Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Italian Art and Architecture

Italian art has its roots in the aesthetic traditions of classical Rome and in the pre-Roman cultures of the Italian peninsula, especially those of the Greeks and the Etruscans. Such common elements as a shared classical heritage, Roman Catholicism, and the Italian language, function, and content, despite the peninsula’s political fragmentation, which lasted from the collapse of the Western Roman Empire in the 5th century AD until the establishment of the Italian nation in the mid 19th century. During that time Italy was divided politically and culturally into numerous continually changing stages based on cultural regions, such as Tuscany or Lombardy, or cities, such as Venice and Rome. Italian art is thus made up of distinct local artistic styles or traditions called schools.

The Middle Ages

Italian art history begins in Rome during the 1st to 4thByzantium in the 4th century meant that early Constantinople, rather than Rome, would become the early medieval center of Mediterranean Christian Culture. Ravenna in the 12thRavenna’s San Vitale (16th century) and Saint Mark’s Basilica centuries with the emergence of a Christian religious iconography and architecture based on Roman prototypes. The transfer of the Roman imperial capital to centuries were the principal Italian locations for the orientalizing aesthetic of the Byzantines. Spatially impressive central plans, lavish materials, sumptuous color, mysterious lighting, and stylized iconic representation characterize the architecture and mosaics of in VeniceSicily from the 9th to 12th centuries also introduced an oriental style of decorative magnificence, as evidenced by Petermo’s Palatine Chapel (1132-40). (begun 1063). Arab artisans resident in

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