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# Nineteenth-century architect Eugène-Emmanuel Viollet-le-Duc

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SVP
Joined: 07 Jun 2014
Posts: 1822
GRE 1: 323 Q167 V156
WE: Business Development (Energy and Utilities)
Followers: 38

Kudos [?]: 609 [1] , given: 121

Nineteenth-century architect Eugène-Emmanuel Viollet-le-Duc [#permalink]  06 May 2016, 16:26
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Nineteenth-century architect Eugène-Emmanuel Viollet-le-Duc contended that Paris’s Notre-Dame cathedral, built primarily in the late twelfth century, was supported from the very beginning by a system of flying buttresses — a series of exterior arches (flyers) and their supports (buttresses) — which permitted the construction of taller vaulted buildings with slimmer walls and interior supports than had been possible previously.

Other commentators insist, however, that Notre-Dame did not have flying buttresses until the thirteenth or fourteenth century, when they were added to update the building aesthetically and correct its structural flaws. Although post-twelfth-century modifications and renovations complicate efforts to resolve this controversy — all pre-fifteenth-century flyers have been replaced, and the buttresses have been rebuilt and/or resurfaced — it is nevertheless possible to tell that both the nave and the choir, the church’s two major parts, have always had flying buttresses. It is clear, now that
nineteenth-century paint and plaster have been removed, that the nave’s lower buttresses date from the twelfth century. Moreover, the choir’s lower flyers have chevron (zigzag) decoration. Chevron decoration, which was characteristic of the second half of the twelfth century and was out of favor by the fourteenth century, is entirely absent from modifications to the building that can be dated with confidence to the thirteenth century.

22. The passage is primarily concerned with

A tracing the development of a controversy
B discussing obstacles to resolving a controversy
C arguing in support of one side in a controversy
D analyzing the assumptions underlying the claims made in a controversy
E explaining why evidence relevant to a controversy has been overlooked

[Reveal] Spoiler: OA
C

23. The claim of the “other commentators” (line 6) suggests that they believe which of the following about Notre-Dame?

A It was the inspiration for many vaulted cathedrals built in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries.
B Its design flaws were not apparent until flying buttresses were added in the thirteenth or fourteenth century.
C Its flying buttresses are embellished with decoration characteristic of the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries.
D It had been modified in some respects before flying buttresses were added in the thirteenth or fourteenth century.
E It was originally constructed in an architectural style that was considered outmoded by the thirteenth or fourteenth century.

[Reveal] Spoiler: OA
E

24. The author’s argument concerning Notre-Dame’s flying buttresses depends on which of the following assumptions about the choir’s lower flyers?

A They accurately reproduce the decoration on the choir’s original lower flyers.
B They have a type of decoration used exclusively for exterior surfaces.
C They were the models for the choir’s original upper flyers.
D They were the models for the nave’s original lower flyers.
E They were constructed after the nave’s flyers were constructed.

[Reveal] Spoiler: OA
A

Practice Test Questions
Question: 22-24
Page: 454 - 455

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SVP
Joined: 07 Jun 2014
Posts: 1822
GRE 1: 323 Q167 V156
WE: Business Development (Energy and Utilities)
Followers: 38

Kudos [?]: 609 [1] , given: 121

Re: Nineteenth-century architect Eugène-Emmanuel Viollet-le-Duc [#permalink]  06 May 2016, 16:30
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Explanation

The passage describes a disagreement about when Notre-Dame cathedral was supported by flying buttresses, with Viollet-le-Duc arguing that buttresses were present from the cathedral’s construction in the late twelfth century and others claiming the buttresses were built later. The author of the passage goes on to present evidence that suggests that Viollet-le-Duc’s argument is correct.

Question 22

As the description above indicates, Choice C is correct: the passage supports one side in a controversy. Choice A is incorrect because while the passage describes a controversy, it makes no mention of how that controversy developed. The passage also does not discuss any obstacles to resolving the controversy, any assumptions underlying the claims in the controversy, or any reasons why pertinent evidence may have been overlooked, so Choice B, Choice D, and Choice E are all incorrect.

Question 23

The passage states that the “other commentators” claim that Notre-Dame first received flying buttresses when it was updated for aesthetic and structural reasons in the thirteenth or fourteenth century. This claim thus suggests that the aesthetics of Notre- Dame were then seen as out of date, making Choice E correct.

Choice A is incorrect because the passage does not include any information about other cathedrals, let alone attribute a view of them to the other commentators. While the other commentators do suggest that the design of Notre-Dame was seen as flawed in the thirteenth or fourteenth century, they say that flying buttresses were added to correct these flaws, not that the flaws became apparent after the addition of the flying buttresses, which makes

Choice B incorrect. Choice C is incorrect because the passage does not attribute any views of the embellishments on the flying buttresses to the other commentators; similarly, Choice D is incorrect because the passage does not describe the other commentators as discussing any modifications prior to the thirteenth or fourteenth century.

Question 24

The author supports the claim that flying buttresses were present on Notre-Dame from the twelfth century by noting that the choir’s lower flyers feature a chevron decoration that was characteristic of the twelfth century. But since all flyers constructed prior to the fifteenth century have been replaced, the chevron decorations can indicate only that flyers were present in the twelfth century if those decorations accurately reproduce
the decorations that existed on the original flyers. Thus, Choice A is the correct answer.

Choice B is incorrect: whether chevron decorations are used only on the exterior is not a point of dispute in the passage.

Choices C, D, and E are all incorrect: no part of the argument turns on any claim about the choir’s upper flyers, the nave’s lower flyers, or the sequence in which the choir’s and the nave’s flyers were constructed.
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Re: Nineteenth-century architect Eugène-Emmanuel Viollet-le-Duc   [#permalink] 06 May 2016, 16:30
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