AP Art History : Analyzing Asian sculpture

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for AP Art History

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Example Questions

Example Question #1 : Analyzing Asian Sculpture

Which is NOT true of the Shiva Nataraja bronze sculptures from the Chola Dynasty?

Possible Answers:

Shiva is depicted symmetrically.

Shiva stomps on apasmara (symbol of illusion).

Shiva has four arms and two legs.

Shiva makes the "fear not" mudra.

Shiva is surrounded by a ring of fire.

Correct answer:

Shiva is depicted symmetrically.

Explanation:

Shiva is depicted asymmetrically. Three hands gesture to his right while one hand gestures to his left. In addition, his left leg is raised to his right while his other leg is rooted firmly to the ground. Shiva's front left hand, which points to his raised left foot, signifies refuge for the troubled soul.

Example Question #2 : Asian Sculpture

 Screen shot 2016 02 02 at 1.34.49 pm

The structure is made out of which of the following materials?

Possible Answers:

Diorite

Sandstone

Marble

Schist

Clay

Correct answer:

Sandstone

Explanation:

Sandstone was one of the most easily obtainable building materials in the region and was often employed in works commissioned by Ashoka.

Image: Great Stupa at Sanchi commissioned by Emperor Ashoka, c. 300 BCE–100 CE. From https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sanchi#/media/File:Sanchi_Stupa_from_Eastern_gate,_Madhya_Pradesh.jpg.

Example Question #3 : Asian Sculpture

Which other architectural element does The Gates bear resemblance to?

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Possible Answers:

Muqarnas in Islamic architecture

Japanese Torii gates

Art deco architectural style

Ionic columns

The Great Wall of China

Correct answer:

Japanese Torii gates

Explanation:

The Gates bears a strong resemblance to Japanese Torii gates. They are often found at the entrance to Shinto shrines, and traditionally Japanese businessmen would buy them to pay tribute to the god Inari (the god of prosperity).

Fushimiinaritorii

Image accessed through Wikipedia Media Commons: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Gates#/media/File:FushimiInariTorii.jpg

 

Image accessed through Wikipedia Media Commons: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Gates#/media/File:Gates_a.jpg

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