AP Art History : Architecture in global Islamic traditions

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for AP Art History

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Example Questions

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Example Question #201 : Architecture

All of the following are architectural features of a mosque except __________________.

Possible Answers:

minbar

qibla wall

muezzin

minaret

Correct answer:

muezzin

Explanation:

A "minaret" is a tower on a mosque from which a crier, or muezzin, calls the faithful to prayer. A "minbar" is a podium for a reader of the Koran. The "qibla wall," found in the prayer hall, points the believer towards Mecca.

Example Question #1 : 3 D Visual Art

What is the name for the specific type of high tower found on a mosque, particularly a mosque from the Middle Ages?

Possible Answers:

Copula

Minaret

Pyramid

Parapet

Turret

Correct answer:

Minaret

Explanation:

One of the most important features of any mosque, a Muslim place of worship, is the space to broadcast the regular call to prayer. In the Middle Ages particularly, this was achieved through building a thin, tall tower at one corner of the mosque. This high tower was called a "minaret" and was often the tallest building in a medieval Islamic society.

Example Question #1 : Architecture In Global Islamic Traditions

Minarets serve what function in Islamic architecture?

Possible Answers:

They indicate the location of Mecca.

They shield onlookers from the sun.

They are purely decorative.

They call Muslims to pray.

Correct answer:

They call Muslims to pray.

Explanation:

Minarets are tall shafts. Each contains a staircase and a gallery, from which a muezzin calls Muslims to pray five times each day. Daily prayer is an important element of Islamic life.

Example Question #2 : Architecture In Global Islamic Traditions

Which artistic technique or structural component is NOT found in Islamic art?

Possible Answers:

Mosaics

Muqarnas

Wooden strapwork

Architrave

Joggled voussoirs

Correct answer:

Architrave

Explanation:

An architrave is the structure that rests above the tops of columns and is found primarily in Greek and Roman architecture. All the other techniques or components are found in Islamic architecture. Examples include the following:

Joggled voussoirs: Madrasa-Mausoleum-Mosqure of Sultan Hasan, Cairo

Muquarnas: Court of the Lions, Alhambra, Granada

Mosaics: Dome of the Rock, Jerusalem

Wooden strapwork: Kutubiya Minbar, Marrakesh

Example Question #3 : Architecture In Global Islamic Traditions

Many Islamic sculptures, buildings, and other three-dimensional artworks are adorned with detailed __________ due to ideals detailed in the Qur'an. This form of artistic expression is/are one of the most common in the Islamic world.

Possible Answers:

landscapes

mosaic

drawings of family life

floral work

calligraphy

Correct answer:

calligraphy

Explanation:

Calligraphy is the one of the most common artistic expressions due to adherence to Qur'an ideals that prevent idolatry by banning the artistic rendering of figures. Mosaic is characteristic of Islamic architecture, but calligraphy is present in both architecture and sculpture.

Example Question #4 : Architecture In Global Islamic Traditions

The in a mosque oriented towards Mecca is called a _____________.

Possible Answers:

mihrab

minaret

minbar

qibla

Correct answer:

qibla

Explanation:

The qibla is the wall in a mosque oriented toward Mecca that indicates the direction of prayer for the congregation. The minbar is a niche in the qibla wall, often arched like a doorway or passage toward Mecca, while the minbar is a raised, stepped platform from which the imam addresses the congregation. The minaret is a tall, slender tower in a mosque from which the faithful are called to prayer.

Example Question #401 : 3 D Art

File:Hagia Sophia Cathedral.jpg

In the mosque pictured, there are four column-shaped figures surrounding the central dome. These figures are called __________.

Possible Answers:

columns

pagodas

balusters

minarets

obelisks

Correct answer:

minarets

Explanation:

Minarets are the surrounding towers in a mosque. Mosques have anywhere from one to four minarets (sometimes more).

A pagoda is a type of roof and cannot be the answer. Columns and balusters are not common in Islamic architecture, but these two are not usually independent structures.

Though minarets share the shape of an obelisk, they are not as minimalist in design.

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

Example Question #8 : Architecture In Global Islamic Traditions

The __________ was a basilica church that was converted into a mosque in 1453 following the Ottoman invasion of Turkey.

An image of the building is shown below.

File:Hagia Sophia Cathedral.jpg

Possible Answers:

Wazir Khan Mosque

Hagia Sophia

Sistine Chapel

Crystal Mosque

Blue Mosque of Sultan Ahmet

Correct answer:

Hagia Sophia

Explanation:

This is an image of Hagia Sophia in Istanbul, Turkey.

It was first a Greek Basilica church under Constantine and converted to a Mosque when the Turks invaded and occupied Istanbul in 1453.

This is the only answer choice that fits the historical context of being converted to a mosque in this region (Istanbul, Turkey/Greece). Though the Blue Mosque is in Istanbul, it was built after the occupation.

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

Example Question #31 : Architecture Beyond European Artistic Traditions

The spread of Islamic architectural styles that followed the spread of Islam can be seen in ______________.

Possible Answers:

the use of elaborate designs across Europe

the development of ziggurats in Mesopotamia 

the use of pointed arches in buildings found in France

None of the answers are correct

the arabesque designs used to decorate the Alhambra in Spain

Correct answer:

the arabesque designs used to decorate the Alhambra in Spain

Explanation:

The influence of Islamic art and architecture can easily be found in Spain, which had Muslim rulers for over 700 years. Thus, the Alhambra and its arabesques is the best choice. Ziggurats predate Islam, pointed arches can't be traced back just to an Islamic influence, and "elaborate designs" is too vague to be correct. 

Example Question #201 : Architecture

Which of the given movements, with its roots in Egypt, had a strictly decorative aesthetic that provided a pre-cursing framework for the ornamental nature of Islamic Art?

Possible Answers:

Coptic Christian Art

Abassid brickwork

Byzantine Architecture

Gothic Architecture

Correct answer:

Coptic Christian Art

Explanation:

Coptic art emerged out of Egypt as a product of anti-iconic Christian tendencies. During this period, there was much debate in the emerging Christian church as to whether or not iconography would be permissible in Christian art. The Coptic tradition sided against depictions of the divine, laying the framework for the Islamic style which forbids images of the Prophet as blasphemous. This question challenges students to understand how art history, like history itself, is not a simply defined series of movements, but instead the product of cultural assimilation and synthesis, with complicated politics of power and philosophy that evolve styles and root themselves in meaning and belief.

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