AP Art History Final Exam Review

Prehistoric , c.13,000 BCE

Altamira, Chauvet, and Lascaux are sites where cave paintings were discovered

Venus of Willendorf

· Paleolithic statue of a female figure

· Sculpture in the round

· May represent fertility


· Neolithic, post and lintel, solar calendar? Some astronomical significance

Ancient Near East , 2500 BCE

Cuneiform, lamassu, relief sculptures, theocratic socialism


Votive figures of Sumer

Standard of Ur

Stele of Hammurabi, Babylonian law code

Assyrian relief sculpture

· Lion hunts, royalty

Ancient Egypt , 2500 BCE


Step Pyramid

· Step Pyramid of Djoser – created by history’s first recorded architect - Imhotep

Great Pyramids @ Giza, necropolis

Ti Watching a Hippopotamus Hunt

· Old Kingdom

· Discovered in a tomb

· Entertained his ka

· Shows his status (hierarchical scale), canon of proportions

Seated Khafre

Diorite, ka, eternity, symmetry, Horus, papyrus+lotus, canon of proportions

New Kingdom, Rock cut tombs and Mortuary Temple of Hatshepsut, Books of the Dead


· New Kingdom pharaoh

· Major impact on Egyptian culture (changed Egyptian religion to worshipping only one god)

· Moved capital to a site known as Tell-el-Amarna today

· Art style changed to show figures with elongated necks and heads, potbellies, and wide hips

· Short impact – after his death, Egyptian culture returned back to polytheism and traditional Egyptian figural depictions returned

Pylon Temples

· Pylon – monumental entrance into the temple, e.g. Temple of Amen Re

· Contained a hypostyle hall

· Longitudinal axis

Aegean (islands and civilizations of the Aegean Sea off the coast of Greece)—Pre Hellenic

Cycladic= small, abstract marble figures

Minoan= nature forms, Snake Goddess, Queen’s Megaron (reception hall), Bull Leaping Fresco


Lion’s Gate

· Entrance to citadel of Mycenae

· Used corbelled construction

Beehive Tombs

· Treasury of Atreus, Mycenae

Funerary mask, repoussé gold

Ancient Greece

Phases of Greek art

· Geometric, Oriental, Archaic, Classical, 3rd Century BCE, Hellenistic


Small figures, Dipylon Krater, registers, cemetery krater, deceased, chariots, abstract, 2D


· Used kouros statues to mark graves of young men

· Kouros statues show influence of Egyptian art – figures are upright, have a rigid stance, and one foot striding forward

· Greek kouros is NUDE – difference from Egyptian, liberated

· Kore – statue of a draped female figure, young maiden

Archaic vase painting

· Major Greek industry and form of art – only surviving Greek painting can be seen on vases

· Black figure

· Red figure


· Heroic, idealized, restrained, refined

Spear Bearer, 450 BCE

· Heroic warrior/athlete stands in contrapposto

· Perfect balance, chiastic, mathematical ratios

· Idealized, nude, male body

Athenian Acropolis

· Fortified hilltop in Athens that contained the holy structures of Athens

· Parthenon was the most important temple, dedicated to Athena Parthenos (Athena the Virgin); Parthenon is a Doric temple with numerous optical refinements

o Mathematical ratios used, intellectual + academic perfection

o Has an Ionic interior frieze

· Other buildings include the Propylaia (gatehouse), Erectheion, Temple of Athena Nike (Athena the Victorious)

Hellenistic – Greek art after the death of Alexander the Great

Winged Victory of Samothrace, 190 BCE

· Dramatic statue of Nike, goddess of victory, landing on the prow of a ship

· Lots of foreign influences results in more diverse art

Greek architectural orders, chronologically= Doric, Ionic, Corinthian

Ancient Rome


· Predecessors to the Romans in central Italy

· Had a thriving civilization that traded with ancient Greece (collected Archaic vases)

· Reclining Couple S arcophagus – shows a husband and wife reclining; demonstrates the elevated status women enjoyed in the Etruscan civilization; made out of terracotta (clay)

Republican Roman portrait busts, verism

· Before the Caesars became the rulers of the Roman Empire

· Aristocratic Roman families kept portrait busts of deceased loved ones

· Portrait busts were a record of their lineage and were brought out during funeral processions

· Made from marble, show gravitas (seriousness) and are veristic (very truthful) in appearance – unidealized realism


Dedicated to all planetary gods

Concrete dome, 144’ dia, 144 h.

