Painting the Town: Learning Italian Art
Italy is such a diverse country. Each region would have their own regional cuisine. Works of art are also distinctive for each region. Italian art has generated such public interest that there are consistent productions of monumental and spectacular works. Being a source of inspiration for people who are even working in a entirely different field, it is therefore necessary learning Italian art.
Italian art has nearly always been closely allied with the intellectual and/or religious currents of its day while retaining its own remarkable past as a continual source of inspiration. Italian art history is divided into different periods: the Etruscans, Romans, Byzantines, Early Middle Ages and Romanesque, Gothic period, Renaissance, Mannerism, Modernity, post- modern Italian art and contemporary art.
Italian art is manifested in numerous forms, like the outstanding Byzantine mosaics in the churches, amphitheatres and temples of Greeks and Romans, to visual arts showcased in differenct art galleries. Italy is the land of Donatello, Tintoretto, Titian and Giorgione, all of them are painters with extraordinary talent.
Raphael and Michelangelo, also both Italians, were commissioned painters and sculptors. Ichelagelo was the sculptor of La Pieta in the Basilica of St. Peter, the architect of the Dome of St. Peter and the painter of the Sistine Chapel. Giotto was an important artist whose works would include the Bell Tower in Florence and frescoes in the Upper Basilica of St. Francis in Assisi.
Another great sculptor, architect, painter, stage designer and comedy writer is Gian Lorenzo Bernini. His sculptures include the renowned Apollo and Daphne and the Ecstacy of St. Theresa. Bernini also created the square with the colonnaded wings in the Basilica of St. Peter. The Fountain of the Four Rivers in Piazza Navona was also one the monumental fountains he created in the plaza. Canaletto was also one of the best sculptors. He made the Herculaneum and Pompei statue. While Antonio Canova created the Cupid and Psyche sculpture.
Futurists artists like Boccioni, Balla, Carra Giorgio de Chirico, Renato Guttuso and Alberto Burri. Materials for their art works would include sacking, plastic and tar. The materials are considered to be the content in their own right it does not necessarily symbolize anything but rather focused on the states of mind, suffering and torment.
As mentioned earlier, Italian regions are very diverse when it comes to different aspects of Italian culture. It is a great experience to discover great art galleries in small towns in Italy. Rome, Naples, Milan, Florence and Venice are several of the places that are literally endowed with amazing masterpieces.
Since Italian art involved architecture, we would be focusing more decorative art- which would be mainly paintings and some sculptures. A sample place would be Siena which is located in Tuscany. The magnificent Palazzo Pubblico houses the Museo Civico where highlights include works by Simone Martin.
Siena makes a good base from which to head out on the trail of one of the Tuscan greats artist and mathematician, Piero della Francesca. The town museum on Piazza Garibaldi housed two masterpieces: Piero’s Madonna della Misericordia altarpiece and his haunting Resurrection which shows Christ emerging from his tomb amid sleeping soldiers.
A Piero painting is a big attraction in the majestic town of Urbino. The Palazzo Ducale houses the Galleria where aside from Piero paintings there are also paintings by Crivelli, Verrocchio and Piero’s fellow pioneer of perspective, Uccello.
Italy is the melting pot of influential and historical art, literary, music and theatre. With all the artists that Italy had given birth to, it looks like that the entire country is very much painted by these artists. Truly, learning Italian art is a fest for the eyes and for the mind.