AP Art History : Answering other questions about 2D art of the Americas

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for AP Art History

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Example Questions

Example Question #7 : 2 D Art Beyond European Artistic Traditions

Ancient Mayan murals were most commonly created as __________.

Possible Answers:

tempera paintings

plaster frescoes

glass mosaics

elaborate woodcarvings

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 #8 : 2 D Art Beyond European Artistic Traditions

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

a system of writing

None of the other answers is correct.

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 #9 : 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 . . . indigenous

European . . . indigenous

European . . . European

European . . . Spanish

indigenous . . . European

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 #10 : 2 D Art Beyond European Artistic Traditions

Why did Mexican artworks preserve outdated European artistic trends?

Possible Answers:

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

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

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

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.

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

The ______________ was a system of racial classification and hierarchy used by the Spanish elites of New Spain during the 17th and 18th centuries. This system inspired a series of artwork to be used as a reference, due to its complexity.

Possible Answers:

Criollo

Auto-de-fes

Casta

Mestizaje

Inquisition

Correct answer:

Casta

Explanation:

The Casta was a system of racial hierarchy used in New Spain and also in the Philippines during and after the Inquisition, based on perceived blood purity. It was determined by birth. Those with darker features had fewer opportunities, as did their children after them.

Example Question #12 : 2 D Art Beyond European Artistic Traditions

Mestizo._Mestiza._Mestiza.jpg

This painting is from the late 18th century in the Spanish colonies of the Americas. Its purpose is ________________________.

Possible Answers:

to explain to the illiterate the extra taxes that would be levied on any mixed race couple

to illustrate the result of a certain racial mix under the Casta system of racial hierarchy

to discourage racial mixing in the Spanish colonies of the Americas

to promote racial mixing in the colonies as a way to unite the two cultures

None of these

Correct answer:

to illustrate the result of a certain racial mix under the Casta system of racial hierarchy

Explanation:

The Casta system of the Spanish colonies of the Americas neither encouraged nor discouraged the mixing of races, it was simply a hierarchy of races, in which white Europeans had more opportunities and rights than their dark-skinned, indigenous counterparts. This system was the subject of much colonial artwork, as many artists were commissioned to illustrate the different races and the classification of their offspring. The title of the painting, De español y mulata, morisca, translates to English as, "From Spanish and mulatto, comes morisco." This means that the child of pure Spanish blood and mulatto blood (mixed race), would be classified as a morisco.

Image from Wikipedia Media Commons: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Mestizo._Mestiza._Mestiza.jpg

Example Question #13 : 2 D Art Beyond European Artistic Traditions

What was one of the purposes of hide paintings produced by Native Americans, such as Cotsiogo or Cadzi Cody?

Possible Answers:

To be given away as honored gifts

None of these

To record history

To be used as blankets

To be used as money in transactions of services

Correct answer:

To record history

Explanation:

Hide paintings and oral stories were used by indigenous Native Americans to record their history, as they did not have access to the printing press until after the arrival of European invaders.

Example Question #14 : 2 D Art Beyond European Artistic Traditions

What myth does The Coyolxauhqui Stone explain?

Possible Answers:

The death of Coyolxauhqui, Huitzilopochtli's sister

The attempted murder of Coatlicue by her children

All of these

The birth of Huitzilopochtli, a Mexica patron deity

None of these

Correct answer:

All of these

Explanation:

The answer is all of the above. The stone tells the story of Coyolxauhqui and her brothers attempting to kill their mother, Coatlicue, when they find out she is pregnant. Instead, Huitzilopochtli (the child she was pregnant with) emerges from Coatlicue's womb fully grown and defeats Coyolxauhqui. The stone depicts the exact moment Coyolxauhqui's body is broken after her beheaded body is thrown down the mountain.

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