Historical Context of Italy
Italy has been tremendously rich in cultural power since the time of the Romans, this classical period has exerted a fascinating influence on the cultural growth and distinctiveness of the country. Italy represents the country of the Renaissance, called 'Rinascita' in Italian, signifying 'rebirth'. The Renaissance has been considered, from the early 1400s, as the first extensive flowering of cultural erudition 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 remained as a vital focal point for artistic expression, spawning movements such as Futurism, Arte Povera and the Minimalism related to the Zero Movement, as well as the expressive painting of the Transavanguardia. Important 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.