement and pushed them even further. In the works of artists such as Tintoretto, El Greco, and Giambologna created highly stylized, formal works that were paragons of mannerism.

Example Question #1 : Understanding Terminology That Describes Fourteenth Through Sixteenth Century 2 D Art

The term chiaroscuro indicates that a painting features __________.

Possible Answers:

an attempt to make a painting look three-dimensional

a pose of unnatural dimensions

a strong contrast between dark and light shades

a use of bright colors

Correct answer:

a strong contrast between dark and light shades

Explanation:

Chiaroscuro is a technique developed in the Italian Renaissance that created extremely strong contrasts between light and dark shades in a painting for dramatic purposes. While early Renaissance artists like Botticelli were notable for its use, it reached its apex in the seventeenth century in works by artists such as Caravaggio and Rembrandt van Rijn.

Example Question #2 : Understanding Terminology That Describes Fourteenth Through Sixteenth Century 2 D Art

In late-Medieval and early-Renaissance art, the image of an angel visiting the Virgin Mary before Jesus' Birth is known as __________.

Possible Answers:

the Pietá

the Assumption

the Immaculate Conception

the Annunciation

Correct answer:

the Annunciation

Explanation:

In the Christian Bible, in the Gospel of Luke, the angel Gabriel comes to Mary to inform her that she will give birth to the Messiah and name him Yeshua (or Jesus). Known as the Annunciation, it was one of the most popular subjects of late-medieval and early-Renaissance art, as it highlighted Mary's virginity while also reflecting her humanity in the circumstance.

Example Question #1 : Understanding Terminology That Describes Renaissance 2 D Visual Art

Medieval European art lacked which element that was developed in the Renaissance?

Possible Answers:

Portraits

Vanishing-point Perspective

Religious subjects

Patronage

Bright colors

Correct answer:

Vanishing-point Perspective

Explanation:

Using newly found mathematical principles in their artwork, Renaissance artists were able to create perspective in Western painting for the first time. Vanishing-point perspective, which creates lines of sight that reflect the depth seen in reality, allowed for portraiture, religious subjects, and other works to be seen in new ways. Coupled with new scientific knowledge and an increasing use of dark colors and shadows, Renaissance art created new perceptions of artwork.

Example Question #38 : Fourteenth Through Sixteenth Century 2 D Art

In medieval religious art, a painting depicting the Madonna and Child feature which biblical figures?

Possible Answers:

Satan and the Whore of Babylon

The Risen Christ and Mary Magdalene

The Virgin Mary and the Infant Jesus

Abraham and Sarah

John the Baptist and Jesus Christ

Correct answer:

The Virgin Mary and the Infant Jesus

Explanation:

Among the most important and widely painted images in Medieval art were depictions of the Madonna and Child. These paintings, depicting the Virgin Mary and the infant Jesus, were meant to show the two holiest figures in Medieval Catholicism to the illiterate believers of the church in the middle ages.

Example Question #39 : Fourteenth Through Sixteenth Century 2 D Art

A medieval painting composed of three separate pieces is known as a __________.

Possible Answers:

triptych

landscape

portrait

trilogy

diptych

Correct answer:

triptych

Explanation:

A triptych, from Greek words meaning "three fold," was often placed at the altar of medieval and early modern European churches. The paintings allowed for three separate scenes to be shown in one place, which allowed both the artist to depict three related topics and show the viewer a larger scene than one panel would allow. Triptychs were largely used for religious topics in the middle ages, but have remained a popular style up to the present day.

Example Question #1 : Understanding Terminology That Describes Fourteenth Through Sixteenth Century 2 D Art

Which of the following pieces is an example of a polyptych?

Possible Answers:

The Ghent Altarpiece

The Portinari Altarpiece

Saint Anthony Tormented By Demons

The Well of Moses

Correct answer:

The Ghent Altarpiece

Explanation:

The Ghent Altarpiece consists of a set of folding panels and is thus called a polyptych. The Portinari Altarpiece has three panels and is therefore considered a triptych. The Well of Moses is a sculpture. St. Anthony Tormented By Demons is an engraving.

Example Question #2 : Understanding Terminology That Describes Fourteenth Through Sixteenth Century 2 D Art

Which of these terms describes the hazy, smoky lighting that creates distance between the viewer and the subject?

Possible Answers:

Sfumato

Chiaroscuro

Tenebrism

Ignudi

Correct answer:

Sfumato

Explanation:

Sfumato was a High Renaissance lighting technique used by artists like Leonardo da Vinci to produce distance between the viewer and the subject of a painting. Chiaroscuro refers to the transition between light to dark in a Renaissance painting. Tenebrism is the Baroque-era contrast between shadows and light that was used by artists like Caravaggio. Ignudi is the Italian term for nude figures in Renaissance art.

Example Question #3 : Understanding Terminology That Describes Fourteenth Through Sixteenth Century 2 D Art

Which term refers to the style of painting that involves applying pigments with water to freshly plastered walls?

Possible Answers:

Fresco

Graffiti

Illuminated

Mural

Mosaic

Correct answer:

Fresco

Explanation:

Artists create frescoes by painting pigments on walls while the plaster is still drying. "Illuminated" refers to decorated texts, often early religious manuscripts or other important texts. Mosaics are made by using hard materials, not paints, and graffiti art does not require a wet or drying wall. "Mural" is too broad to be the right answer.

Example Question #4 : Understanding Terminology That Describes Fourteenth Through Sixteenth Century 2 D Art

All of the following artists' paintings are notable for their use of chiaroscuro except ______________.

Possible Answers:

Rembrandt

Leonardo da Vinci 

Caravaggio

Peter Paul Rubens 

Andy Warhol

Correct answer:

Andy Warhol

Explanation:

"Chiaroscuro" refers to a technique that makes two-dimensional shapes seem three-dimensional. Artists do this by simulating light and shadow. It is a technique commonly employed by Renaissance and Baroque artists, but less commonly seen in the Pop Art that Warhol specialized in.

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