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Paintings and Palaces
See if you can get 10 out of 10 in this quiz.

Paintings and Palaces

Paintings and Palaces will test your knowledge of art and architecture.

Art during the Middle Ages was most often inspired by religion. It was a time when people were devoted to their faith and consequently most art of the time has a religious theme. It was also a time when the ancient world was drawing near to the modern, and pieces from the 15th century, the time of the Wars of the Roses, were a merging of ancient and modern styles. Unfortunately few pieces of Medieval art survive today, but those which we do have give us some insight into their methods and their minds.

For a larger view, simply click on the images.
In the Middle Ages walls were often decorated with murals. One particular kind of wall painting is known as a fresco. What is it that differentiates frescos from other kinds of murals?
They are the only kind to be painted in colour
They are the only kind to be painted onto ceilings
They are the only kind to be painted onto wet plaster
They are the only kind to be painted onto outside walls
The name fresco comes from the Italian for fresh. They were painted onto freshly laid lime plaster and when it set, the painting became an integral part of the wall. Perhaps the most famous fresco is 'The Last Supper', painted by Leonardo da Vinci in the 1490s
Medieval churches were decorated with gargoyles. These had three functions. Which of the following were they NOT used for?
Photograph courtesy of Georges Jansoone at Wikipedia
To frighten the congregation
To drain rainwater
To frighten evil spirits
To help balance the building
Their main use was to spout water which had collected in the gutters, but they also represented demonic evil to the common folk. Gargoyles were also thought to scare evil spirits away from the church, keeping the inside safe and holy
Books, especially bibles, were often decorated with coloured pictures and stylised letters. What were books carrying these decorations called?
Bright manuscripts
Illustrated manuscripts
Illuminated manuscripts
Coloured manuscripts
The books were often decorated with gold or silver and were very expensive. Thousands of them have been preserved and represent most of the examples of Medieval painting still in existence today
Two architect brothers, Robert and William Vertue, worked together on the rebuilding of which abbey (pictured) in the 1490s?
Whitby Abbey
Bath Abbey
Pershore Abbey
Battle Abbey
The Bishop of Bath and Wells visited the Abbey in 1499 and found it in ruins. He undertook to have it rebuilt and the Vertue brothers are reported to have said of their work, "Ther shal be noone so goodeley, neither in England nor in France". Robert died in 1506 and his brother William in 1527
One of the most beautiful of England's churches is the Church of St Bartholomew in Crewkerne, Somerset (pictured). It was built in the 15th century and designed by which architect?
Photograph courtesy of Mike Searle at Wikipedia
William Smyth
Christopher Wren
Henry Jones
Ignatius Scoles
Smyth was a Gothic architect and is credited with designing parts of Wells Cathedral, Sherborne Abbey and Milton Abbey. He died in 1490, shortly after the end of the Wars of the Roses
Paintings of the Middle Ages had been slowly increasing in realism. Those of the 15th century (like the one pictured) were between two periods of art history. Which two?
Gothic and Renaissance
Impressionist and Renaissance
Gothic and Classical
Impressionist and Classical
The Gothic period, with its magnificent architecture, was coming to an end and the Renaissance was about to begin. Works done between the two periods, in the mid-15th century, had hints of both genres
Henry VII had a chapel built and named after him (pictured). It was added to which famous church?
Photograph courtesy of Josh Hallett at Wikipedia
Westminster Abbey
St Paul's Cathedral
Glastonbury Abbey
Lincoln Cathedral
The splendour of the chapel led to it being called "the wonder of the world" by John Leland, a 16th century poet. It contains the tombs of several monarchs descended from Henry, as well as that of Henry himself. Edward VI, Elizabeth I, Mary I, James I, Charles II and Mary Queen of Scots are all interred there. It was designed by Reginald Bray who died in 1503
Before canvas became popular, paintings (like the early 15th century piece pictured) were often painted onto pieces of wood. What were such paintings called?
Panel paintings
Screen paintings
Board paintings
Rigid paintings
Often the panel paintings were painted on several pieces of wood which were joined together. Church altars were decorated by panel paintings called altarpieces, fitted with moving side panels and hinges. These, as with so much of Medieval art, depicted religious and biblical subjects
A great deal of money was spent on funeral art by the nobility, as the pictured tomb of a Burgundian nobleman shows. Effigies of the deceased were carved and laid on top of the tombs, along with other adornments. The tomb of Edward the Confessor was decorated with what?
Photograph courtesy of Gerard Ducher at Wikipedia
Silver crucifixes and images of Christ
Gold images of kings and saints
Silver scenes from Edward's life
A solid gold, life-size effigy of Edward
Edward was the patron saint of England until the Normans replaced him with the Turkish Saint George. He was admired by King Henry III who built an impressive shrine for Edward, the king who had ruled England 200 years before
Stained glass windows were a popular form of art in the Middle Ages. Whereabouts is the pictured window, the oldest of its kind in England?
The window depicts the Bible scene, 'The Tree of Jesse' and was made for York Minster around 1170. The windows helped to explain Bible stories to the congregation who were, for the most part, illiterate. Stained windows and other church decorations have been nicknamed the Poor Man's Bible


Author:  Graeme Haw

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