Historical Context of Italy
Italy has been vastly rich in cultural influence since the time of the Romans, this classical period has exerted a major influence on the cultural growth and identity of the country. Italy represents the country of the Renaissance, called 'Rinascita' in Italian, translating to 'rebirth'. The Renaissance has been considered, from the early 1400s, as the first major blossoming of cultural erudition in art, architecture, music, poetry, philosophy and politics since the Middle Ages. During the modern and contemporary period, Italy was afflicted by the fascism of Mussolini but has nevertheless remained as an important centre 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.