Прочитайте рассказ и выполните задания 12–18. В каждом задании обведите букву A, B, C или D, соответствующую выбранному вами варианту ответа.
Imperial treasures from Vienna
It is small – it’s just a ring, after all. It is also surprising and breathtaking. The colour and purity of the stone and the shield-like shape that forms the front of the object give the sapphire ring the kind of cool elegance that can, however, be reproduced in photographs. But its amazing hot halo of shooting blue, purple and pink lights is visible only in person. The entire ring is masterfully carved from a single, unbroken hunk of the precious gem. It’s unique – there is nothing quite like it anywhere else. Made in 1400, the ring is the earliest of the 60 treasures on view in “Splendour and Power”, which just opened at the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge. It is a perfect example of the exhibition’s purpose, which is to delight visitors while also explaining why rulers collected these very expensive, ornate and masterfully crafted objects. In this case the collectors were the dynasty of the Habsburgs, who ruled the Holy Roman Empire from their Austrian base for centuries.
Surprisingly, these pieces may occasionally mimic the shapes of useful objects, like drinking cups, but they were never meant to be utilitarian. That is not to say they lacked purpose. Indeed, they were designed to “enchant the senses, delight the eye and inspire the intellect,” writes Sabine Haag, the curator of this show, which was loaned from Vienna’s Kunsthistoriches Museum (KHM), in the excellent catalogue.
Some of the precious objects were prized as exotic messengers from far-off lands. These include a carved, pale jade Ming bowl, mounted with rubies from the Ottoman court (possibly as a diplomatic gift). When it made its way to the Habsburgs it joined other spectacular objects in the Kunstkammer (art chamber), collected to further legitimise and enhance the power of the ambitious owner.
It was only in the 19th century that art was split into “high” and “low». Anything decorative fit into the latter category, regardless of beauty or technical expertise. As a result, some may find it difficult to look at these rock-crystal vessels, jewels and perfume flasks as works of art. The single piece in this exhibition that should succeed in repairing this ill-judged high/low divide is the ivory cup made by Bernhard Strauss in Augsburg around 1660. It is so deeply carved with classical gods and goddesses – Apollo with his lyre, Diana with her alert dog – that the piece has become translucent. It seems Strauss brought Olympus to life.
Elsewhere in the Fitzwilliam paintings and sculpture are exhibited in rooms decorated with fine Oriental rugs, warm wood furniture and tick-tocking Thomas Tompion clocks. But never mind. Benefactions from the Monument Trust have allowed the Fitzwilliam to commission new display cases of non-reflective glass. The welcome illusion is that nothing separates the ogler from the ogled.
The Kunstkammer at the KHM can boast of the greatest surviving princely treasure in the Western world. It has been closed for refurbishment since 2002, making this loan – the largest for half a century – possible. The Kunstkammer is expected to reopen at the end of next year, after which decades will surely pass before its objects leave home again. For those within striking distance of Cambridge, enough said
12. According to the author, the beauty of the exhibited sapphire ring can be fully appreciated …
A) in a photograph.
B) at the exhibition.
C) in special light.
D) where it was carved.
13. “It” in “It is a perfect example of the exhibition’s purpose” (paragraph 1) refers to the …
B) exhibition’s collection.
14. Saying “they were never meant to be utilitarian” the author means that the exhibits were supposed to be …
15. According to the author (paragraph 4), some objects may be seen as …
A) common things.
B) poorly manufactured.
C) spoiltin repairs.
D) collected ill-advisedly.
16. “Some” in “some may find it difficult to look at these rock-crystal vessels, jewels and perfume flasks as works of art” (paragraph 4) refers to the …
17. The Monument Trust helped to provide …
A) better attendance of the exhibition.
B) better decorated rooms.
C) furniture for the exhibition rooms.
D) better conditions for viewing the exhibits.
18. The article was written to …
A) advertise Vienna’s Kunsthistoriche Museum.
B) prove that the exhibits are works of art.
C) attract more visitors to the exhibition.
D) describe the treasures of the Hapsburgs.