Italian neoclassicism and 19th century art
As in other parts of Europe, Italian neoclassical art was based mainly on the principles of ancient Roman and ancient Greek art and architecture, as well as on Italian architecture of the Renaissance and its foundations, for example, this is observed in the Villa Carpa “La Rotonda”.
Classicism and neoclassicism in Italian art and architecture developed during the Italian Renaissance, in particular in the works and projects of Leon Battista Alberti and the work of Filippo Brunelleschi. The emphasis is on the symmetry, proportion, geometry and orderliness of the parts in such a way as they were demonstrated in the architecture of antiquity, in particular, in the architecture of Ancient Rome, many examples of which have been preserved. The correct order of columns, pilasters and architrave beams, as well as the use of semicircular arches, hemispherical domes, niches and edicules replaced the more complex proportional systems and asymmetrical outlines of medieval buildings. This style quickly spread to other Italian cities, and then to the rest of continental Europe.
The sculptor Antonio Canova was one of the leading representatives of the neoclassical style. Being internationally famous, he was considered the most outstanding sculptor in Europe.
Italy created its own form of impressionism – the artists of the macchiayoli group, who were actually the first representatives of this style, even before the most famous impressionists. These were Giovanni Fattori, Silvestro Lega, Telemaco Signorini, Giuseppe Abbati. The artists of macchiayoli were the forerunners of impressionism in France. They believed that areas of light and shadow, or “macchie” (literally spots or dots) were the main components of a work of art. The word “macchia” was commonly used by Italian artists and critics in the 19th century to describe the sparkling quality of a drawing or painting, which arose either from a sketchy and spontaneous performance, or from the harmonious breadth of its overall impression.
In a disapproving review published on November 3, 1862 in the magazine Gazzetta del Popolo, the term “macchioli” first appeared in print. This term had several meanings: a mocking designation that valuable finished work was nothing more than sketches, and a link to the phrase “darsi alla macchia”, which idiomatically means “hide in the bushes or in the thickets.” Artists actually painted most of their work in these wild places. This sense of the name also equated artists with criminals, reflecting the opinion of traditionalists that the new school of artists worked outside the limits of the rules of art, in accordance with strict laws that defined artistic expression at that time.
Contemporary Italian Art
At the beginning of the 20th century, representatives of futurism developed a dynamic view of the modern world, while Giorgio de Chirico demonstrated a strange metaphysical calm, while Amedeo Modigliani joined the Paris school. Later gifted contemporary masters include sculptors Giacomo Manzu, Marino Marini, still life painter Giorgio Morandi and innovative painter Lucho Fontana. In the second half of the XX century, Italian designers, especially representatives of Milan, had a significant impact on international styles, thanks to their impressive and ingenious functional work.
“The street enters the house” Umberto Boccioni
“The street enters the house” Umberto Boccioni
Futurism was an Italian art movement that flourished from 1909 to 1916. He was the first of many directions that attempted to break with the past in all areas of life. Futurism glorified the power, speed and excitement that were characteristic of the age of machines. Drawing on the experience of French cubist artists, as well as thanks to photographs with multiple expositions, futurists learned to break realistic forms into several images and overlapping fragments of color. By such means they tried to depict the energy and speed of modern life. In literature, futurism demanded the abolition of traditional sentence structures and poetic forms.
Futurism was first mentioned on February 20, 1909, when the Paris newspaper Le Figaro published the manifesto of the Italian poet and editor Filippo Tommaso Marinetti. Marinetti coined the word futurism to reflect his goal of abandoning the art of the past and chanting changes, originality and innovation in culture and society. The Marinetti Manifesto glorified the new technology of the car and the beauty of its speed, power and movement. Increasing violence and conflict, he called for a decisive rejection of traditional values and the destruction of cultural institutions, such as museums and libraries. The rhetoric of the manifesto was passionately pompous; his aggressive tone was intentionally intended to arouse public discontent and cause controversy.
The Marinetti Manifesto inspired a group of young artists in Milan to apply futuristic ideas in the visual arts.