A study of art history might be a good way to learn more about a culture than is possible to learn in general history classes. Most typical history courses concentrate on politics, economics and war. But art history focuses on much more than this because art reflects not only the political values of a people, but also religious beliefs, emotions and psychology. In addition, information about the daily activities of our ancestors can be provided by art. In short, art expresses the essential qualities of a time and a place, and a study of it clearly offers us a deeper understanding than can be found in most history books.
In history books, objective information about the political life of a country is presented; that is, facts about politics are given, but opinions are not expressed. Art, on the other hand, is subjective (主观的): it reflects emotions and opinions. The great Spanish painter Francisco Goya was perhaps the first truly “political” artist. In his well-known painting The Third of May, 1808, he criticized the Spanish government for its abuse(滥用) of power over people.
In the same way, art can reflect a culture’s religious beliefs. For hundreds of years in Europe, religious art had been almost the only type of art that existed. Churches and other religious buildings were filled with paintings that described people and stories from the Bible. Although most people couldn’t read, they could still understand the Bible stories in the pictures on church walls. By contrast, one of the main characteristics of art in the Middle East was (and still is) its absence of human and animal images. This reflects the Islamic belief that statues(雕像) are not holy.
1.More can be learned about a culture from a study of art history than general history because _______.
A.art history shows us nothing but the political values
B.general history only focuses on politics
C.art history gives us an insight(洞察力) into the essential qualities of a time and a place
D.general history concerns only religious beliefs, emotions and psychology
【精析】C 本题可参见文章第一段的第五句话“In short, art expresses the essential qualities of a time and a place, and a study of it clearly offers us a deeper understanding than can be found in most history books”,即从艺术中能够更全面深刻地理解历史文化。选项C中insight与文中的understanding同义，所以选C。
2.Art is subjective in that _______.
A.a personal and emotional view of history is presented through it
B.it only reflects people’s anger or sadness about social problems
C.it can easily arouse people’s anger about their government
D.artists were or are religious, who reflect only the religious aspect of the society
【精析】A 问题是“艺术是主观的，原因在于_______。”文章第二段第二句话提到： “Art，on the other hand，is subjective：it reflects emotions and opinions.”从这句话中可以看出艺术是情感和观点的反映。所以选A。
3.Which of the following statements is TRUE according to the passage?
A.In history books political views of people are entirely presented.
B.Francisco Goya expressed his religious belief in his painting The Third of May, 1808.
C.In the Middle East, you can hardly find animal or human figures on palaces or other building.
D.For centuries in Europe, painters had only painted on walls of churches or other religious buildings.
【精析】C 从文章第三段倒数第二句话:“By contrast, one of the main characteristics of art in the Middle East was (and still is) its absence of human and animal images.”能够看出，中东的艺术中没有人和动物的形象。此题的关键是找关键词：the Middle East，找到后就能很快地确定答案。所以选C。
4. The passage mainly discusses _______.
A.the development of art history
B.the difference between general history and art history
C.what we can learn from art
D.the influence of artists on art history
5.It can be concluded from the passage that _______.
A.Islamic artists only paint images of plants, flowers or objects in their paintings
B.it is more difficult to study art history than general history
C.a history teacher must be quite objective
D.artists painted people or stories from the Bible to hide their political beliefs