AP Art History : Understanding terminology that describes Gothic architecture

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for AP Art History

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Example Questions

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Example Question #1 : Gothic Architecture

 

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The supports visible on the side of the building are known as ______________.

Possible Answers:

stilts

gargoyles

latticework

flying buttresses

Correct answer:

flying buttresses

Explanation:

A key feature of Gothic churches is their height. The supports on the sides were added to prevent structural problems. Known as "flying butresses", these supports were transformed from simple structural elements into elaborate ornamentation.

Example Question #1 : Understanding Terminology That Describes Gothic Architecture

Gothic cathedrals typically have all of the following architectural features EXCEPT __________.

Possible Answers:

rose windows

domed ceilings

vaulted arches

flying buttresses

Correct answer:

domed ceilings

Explanation:

"Gothic" architecture describes the dominant forms in Western European architecture from about the twelfth century to the sixteenth century. Gothic cathedrals are monumental in scale and scope, structured around buildings that are cross-shaped when viewed from above, and feature lots of ornamentation and design elements, including vaulted arches, statuary, rose windows, flying buttresses, and grand columns.

Example Question #2 : Understanding Terminology That Describes Gothic Architecture

Flying buttresses were a common feature of church architecture in which style?

Possible Answers:

Neoclassical

Greco-Roman

Modern

Art Nouveau

Gothic

Correct answer:

Gothic

Explanation:

Flying buttresses are ornate supports that stick outside the walls of Gothic church architecture, particularly cathedrals. Buttresses were necessary to keep the new, massive stone cathedrals of the middle ages standing. While they were originally functional, church builders made them reflect and enhance the design of their buildings.

Example Question #3 : Understanding Terminology That Describes Gothic Architecture

Ogee arches are characteristic of which period of Gothic architecture?

Possible Answers:

Rayonannt

High

Early

Flamboyant

Correct answer:

Flamboyant

Explanation:

The Flamboyant (or Late) period of Gothic architecture contains a combination of tracery and ogee arches. "Flamboyant," from the French word for flaming, denotes its highly decorative style.

Example Question #279 : 3 D Art

A statue of a small grotesque figure that adorns a gothic building is called __________.

Possible Answers:

a buttress

a turret

a keystone

a redoubt

a gargoyle

Correct answer:

a gargoyle

Explanation:

Gothic architecture, particularly in the building of churches and cathedrals, featured a number of ornate features. One of the most peculiar was the use of gargoyles, small stone figures of grotesque characters that were placed on the sides of buildings. These figures would often be placed between sculptures of saints and kings, and were viewed as protective features. Some gargoyles also functioned as drainage pipes (through holes in their mouths).

Example Question #4 : Understanding Terminology That Describes Gothic Architecture

Which type of arch commonly seen in Gothic architecture is wider than it is tall and has a flattened appearance?

Possible Answers:

The Italian arch

The flamboyant arch

The lancet arch

The depressed arch

None of the other answers

Correct answer:

The depressed arch

Explanation:

The depressed arch was much different from the other arches found in Gothic architecture. It was designed to look as though it had been flattened by a great pressure, and was very wide. There is no such thing as an Italian arch.

Example Question #5 : Understanding Terminology That Describes Gothic Architecture

Gothic architecture introduced which of the following architectural attributes?

Possible Answers:

Semi-circular arches

The flying buttress

Deliberately incomplete architectural elements

Stained glass

Groin vaults

Correct answer:

The flying buttress

Explanation:

Stained glass, semi-circular arches, and groin vaults are all contributions of the Romanesque architectural movement, which preceded Gothic architecture. Deliberately incomplete architectural elements are a feature of Baroque architecture. Gothic architecture is responsible for the flying buttress.

Example Question #6 : Understanding Terminology That Describes Gothic Architecture

This attribute is perhaps the most commonly known and appreciated of all the characteristics of Gothic architecture.  It can be described as a series of grotesque sculptures often used as a decorative way to divert water away from a building.

Which attribute of Gothic architecture is the above paragraph describing?

Possible Answers:

Depressed arches

Vaulted ceilings

Flying buttresses

Gargoyles

Flamboyant arches

Correct answer:

Gargoyles

Explanation:

Gargoyles, while used somewhat during the many centuries of medieval art and architecture, are most commonly thought of as a Gothic architectural attribute. While used for decoration, they also commonly had the function of diverting water from the building. Gargoyles were frequently monstrous and grotesque, because they were meant to strike fear into the peasants who saw them and motivate them to attend church.

Example Question #7 : Understanding Terminology That Describes Gothic Architecture

Which of the following is an accurate description of the "rose window" commonly seen in Gothic architecture?

Possible Answers:

There is no such thing as a "rose window" in Gothic architecture.

A flower-shaped window decorated with ornate circular designs.

A circular window divided by an intricate pattern, often like a wheel or flower.

A group of triangle windows arranged together to look like a flower.

A group of large, square windows that together form a triangle.

Correct answer:

A circular window divided by an intricate pattern, often like a wheel or flower.

Explanation:

The "rose window," as seen in Gothic architecture, is large, circular, often centralized window, that is divided by an intricate pattern. Sometimes the window looks like a wheel, and other times it seems to resemble a flower; however, the window is never flower-shaped. It is always circular, but sometimes has a visible flower within.

Example Question #8 : Understanding Terminology That Describes Gothic Architecture

The presence of ___________ in the interior of Gothic cathedrals, churches, etc. was an important part of worship for the people of that time period, as it represented divinity, and the presence of God.  It is for this reason that many Gothic cathedrals have very large windows.

Possible Answers:

None of these

Arches

Gold

Light

Columns

Correct answer:

Light

Explanation:

Although arches, and, to come extent, columns and the use of gold were all stylistic choices of the Gothic period, the answer is "light," because light was more than a simple stylistic choice. Light was a representation of divinity, and the large amounts of interior light were important for worship.

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