AP Art History : Answering other questions about Asian sculpture

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for AP Art History

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Example Questions

Example Question #1 : Asian Sculpture

In Buddhist statuary, the lotus position depicts the Buddha __________.

Possible Answers:

standing on one leg

sitting cross-legged

blessing followers

praying with a bowed head

Correct answer:

sitting cross-legged

Explanation:

Buddhism spread across Asia from the beginning of the first century CE to 500 CE; this resulted in the creation of a vast array of Buddhist art in a variety of countries. This art still had some unified themes, particularly in depictions of the Buddha, which could demonstrate important points to new believers. This includes the Buddha sitting in the lotus position, a cross-legged pose that is the chief position for Buddhist meditation and contemplative practices.

Example Question #1 : Answering Other Questions About Asian Sculpture

In Hindu sculpture, a vahana refers to a deity's __________.

Possible Answers:

theological attributes

animal mount

clothing

spouse

Correct answer:

animal mount

Explanation:

In Hindu mythology, every deity has a vahana, or animal mount. This has a number of purposes, ranging from highlighting certain attributes of a deity to creating different kinds of symbology from a plain depiction of the deity. Notable vahanas include Vishnu's eagle, Ganesha's mouse, and Laksmi's elephant.

Example Question #171 : Sculpture

 Screen shot 2016 02 02 at 1.34.49 pm

The physical layout of site encourages which of the following?

Possible Answers:

Corporate worship

Circumambulation

Prostration

Bhakti

Axial progression

Correct answer:

Circumambulation

Explanation:

The circular plan of the stupa encourages adherents to walk around the sacred object in the middle, a movement otherwise known as circumambulation.

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 #1 : Answering Other Questions About Asian Sculpture

 Screen shot 2016 02 02 at 1.34.49 pm

This image shows which of the following?

Possible Answers:

A covered bathing complex

An imperial pleasure palace

A monastery that houses monks

A funerary monument honoring the emperor

A religious structure that protects relics

Correct answer:

A religious structure that protects relics

Explanation:

Commissioned by the emperor Ashoka during the 3rd century BCE, the Great Stupa at Sanchi was constructed to house the relics of the Buddha and is the oldest known stone structure in India. 

 

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 #12 : Asian Sculpture

A stupa is meant to represent __________________.

Possible Answers:

Fertility

Buddha's entire body

Nataraja

King Ashoka

None of these

Correct answer:

Buddha's entire body

Explanation:

Stupas were built to represent Buddha's body. The top of the stupa was his head, the middle was his body, and the bottom was his crossed legs.

Example Question #13 : Asian Sculpture

What do Buddhist practitioners do at a stupa?

Possible Answers:

None of these

Perform cleansing rituals in front of the stupa

Circumambulate the stupa while focusing on the teachings of Buddha 

Sit in front of the stupa and meditate

Sit inside the stupa and meditate on the teachings of Buddha

Correct answer:

Circumambulate the stupa while focusing on the teachings of Buddha 

Explanation:

The stupa is a solid object. Therefore it cannot be entered. Practitioners were meant to walk around the stupa, which is also known as circumambulation. This was meant to be a meditative walk that could allow the practitioner to think about the teachings of Buddha.

Example Question #14 : Asian Sculpture

For what were The David Vases made?

Possible Answers:

A Buddhist Temple

None of these

An English nobleman

A Yuan Dynasty Emperor

A Doaist temple

Correct answer:

A Doaist temple

Explanation:

The David Vases were made for a Doaist temple alter. One of the most important parts of the vases are a dated inscription. 

Example Question #15 : Asian Sculpture

256px-Shiva_as_the_Lord_of_Dance_LACMA_edit.jpg

The work shown here was created with the intention of __________________.

Possible Answers:

challenging the conventional culture

honoring an important ruler

being utilized in religious ceremonies

illustrating a story from history

Correct answer:

being utilized in religious ceremonies

Explanation:

This statue of Shiva was created under the Chola dynasty of southern India in the 10th century, a time and place in which the worship of Shiva was preeminent. Such a statue would have been used in religious ceremonies, particularly as the beliefs of the time held such gods as fully present in believers’ like not dissimilar from the ceremonial role of a monarch.

Image is in the public domain accessed through Wikipedia Media Commons: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Shiva_as_the_Lord_of_Dance_LACMA_edit.jpg

Example Question #1 : Answering Other Questions About Asian Sculpture


Sanchi  stupa 1  western gateway  9839922393

Image by Arian Zwegers from Brussels, Belgium (Sanchi, Stupa 1, western gateway) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons. <https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/e/e3/Sanchi%2C_Stupa_1%2C_western_gateway_%289839922393%29.jpg>.

The Great Stupa at Sanchi is _________________.

Possible Answers:

a funerary monument honoring the emperor

an imperial pleasure palace

a covered bathing complex

a religious structure that protects relics

a monastery that houses monks

Correct answer:

a religious structure that protects relics

Explanation:

Commissioned by the emperor Ashoka during the 3rd century BCE, the Great Stupa at Sanchi was constructed to house the relics of the Buddha and is the oldest known stone structure in India.

Image by Arian Zwegers from Brussels, Belgium (Sanchi, Stupa 1, western gateway) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons. <https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/e/e3/Sanchi%2C_Stupa_1%2C_western_gateway_%289839922393%29.jpg>.

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