AP World History : Literature, Art, and Architecture 1450 to 1750

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for AP World History

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Example Questions

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Example Question #1 : Literature, Art, And Architecture 1450 To 1750

European art and architecture from 1450-1750 __________.

Possible Answers:

rejected the realism and mathematical precision of the Classical era 

saw a renewed interest in Greco-Roman designs and themes 

returned to abstract forms with steel and glass design in architecture

developed the Prairie School style 

embraced Chinese design elements with an aesthetic called "Chinoiserie" 

Correct answer:

saw a renewed interest in Greco-Roman designs and themes 

Explanation:

The use of steel and glass and the Prairie School style were all popular in the twentieth century. Chinoiserie became popular in the late eighteenth century, and the period from 1450-1750 saw a restored interest in Classic or Greco-Roman designs in Europe.

Example Question #1 : Literature, Art, And Architecture 1450 To 1750

Select the country or region within Europe in which the Renaissance first began.

Possible Answers:

Italy 

Spain 

England 

Greece 

France 

Correct answer:

Italy 

Explanation:

Historians have been able to pinpoint Italy as the birthplace of the Renaissance. It is important to note that at this time, Italy did not in fact exist as a nation – instead, the region which the modern world calls “Italy” today was then a collection of city-states, each independent from the others, but with a shared cultural, religious, and ethnic background. It was within these several city-states (including Venice, Milan, Naples, and Florence) in which the Renaissance first began to blossom sometime during the late medieval period, before later embarking on the long process of cultural, economic, and political transmission to the rest of Western Europe.

Example Question #2 : Literature, Art, And Architecture 1450 To 1750

Select the one overarching requirement for any and all patronage of the Renaissance’s cultural arts.

Possible Answers:

None of these

Secular governmental support 

Favorable geographic locale 

Ample wealth

Powerful religious connections 

Correct answer:

Ample wealth

Explanation:

Above all other conditions, ample wealth was primarily and absolutely essential for any and all Renaissance-era patronage of the cultural arts. This wealth could be held in any variety of hands, from secular government officials to papal employees to members of the monarchy and nobility, but it had to be ample enough in quantity to allow for disposable spending. This ultimate condition of great monetary wealth was found, first and foremost, amongst the Italian city-states, all of whom enjoyed bustling economies, as well as the inter-classist competition and favorable governmental policies that made such a system possible. Florence, for example, had a well-established “grandi” or generationally wealthy class, as well as a newly-burgeoning nouveau-riche class, known as the “popolo grosso,” both of whom had a great deal of money to spare and an attendant desire to show off their power. These conditions created the system of patronage, by which wealthy citizens, officials, or other individuals financially sponsored painters, writers, highly skilled craftsman, sculptors, and architects, among others. These artists received the funds necessary to support themselves and their artistic endeavors, while their rich patrons gained bragging rights, high public visibility, and a sense of pride in having helped facilitate the creation of beauty.

Example Question #1 : Literature, Art, And Architecture 1450 To 1750

Which of the following is not one of the key ways in which Renaissance art radically differed from medieval art?

Possible Answers:

Emphasis on the depiction of nature

A preference for mathematical symmetry

The shunning of depictions of human emotions

A preference for depicting realistic scenes

The development of linear perspective

Correct answer:

The shunning of depictions of human emotions

Explanation:

The artwork of the Renaissance, as is especially demonstrated by the works of Michelangelo, Donatello, and Leonardo da Vinci, differs radically in both style and substance from medieval art. Much of the medieval era’s works of art took religious settings or themes as their central focus, so that the vast majority of these artists depicted their subjects in abstract ways, relying on standard styles and techniques that were passed down across the decades. But the Renaissance, with its emphasis on secular knowledge and classical themes, put an end to these sort of rigid religious depictions. Increasingly, Renaissance artists embraced this new cultural freedom and began to experiment with a wide variety of new techniques and subjects; many turned away from religious sources and began to look to the worlds of ancient Greek and Rome for inspiration. While of course it is impossible to codify all Renaissance era artwork according to the same exact set of standards, a great deal of commonality does exist. First and foremost, Renaissance artists developed a preference for realism – they looked to nature and the human form for inspiration, preferring to depict these subjects as realistically as possible, with deep emotions and detail made lovingly evident. Several new artistic techniques also emerged, including the use of mathematical principles by artists in order to ensure symmetry within their works. Connected to this trend was the development of linear perspective, or the depiction of objects within a work of art in differing degrees of size in order to create a realistic sense of distance or closeness to the viewer. Linear perspective allowed artists to render the natural world in much more realistic detail – now, mountains could be shown looming in the distance, while children frolicking in a meadow could be shown, with anatomical exactitude, close to the viewer’s position at the canvas’s foreground. Together, these developments, new focuses, and trends account for the great degree of prominence given to realistic, simplified scenes of nature and the human physical form in most Renaissance artworks.

Example Question #5 : Literature, Art, And Architecture 1450 To 1750

Select the artist who most closely exemplified the ideal “Renaissance man.”

Possible Answers:

Donatello 

Leonardo da Vinci 

Giotto 

Raphael 

Michelangelo 

Correct answer:

Leonardo da Vinci 

Explanation:

The Renaissance is exhilaratingly replete with astoundingly talented artists and breathtaking works of art. These include Giotto, who is today regarded as the father of Renaissance painting, and the sculptor Donatello, both of whom found ample inspiration in the many intricacies of nature. The painter Raphael is perhaps best known for his fresco “The School of Athens,” which depicts a bustling scene in ancient Greece, full of famous scholars, orators, and philosophers whom the humanists of the Renaissance (himself included) idolized. Michelangelo was an artist of exceptional talent – he excelled at both painting and sculpting and is equally famous for his massive, classically-heroic statue of the biblical hero David and his awe-inspiring frescoes that adorn the ceiling of the Vatican’s Sistine Chapel. But out of all these prodigies, one stands apart as the best exemplar of the ideals of the so-called “Renaissance man”: Leonardo da Vinci. Da Vinci was an extremely versatile talent, with the wide array of skills and accomplishments and the prodigious intellect that make up the notion of the truly universally accomplished man of the Renaissance era. Da Vinci’s Mona Lisa is perhaps the best known painting in the entire world and his many codices of artworks, architectural ideas, and technological designs are a staggering array of visionary scientific talent. Da Vinci was also a devoted student of human anatomy, conducting numerous autopsies in secret so as to better understand the intricacies of the human form (as his Vitruvian man clearly shows). His mighty intellect made him a valuable mathematical and scientific consultant to several Italian princes and even King Frances I of France.

Example Question #6 : Literature, Art, And Architecture 1450 To 1750

Select the primary purpose of French King Louis XIV’s impossibly ornate Palace of Versailles.

Possible Answers:

To provide a unifying place of worship for France’s national religion

To allow the King to control the aristocratic class

To symbolize the superiority of French architecture and design

To intimidate foreign leaders by a show of France’s wealth

Correct answer:

To allow the King to control the aristocratic class

Explanation:

As an absolute monarch, King Louis XIV of France understood that he needed to establish and maintain total control over his nation and his people. The French lower classes had been downtrodden, disenfranchised, and overlooked for centuries and so the King did not see any reason to fear these citizens. In fact, as the “Fronde” revolts had demonstrated, it was the aristocratic class which posed the greatest threat to Louis’s reign. The King correctly recognized that if he wanted to be able to rule France however he pleased, he would first need to make sure that the nobles wouldn’t have the chance or desire to interfere. Consequently, Louis decided to order the construction of an impossibly expensive and mind-bendingly ornate royal residence – the Palace of Versailles – to serve as a physical symbol and reminder of his immense wealth and power. Louis required all members of the noble class to either live permanently or regularly visit Versailles, with mandatory rent payments attached. This policy ensured that Louis would have a steady stream of extra income, while also weakening the economic power of the nobles themselves. By forcing the nobility to live under his roof, Louis was able to enforce his own rules; nobles had to follow the King’s schedule and personally seek to cultivate his favor, all while making sure to avoid any hint of dissent or anger (which would of course not go unnoticed within the King’s own residence). The immense size and grand furnishings of Versailles also sent a strong message to any aristocrats who might have wanted to challenge the King – after all, any ruler who could afford the construction and upkeep of a gold-encrusted, jewel-embedded, glittering mansion could definitely afford to put down any conflict or get rid of any contender. The Palace of Versailles was a blatant physical symbol of the immense political power that Louis wielded. Louis XIV, who’s grand Palace earned him the nickname “the Sun King”, was France’s absolute ruler and the nobles all knew it.