Coffered interior of dome

Alexander Mosaic aka Battle of Issus

· Depicts climactic moment in famous battle in which Alexander the Great defeated King Darius III of Persia

· Based on a well known Hellenistic painting that no longer exists but was written about by Roman historians

Arch of Titus

· Dedicated to Emperor Titus, who led the conquest of Jerusalem in 70 CE

· Relief on the inside of the arch shows the Roman soldiers plundering Jerusalem (one soldier carries a menorah)

· Example of historical narrative – Romans recorded their achievements


Oval stadium used for entertainment+propaganda

Barrel vaulting, groin vaulting based on arches

Arches used for 72 entrances

Exterior orders begin with Doric on ground floor

Roman Painting

Four Styles

2nd Style included illusionism as in Gardenscape or Still Life With Peaches

Late Roman Empire

· Rome began to decline in power

· Christianity became a major religion in the Roman Empire

Early Christian Period

Old Saint Peter’s Basilica, based on Roman civic basilica

· Built during the reign of Constantine – one of the last Roman emperors and first emperor to accept and legalize Christianity

· Located in Rome

· A basilica – a long rectangular building; basilicas became the main form for churches in Western Europe

· Basilicas had a central nave, wooden roof, and clerestory windows, longitudinal axis

Sarcophagus of Junius Bassus

· Coffin of Junius Bassus, prefect (mayor) of Rome ca. 350 CE

· Junius Bassus became a Christian and wanted his sarcophagus to reflect his new religious beliefs

· Niches on the side of sarcophagus show figures from the Bible

· Contains Christian figures but still has some Roman features

Early Christian art often shows Christ as the Good Shepherd , e.g. Mausoleum of Galla Placidia, 425 CE

Byzantine Art

When Constantine came to power he moved the capital of the Roman Empire from Rome to Byzantium, which he renamed Constantinople

· Rome was conquered by the barbarians

· Constantinople still stood

· Byzantine Empire viewed itself as what was left of the eastern part of Roman Empire

· Christianity was the dominant religion

Byzantine churches

· Often central plan (circular or square) with a dome in the ceiling

· Hagia Sophia – dome supported by PENDENTIVES – concave, triangular stone supports that transfer the weight from dome to the corner piers, helped create light inside the church

Byzantine mosaics

· Found in Byzantine churches, e. g. Justinian and Theodora and Attendants in apse at San Vitale

· Teach about Christianity, show biblical figures

· Flat, floating, and frontal with golden backgrounds, tesserae shimmering

Icons and iconoclasm

· Small wooden panels with images of holy figures

· Iconoclasm = period during which icons were being destroyed

Islamic Art

· Focused on Islamic religion, worshipping Allah

· No images of people or animals allowed in Islamic holy structures; therefore, there are no narrative works of art in mosques

· Allah represented by arabesques and intricate geometric patterns

· Parts of a mosque include: a hypostyle hall (used for communal prayer), qibla (wall that shows the direction of Mecca), and minaret (a tower from which people are called to prayer 5 times/day)

· Hypostyle mosque= Great Mosque at Kairouan

· Central plan mosque= Mosque of Selim II by Senin in Edrine, Turkey

Early Medieval Art

Western Europe after the fall of the Roman Empire but before the Romanesque period (1000 CE0

Art of the Warrior Lords aka Animal Style

· Christianity had not really spread through Europe yet

Sutton-Hoo purse cover

· Purse cover was discovered at the Sutton-Hoo ship burial in England

· Made using the technique of cloisonné

· Contains abstract animal imagery in the design


· Art created in the British Isles

· Shows the influence of Christianity’s triumph over paganism

· Celtic crosses and intricate knotwork become popular

Illuminated Manuscripts

· Produced by monks in scriptoria, part of Hiberno-Saxon tradition

· Book of Kells, Chi Rho Iota page, c.800

· Lindisfarne Gospels – the gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, also contains carpet pages – pages that are extensively decorated with interlace designs

Carolingian art

· 800s in France and Germany

· Charlemagne and the revival of the Roman empire; called the Holy Roman Emperor

· Revival of learning – illuminated manuscripts spread

· Charlemagne’s Palatine Chapel at Aachen, Germany, Architect= Odo of Metz, c. 800 CE

o Central plan, Roman engineering

Ottonian art

· 900s in Germany

· Bishop Bernward and the bronze doors of Saint Michael’s at Hildesheim

· Gero Crucifix, Cologne Cathedral

Romanesque , 1000 CE

Style popular in Western Europe from 1000 – 1150, a time of many religious pilgrimages to visit the relics of various churches in Europe

Key elements

· Round arches, barrel vaults – when the ceiling looks like a row of round arches resembling a barrel, heavy stone construction, use of columns

· Use of exterior stone sculpture – had not been done since the Late Roman Empire

· Different from Roman architecture – Romanesque architects adapted Roman elements to fit their interests – Christianity. Romanesque churches are ornately decorated with sculpture on the exterior and often have towers on the corners

· Oriented toward the east – the holy city of Jerusalem – the apse, ambulatory, and choir are oriented toward the east

Romanesque basilicas

· Churches are long and rectangular but have a cruciform shape made up of the nave and transept

· Crossing square – where nave and transept intersect, is the main unit of measurement for the size of other parts of the church

· Three-dimensional sections/modules of the church are called bays

· Nave covered by a barrel vault

· Built in response to the rise of pilgrimages

St. Sernin, Toulouse France

· Ambulatory, pilgrims, double side aisles, buttressing, cruciform plan

Tympanums important above entry, e.g. Last Judgment by Gislebertus, Autun Cathedral, France, 1125

