When thinking of Italian art, Leonardo Da Vinci or Michelangelo may pop into mind. Their historical and famous works of painting the Mona Lisa and the painting of the Sistine Chapel are known world-wide. These Renaissance painters deserve the full credit due to their superior talent.
It’s important to know though, that Italy has been raising artists and boasting great creative talent for hundreds of years. The Renaissance painters may stand out more prominently among the Italian artists, but there are many celebrated artists and famous art work that has their roots in Italy.
During the Roman Empire, art was very much encouraged. Many of the styles and methods were adopted from Greek art. Romans took on the sculpturing of free-standing statues and doing bronze work. All of these were derived from Greece. The wealthier Romans very much appreciated art work and would decorate their walls and homes with decorative art pieces.
In the later years of the Roman Empire and into the medieval times, the art work reflected more and more that of religious topics. As the Church struggled to remain unified, prominent leaders, later known as saints were known for their generosity and righteousness. Italy now celebrates these saints through historical structures that were carefully-crafted in their names.
Then emerged the Italian Renaissance of the 1300s. This was a time of great enlightenment and a renewing of Roman and Greek classical art and philosophy. Whereas in the past the artists were small in number, but very prominent. In this period of time, more than ever, artists became a more populated group that developed their craft and were considered tradesman. The more talented artists were financially supported by wealthy Italian patrons.
Italian art still continues today. So whether you are attracted to more classical art displayed in museums, or are drawn to a local street display of modern Italian art, Italy is truly the home of the arts.