Historical Context of Italy
Italy has been vastly rich in cultural power since the time of the Romans, this classical period has exerted a significant influence on the cultural development and distinctiveness of the country. Italy represents the country of the Renaissance, called 'Rinascita' in Italian, meaning 'rebirth'. The Renaissance has been considered, from the early 1400s, as the first extensive blossoming of cultural sophistication in art, architecture, music, poetry, philosophy and politics since the Middle Ages. In the modern and contemporary period, Italy was tormented by the fascism of Mussolini but has nonetheless endured as a vital heart for artistic expression, initiating movements such as Futurism, Arte Povera and the Minimalism related to the Zero Movement, as well as the expressive painting of the Transavanguardia. Critically acclaimed Italian artists of the twentieth and twenty first centuries include Giorgio Di Chirico, Giacomo Balla, Giorgio Morandi, Alberto Giacometti, Lucio Fontana, Michelangelo Pistoletto, Francesco Clemente and Mimmo Paladino.