CLEP Humanities : Visual Arts

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for CLEP Humanities

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Example Questions

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Example Question #2 : Answering Other Questions About Near Eastern Architecture

The ancient Egyptian pyramids were built for what purpose?

Possible Answers:

Forts

Temples

Palaces

Tombs

Warehouses

Correct answer:

Tombs

Explanation:

The Great Pyramids at Giza were the largest structures in the world for almost two thousand years from their construction in roughly 2500 BCE. Remarkably, the pyramids were built for a singular, one-time purpose as the tombs of Pharaohs and their families. The Pyramids were built away from other settlements, and were intended as massive monuments to the Pharaohs' power.

Example Question #1 : Architecture

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

Possible Answers:

Parapet

Copula

Turret

Minaret

Pyramid

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 #2 : 3 D Visual Art

What is the key feature of Russian church architecture?

Possible Answers:

Flèche

Onion domes

Pyramids

Flying buttresses

Diamond vaults

Correct answer:

Onion domes

Explanation:

An onion dome is a dome on top of a drum which is bulbous and larger than the structure it sits on, and comes to a point with a cross on it. Onion domes are the chief feature in Russian church architecture, adorning cathedrals in Russian Orthodox cultures. Onion domes are featured prominently in St. Basil's Cathedral in Moscow and are a symbol of Russian culture.

Example Question #81 : Architecture

Flying buttresses were a common feature of church architecture in which style?

Possible Answers:

Neoclassical

Gothic

Greco-Roman

Art Nouveau

Modern

Correct answer:

Gothic

Explanation:

Flying buttresses are ornate supports that stick outside the walls of Gothic church architecture, particularly cathedrals. Buttresses were necessary to keep the new, massive stone cathedrals of the middle ages standing. While they were originally functional, church builders made them reflect and enhance the design of their buildings.

Example Question #1 : Visual Arts

In an arch, the central piece of masonry that allows all the pressure to be placed throughout the arch is called __________.

Possible Answers:

the beam

the buttress

the keystone

the transverse

the lintel

Correct answer:

the keystone

Explanation:

An arch is able to remain in its appropriate position because of the way that pressure is placed throughout the entire arch. Pressure can only be appropriately distributed because of the placement of the keystone. The keystone is the central stone in an arch, which is shaped in order to push the weight down through every piece of stone.

Example Question #1 : Understanding Terminology That Describes Gothic Architecture

A statue of a small grotesque figure that adorns a gothic building is called __________.

Possible Answers:

a gargoyle

a keystone

a redoubt

a turret

a buttress

Correct answer:

a gargoyle

Explanation:

Gothic architecture, particularly in the building of churches and cathedrals, featured a number of ornate features. One of the most peculiar was the use of gargoyles, small stone figures of grotesque characters that were placed on the sides of buildings. These figures would often be placed between sculptures of saints and kings, and were viewed as protective features. Some gargoyles also functioned as drainage pipes (through holes in their mouths).

Example Question #1 : Understanding Terminology That Describes Architecture

The three orders of classical Greek architecture that are still found in architecture today are ________________.

Possible Answers:

Doric, Ionic, Corinthian

Monumental, Doric, Ionic

Ionic, Doric, Composite

Corinthian, Athenian, Tuscan

Ionic, Doric, Tuscan

Correct answer:

Doric, Ionic, Corinthian

Explanation:

Tuscan is a Roman architectural order and Composite is a Roman combination of orders. Athenian and Monumental are not architectural orders, though they may be used to describe architecture. The three orders are Doric, Ionic, and Corinthian.

Example Question #1 : Answering Other Questions About Early Modern Architecture

Who was the Renaissance architect whose guidebook and personal neoclassical style was widely influential during the Enlightenment?

Possible Answers:

Inigo Jones

Andrea Palladio

Christopher Wren

Leonardo da Vinci

William de Keyser

Correct answer:

Andrea Palladio

Explanation:

The Italian architect Andrea Palladio was well known for his own buildings in his native Venice, but gained greater fame for the work of architectural theory he composed in 1570, The Four Books of Architecture. Drawing on Greek and Roman influences, Palladio called for symmetry, domes, columns, and grand spaces. Each of these elements would become hallmarks of neoclassical architecture during the eighteenth century.

Example Question #2 : Answering Other Questions About Early Modern Architecture

Originally meant as a derogatory description, which post-Renaissance movement was characterized by ornate decoration, as seen in the palace of Versailles and in the works of Caravaggio, in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries?

Possible Answers:

Mannerism

Impressionism

Pre-modern

Baroque

Gothic

Correct answer:

Baroque

Explanation:

Mannerism was mainly in the sixteenth century, and was not as strong in movement or emotion. Impressionism was a nineteenth century movement focusing on small brush strokes and an emphasis on openness and light in the overall composition. Gothic art is a Medieval art style, which came before the Renaissance. Pre-modern is not an art style. Baroque style is typically used to describe Versailles and Caravaggio.

Example Question #1 : Answering Other Questions About Modern Architecture

The modern architectural masterpiece Fallingwater, a residence in rural Pennsylvania, was designed by which architect?

Possible Answers:

I.M. Pei

Frank Lloyd Wright

Frank Gehry

Mies van der Rohe

Philip Johnson

Correct answer:

Frank Lloyd Wright

Explanation:

Fallingwater is generally considered Frank Lloyd Wright's masterpiece, as the residence was constructed above and incorporated a waterfall. The residence, built in 1939, blended the interior and exterior of the building into Wright's perfect distillation of his "organic" philosophy of architecture. The property remained a residence for many years, but became a protected site in the mid-1960s.

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