AP Art History : 2D Art Beyond European Artistic Traditions

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for AP Art History

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Example Questions

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Example Question #1 : 2 D Art Of The Americas

The Mexican Mural Movement utilized all of the following themes EXCEPT __________.

Possible Answers:

socialist politics

indigenous Mexican culture

celebration of agricultural life

the glorification of the state

Correct answer:

the glorification of the state

Explanation:

The Mexican Mural Movement was Mexican painting movement that developed from the 1920s to the 1950s. Its most well-known painters were Diego Rivera, José Clemente Orozco, and David Alfaro Siqueiros. Each of these men were heavily influenced by Marxism and a sense of Mexican nationalism, which made them want to paint historical, indigenous, and agricultural scenes. Most of the muralists were often skirting trouble with the changing governments in Mexico, finding their support fluctuating throughout their careers.

Example Question #1 : 2 D Art Beyond European Artistic Traditions

Which religious apparition, recognized almost exclusively by the Spanish colonies of the Americas and not by the Europeans themselves, was and still is an unceasing source of artistic inspiration for the area that is known today as Mexico and Latin America?

Possible Answers:

San Juan Diego

Sor Juana Inéz de la Cruz

Mother Theresa

Jesus of Nazareth

The Virgin of Guadalupe

Correct answer:

The Virgin of Guadalupe

Explanation:

Official Catholic record states that San Juan Diego, then just a peasant, witnessed an apparition of the Virgin Mary four times at the Hill of Tepeyac, now a suburb of Mexico City.  It is said that the apparition of the Virgin Mary spoke to him in his native tongue of Nahuatl, asking for a church to be built there in her honor. Now the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe is the most visited Catholic pilgrimage site in the world, and the world's third most-visited sacred site.

Example Question #1 : 2 D Art Beyond European Artistic Traditions

Diego Rivera is one of the most well-known Mexican artists. His expansive wall paintings in fresco are a popular example of which genre of paintings, popularized in the 1920s as a social and political movement?

Possible Answers:

Cubism

None of the other answers is correct.

Rococo

Neoclassicism

Mexican Muralism

Correct answer:

Mexican Muralism

Explanation:

Diego Rivera is a very well-known Mexican artist. One of his many artistic accomplishments was to help launch Mexican muralism in the 1920s. Although Mexico has a long history of mural art, Mexican muralism gained traction as a globally popular art form thanks to the contributions of Rivera and other artists, such as José Clemente Orozco and David Alfaro Siqueiros, as they used the form as a political and social tool. In the USA, Mexican muralism served as inspiration for the Chicano art movement.

Example Question #1 : 2 D Art Beyond European Artistic Traditions

The Mexican Mural Movement utilized all of the following themes EXCEPT __________.

Possible Answers:

indigenous Mexican culture

celebration of agricultural life

the glorification of the state

socialist politics

Correct answer:

the glorification of the state

Explanation:

The Mexican Mural Movement was Mexican painting movement that developed from the 1920s to the 1950s. Its most well-known painters were Diego Rivera, José Clemente Orozco, and David Alfaro Siqueiros. Each of these men were heavily influenced by Marxism and a sense of Mexican nationalism, which made them want to paint historical, indigenous, and agricultural scenes. Most of the muralists were often skirting trouble with the changing governments in Mexico, finding their support fluctuating throughout their careers.

Example Question #2 : 2 D Art Beyond European Artistic Traditions

The last colonial-era art institution in Mexico, the Academy of San Carlos, was established in 1783 by the Spanish Crown __________.

Possible Answers:

to distract its colonial citizens from the growing unrest within its colonies

to regain control of the artistic expression of its colonies in the Americas

to gentrify its colonial citizens who had begun to fall back into indigenous Aztec traditions

to train artists from its colonies in the Americas for future employment in Spain

to further encourage the artistic and culture independence of its colonies in the Americas

Correct answer:

to regain control of the artistic expression of its colonies in the Americas

Explanation:

The Academy of San Carlos was established by the Spanish crown and staffed with an all-Spanish cast of instructors in order to better control the artistic expression of the colonials, and the messages they were potentially spreading to one another about ideas that the Spanish Crown considered "dangerous." After all, the Spanish colonies of the Americas were growing increasingly culturally independent.

Example Question #2 : 2 D Art Beyond European Artistic Traditions

The first known artists of New Spain were ____________________.

Possible Answers:

young, indigenous painters eager to learn how to create Spanish art

Protestants who were eager to convert the indigenous population

None of these answers

Spanish painters who had relocated to New Spain to continue their careers

Catholic priests

Correct answer:

Spanish painters who had relocated to New Spain to continue their careers

Explanation:

Although there were paintings done by indigenous artists in New Spain, the artists are unknown. Therefore, the first known artists are those who relocated to New Spain as adults, during their artistic careers. Some of these painters were religious figureheads, but they were Catholic, not Protestant.

Example Question #3 : 2 D Art Beyond European Artistic Traditions

Ancient Mayan murals were most commonly created as __________.

Possible Answers:

elaborate woodcarvings

glass mosaics

plaster frescoes

tempera paintings

Correct answer:

plaster frescoes

Explanation:

Only a handful of ancient Mayan murals survive to the present day, but they all are massive plaster frescos usually found in archaeological sites. The giant murals at Bonakmal depict the court life of an ancient Mayan king in great detail. The paintings were done quite quickly, as they had to be completed before the plaster dried.

Example Question #1 : Answering Other Questions About 2 D Art Of The Americas

Pre-Columbian art was often a cultural expression of world views, religion, philosophy, and the sciences, because many Pre-Columbian civilizations did not have __________.

Possible Answers:

verbal communication

a strong leader

a patriarchal society

None of the other answers is correct.

a system of writing

Correct answer:

a system of writing

Explanation:

Pre-Columbian societies often did not have a system of writing, so for much of their histories, the visual arts was their primary source of communication and record keeping, along with word-of-mouth record-keeping and day-to-day verbal conversation.

Example Question #1 : 2 D Art Beyond European Artistic Traditions

The majority of early Mexican colonial art was __________________ in style, employing little dynamism and movement, and muted colors; however, the addition of small details like corn, cacao, and other characteristics of life in the Americas gave these works of art a distinct _____________________ feel.

Possible Answers:

indigenous . . . European

indigenous . . . indigenous

European . . . indigenous

European . . . European

European . . . Spanish

Correct answer:

European . . . indigenous

Explanation:

The early art of the colonial Americas (namely Mexico) was derived from the European artistic principles that the Spanish brought with them to New Spain (what is now Mexico). When the native settlers of New Spain began to paint using such European principles, they also added details that they could relate to, such as crops native to the Americas, or imagery from the folklore of their culture. These additions gave their paintings a unique indigenous appearance.

Example Question #4 : 2 D Art Of The Americas

Why did Mexican artworks preserve outdated European artistic trends?

Possible Answers:

Mexicans were forced by Spain to paint using older European techniques and trends, so that they would not catch up to European sophistication and intellect

None of these

Mexican artists were trained using important engravings of European works

Mexican artists preferred older methods of European art, as those trends were more appealing to indigenous culture

Mexican artists were more inspired by the religious works of European history, given their newfound Catholicism

Correct answer:

Mexican artists were trained using important engravings of European works

Explanation:

Mexican painters were trained using imported European copies and engravings of popular paintings and other works. Therefore, by the time they mastered the techniques they were studying from the engravings and copies, the trends featured had already gone out of style.

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