Example Question #2 : Literature, Art, And Architecture 1450 To 1750

While Tibetan art had always been heavily influenced by India, beginning in the 15th century, Tibetan art became more influenced by China; a direct result and reflection of _______________.

Possible Answers:

a Chinese social class that dominated Tibet politically

the Tibetan population substituting Chinese for their own language

the disappearance of Buddhism in India and its continued strength in both China and Tibet

the insular direction of Indian politics after its unification in the 15th century

a Tibetan social class that dominated China politically

Correct answer:

the disappearance of Buddhism in India and its continued strength in both China and Tibet

Explanation:

With the establishment of the Muslim Mughal Empire, Buddhism waned as the religion of the Indian subcontinent; although it remained in small communities in India, and very important in places as diverse as Nepal (north of India) and Sri Lanka (south of India.)

With the establishment of the Mughal Empire over much of India in the 16th century, politics became much less insular; in fact this placed India on the world stage much more than previous generations in which India was oftentimes a collection of small kingdoms feuding amongst themselves.

China has never been dominated by its Tibetan community.

China had strong historical ties with Tibet, but did not dominate it politically until the 20th century.

While communities in Tibet have always had members who spoke various Chinese languages fluently, Chinese was a language of international trade and politics, never the language of the home (except by the Chinese diaspora community living in Tibet.)

Example Question #8 : Literature, Art, And Architecture 1450 To 1750

Which of these enlightenment thinkers is incorrectly paired with their seminal text?

Possible Answers:

John Locke; Two Treatises of Government.

Thomas Hobbes; Leviathan.

Diderot; Candide.

Jean-Jacques Rousseau; The Social Contract.

Adam Smith; The Wealth of Nations.

Correct answer:

Diderot; Candide.

Explanation:

All of these enlightenment thinkers are collectively paired with their seminal text except Diderot. Diderot is most famous for his contributions to Encyclopedie, which was a lengthy text designed to make the revelations of the enlightenment available to a wider audience. Candide is the most famous work of the philosopher and social critic Voltaire. Candide is a satirical attack on many of the institutions of Voltaire’s day, including the Catholic Church and most European governments.

 

 

Example Question #9 : Literature, Art, And Architecture 1450 To 1750

What famous artist painted the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel in the Vatican? 

Possible Answers:

Michelangelo 

Raphael 

Claude Monet 

Leonardo Da Vinci

Donatello 

Correct answer:

Michelangelo 

Explanation:

Michelanglo, who was given patron by Pope Julius II, was contracted to paint the now famous ceiling of the Sistine Chapel between 1508 and 1512. 

Example Question #3 : Literature, Art, And Architecture 1450 To 1750

Who was the intended recipient of Niccolo Machiavelli's political treatise The Prince?

Possible Answers:

Lorenzo de' Medici, ruler of Florence

Henry VIII, king of England

Francis I, king of France

Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor

Francesco Sforza, duke of Milan

Correct answer:

Lorenzo de' Medici, ruler of Florence

Explanation:

All of these rulers were Machiavelli's contemporaries, but Lorenzo de' Medici is the only one who is specifically mentioned in book's dedication. However, Francesco Sforza is referenced several times throughout the piece.

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