Weighing of souls

Bayeux Tapestry

· Embroidery commissioned by Bishop Odo

· Story of William’s conquest of England, Battle of Hastings, 1066

· Probably crafted by group of women, 230’ long, narrative

Gothic , 1100’s

Became popular in the late 1100’s through the 1300’s; based on recommendations for church architecture made by Abbot Suger and his remodeling of Saint-Denis cathedral

· Greater height with multiple levels (nave arcade, triforium, clerestory)

· Large areas of stained glass windows in the clerestory

· Pointed arches

· Ribbed groin vaults in the ceiling

· Use of flying buttresses on the exterior of the building for support

Gothic sculpture

Stained glass, lux nova

· Figures often stand in a position called the Gothic S-curve – an attempt by the artist to show greater naturalism but still conceals the anatomy of the people under their clothing – Gothic S-curve is different from contrapposto used by Greeks, Romans, and Renaissance artists

· Example: Virgin of Jeanne d’Evreux – famous small, golden reliquary statue that shows Mary holding baby Jesus; statue conveys a feeling of spirituality

Illuminated manuscripts

Stained-glass windows – along with illuminated manuscripts was one of the main forms of two-dimensional art during the Gothic period

Chartres Cathedral

Center of urban development, learning, religion

Flying buttresses, stained glass, rose windows, spires, compound piers, cruciform

English Gothic= Perpendicular Style, e.g. Salisbury Cathedral

Gothic Sculpture

Visitation at Reims Cathedral, classical influence, c.1230

Rottgen Pieta, wood, very expressive, c.1325

Pre Renaissance – 1300’s

Artists who began to show glimpses of the rise of realism and naturalism that would be realized 100 years later during the Renaissance

· Figures appear to have more body mass and artists use more realistic shading

· Greater sense of depth, illusion of a three-dimensional space

Main precursors of Renaissance

· Pisano – famous sculptor who sculpted a pulpit for baptistery in Pisa, explores Classicism

· Cimabue, Madonna Enthroned

· Giotto – painted famous fresco cycle in Arena Chapel

· Duccio – famous Sienese painter who painted La Maesta

· Lorenzetti brothers, Good Government, City & Country + Birth of Virgin

Giotto’s Lamentation , 1305

· Famous scene from Arena Chapel of Christ laying on the ground after Crucifixion surrounded by mourners, in Mother Mary’s arms

· Figures look realistic in both body proportions and sense of emotion

· Bodies have sculpturesque bulk, defined by light

· This is a major precursor to Italian Renaissance

Duccio’s La Maesta

· Famous altarpiece produced for Siena Cathedral

· Shows strong Byzantine influence

· Painted in tempera (using egg yolks)

Italian Renaissance , 1400’s

Basic characteristics of Renaissance painting

· Influence of humanism aka classical Greco-Roman culture – includes elements of mythology as well as realistic but also idealized human figures

· Compositions are balanced and orderly often relying on a careful geometric plan such as a pyramid composition

· Three-dimensional illusionism – Renaissance painters wanted to create the illusion of a three-dimensional world on a two-dimensional space; that’s why they used chiaroscuro and linear perspective

Early Renaissance – 1400s or 15th century

· Florence is the New Athens, independent and liberated, inspired by Greco-Roman world

· Ghiberti wins Florence competition for bronze doors of Florence Cathedral, Ren officially begins

Donatello-famous sculptor of early 1400s

· Created the first free-standing nude statue since antiquity (classical) time – David

· Created the first monumental equestrian statue – Gattamelata – which depicts a famous Italian warlord

· Patrons= Medici family members, Florentine bankers

Brunelleschi-famous architect of early 1400s, linear perspective

· Discovered rules of linear perspective

· Designed dome of Florence Cathedral, with double shell

Masaccio- main Ren painter of early 1400s

· Painted Holy Trinity and Donors, first use of linear perspective in painting (fresco)

· Painted Tribute Money fresco – part of a series of frescoes in a chapel

o Saint Peter is the focal point; he is shown three times aka continuous narration


· Famous architect, painter, and writer of the Renaissance

· Designed Palazzo Rucellai, w/ rustication, c.1450

· Wrote books on painting, sculpture, and architecture

· Wrote about rules for linear perspective

Botticelli-famous painter of later 1400s

· Painted Birth of Venus and La Primavera for the Medici family

· Tempera painting

· Based on a neoplatonist poem (show interest in humanism aka study of classical culture)

Pollaiullo – famous painter who also became famous for producing one of the earliest engravings called Battle of the Ten Nudes


· Painted Delivery of the Keys of the Kingdom to Saint Peter in the Sistine Chapel

· It is a fresco on one of the side walls along with several other frescoes by Renaissance artists

· Figures look balanced and solid – bodies look natural

· Besides Jesus, Saint Peter is the focal point

· It contains the techniques of chiaroscuro and linear perspective (developed by Brunelleschi)

High Renaissance – early 1500s or 16th century