AP Art History : Understanding terminology that describes nineteenth-century 2D art

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for AP Art History

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Example Questions

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Example Question #1 : Understanding Terminology That Describes Nineteenth Century 2 D Art

The Impressionist painter who was particularly known for his still lifes was __________.

Possible Answers:

Claude Monet

Paul Cézanne

Édouard Manet

Pierre-August Renoir

Correct answer:

Paul Cézanne

Explanation:

The Impressionists as a group sought to focus the subject of paintings on everyday life and to use more emotional techniques, like vivid brushstrokes. Paul Cézanne took these approaches to the traditional still life to turn it on its head. Cézanne's still lifes had unique uses of light and shadow and included strange objects such as skulls and rotting fruit.

Example Question #2 : Understanding Terminology That Describes Nineteenth Century 2 D Art

Francisco de Goya painted vivid wartime images of the conflict known as __________.

Possible Answers:

The Napoleonic Wars

The Thirty Years' War

The Seven Years' War

The War of the Spanish Succession

Correct answer:

The Napoleonic Wars

Explanation:

Francisco de Goya was the court painter for the Spanish monarchy in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth century. As the Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte of France invaded Spain in the first decade of the nineteenth century, Goya's work saw a major transformation. In particular, Goya began painting haunting and disturbing images of scenes from the Napoleonic Wars in France.

Example Question #3 : Understanding Terminology That Describes Nineteenth Century 2 D Art

The artistic movement Impressionism was notable for featuring subjects that were __________.

Possible Answers:

from history

centered on everyday life

from Greek and Roman mythology

from the Bible

Correct answer:

centered on everyday life

Explanation:

Impressionism was inaugurated as a result against the standards of Paris' Salon, which was France's biggest art prize and show in the late nineteenth century. Impressionists like Paul Cézanne, Édouard Manet, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, and Claude Monet sought to paint people in cafes, scenes of everyday life, and basic landscapes. These artists also departed from the stark realism popular at the time to convey images with more emotional intensity by using more visible brushstrokes.

Example Question #4 : Understanding Terminology That Describes Nineteenth Century 2 D Art

751px-vangogh-starry_night                     File:Van Gogh - Portrait of Pere Tanguy 1887-8.JPG

                                                        Figure 1                                                                                                                            Figure 2 

Both paintings reflect an influence from the art movement known as __________.

Possible Answers:

Neo-classicalism

Impressionism

Realism

Cubism

Correct answer:

Impressionism

Explanation:

Each of these paintings reflect some aspect of everyday life, as well as portraying that with non-representational, emotional painting techniques. These are hallmarks of the movement known as Impressionism, which arose in the 1860s and 1870s as a reaction to history painting and realism. Van Gogh, however, took these aspects to further extremes, with more representational images and basic depictions of his own life, and as such is usually dubbed a post-impressionist.

Figure 1: The Starry Night by Vincent van Gogh (1889)

Figure 2: Portrait of Père Tanguy by Vincent van Gogh (1887-8)

Example Question #5 : Understanding Terminology That Describes Nineteenth Century 2 D Art

Jacques-louis-david-napoleon-crossing-the-alps4          Sir_arthur_wellesley__1st_duke_of_wellington

                              Figure 3                                                                       Figure 4

The painting shown in Figure 3 is highly indebted to __________.

Possible Answers:

impressionism

romanticism

expressionism

neo-classicalism

Correct answer:

neo-classicalism

Explanation:

Jacques-Louis David, before becoming Napoleon's official painter during the Empire, was noted as a painter of history works, which usually focused on stories from Ancient Greece and Rome. In creating these works in the late eighteenth century, David was the preeminent neo-classicist in France, using the clean lines and bright colors notable of the genre. These aspects are present as well in his Napoleon Crossing the Alps, especially the Roman tablet crushed in the bottom left corner of the painting.

Figure 3: Napoleon Crossing the Alps by Jaques-Louis David (1801)

Figure 4: Portrait of Sir Arthur Wellesley, First Duke of Wellington by Sir Thomas Lawrence (1814)

Example Question #6 : Understanding Terminology That Describes Nineteenth Century 2 D Art

The painting technique of placing small dots of paint in patterns to create larger images is called __________.

Possible Answers:

Constructivism

Cubism

Impressionism

Pointilism

Correct answer:

Pointilism

Explanation:

Pointilism was developed by George Seurat, who began his career as a traditional impressionist around 1880. Seurat created his massive canvases by putting images together through many small dots, or "points," of paint. This post-impressionist style is best exemplified in Seurat's Un dimanche après-midi à l'Île de la Grande Jatte – 1884 (A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte), which depicts a massive scene of Parisians relaxing by the Seine, all composed with small dots of color.

Example Question #7 : Understanding Terminology That Describes Nineteenth Century 2 D Art

 

          Bath_abbey__1875

 

This type of artwork is known as ___________.

Possible Answers:

a daguerreotype

a linotype

an engraving

a watercolor

Correct answer:

an engraving

Explanation:

Engravings were the most common type of "quick" art created in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. When images had to be provided for newspapers or flyers, an engraving could be made quickly. Engravings were also cheaper and easier to create than early types of photographs.

Example Question #8 : Understanding Terminology That Describes Nineteenth Century 2 D Art

 

732px-gustave_courbet_-_le_d_sesp_r___1843_     

Figure 1 

 

 688px-gustave_courbet_010

 Figure 2

Both of the above images contain __________

Possible Answers:

surrealism.

allegory.

a self-portrait.

fantasy.

Correct answer:

a self-portrait.

Explanation:

Both of these works by Gustave Courbet feature Courbet himself. Above, from early in his career in 1845, is Le desespere (The Desperate Man); below is the 1854 painting La recontre (The Meeting); both of these are non-traditional self-portraits. The Desperate Man portrays the artist as a man who is nearly insane, and is an important development in Courbet's signature realism, which is shown in the everyday scene of Courbet greeting his art dealer in The Meeting.

Example Question #9 : Understanding Terminology That Describes Nineteenth Century 2 D Art

732px-gustave_courbet_-_le_d_sesp_r___1843_

Figure 1

 

 688px-gustave_courbet_010

Figure 2

Figure 2 has elements of the __________

Possible Answers:

urban.

religious.

pastoral.

historic.

Correct answer:

pastoral.

Explanation:

Amid increasing industrialization and urbanization, many intellectuals and artists in the nineteenth century saw an idyllic past open to them in rural life. Deemed "pastoral," images of rural life were prevalent in mid-nineteenth-century painting. Courbet's The Meeting demonstrates a few different aspects of the pastoral, including its setting in a field, the inclusion of a dog in the scene, and the image of the horse drawn carriage going away from the scene.

Example Question #10 : Understanding Terminology That Describes Nineteenth Century 2 D Art

385px-claude_monet_-_rouen_cathedral_-_the_portal__sunlight_

Figure 3

 

 

800px-paul_c_zanne_199

Figure 4

Figure 4 is a __________

Possible Answers:

portrait.

self-portrait.

still life.

pastoral.

Correct answer:

still life.

Explanation:

Paul Cezanne became immensely famous for his still-life paintings, of which Figure 4 is a key example. Still life as a genre of painting goes back to antiquity, but Cezanne's approach was highly individualistic and brand new for his time. Cezanne focused on the geometric shapes of the elements in his paintings and used specific, "just-off," colors to give the paintings an emotional depth.

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