Who doesn’t love Italy? Bellisima weather, bellisima landscapes and bellisima cuisine.
Offering a wealth of subject matter, it’s no surprise Italy is such a popular country for artists. Let’s also not forget that it’s considered to be the birthplace of ‘modern’ art, making it a place that has a strong heritage of creative inspiration.
Not only that, but Italy is also a popular holiday destination and a country people associate with sunshine, laughter and relaxation.
To help beat the January blues and give you that nice summer holiday feeling, we have a large selection of Italian art on our site, so you can capture that holiday moment in your own home forever.
Italy has a diverse range of landscapes and scenery, from the rolling hills of Umbria, and the beaches of the Amalfi coast, right through to lakes, snow-capped mountains and volcanoes.
This diverse landscape means there is a lot of inspiration for artists. Different scenery also means different light, which is a really important element and point for consideration when creating and painting.
Light can make or break a painting, it brings an image to life and transforms it from a standard image into a work of art.
Changes in light is something artists are keen to capture as it does change across a country, or parts of a country. The light in a mountain range, such as The Dolomites, is a clean, strong light, whereas areas like Umbria or Tuscany tend to have a softer, orange-hued glow.
Light also impacts shadows, so in strong sun there will be longer, more angular shadows, whereas soft light makes them less defined. This is also important to capture on canvas in order to really hit the senses and emotions.
The geography of Italy also presents a challenge to artists as it’s not made up of the conventional rolling hills of the UK, but a mixture of rocky bays and cliffs or mountains. Mix this with changes in architecture across different regions, and you’ve got a great challenge for artists!
Of course, Italy is bursting with history. The Renaissance saw art change forever, with artists such as Raphael, Michelangelo and Leonardo Da Vinci paint in a style and figurative realism that had never before been seen.
To this day, artists still try to recreate the style and technique of the old masters on canvas. And, although Renaissance art is mainly based on religious subjects, they show raw emotion and passion, which is still just as important to artists today as it was then.
The Italians also had a significant impact on society with the Roman Empire shaping western civilisation. In most towns and cities, you can’t move for ruins and architecture from that period, as well as the Renaissance.
Just think, the Colosseum is over 1,000 years old, it’s still standing to this day and one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world.
For artists, capturing ruins like the Colosseum is a great challenge, as not only do they need to focus on light and shade, but also the fragmented and broken stones and brickwork that makes-up the ruin, which requires a lot of attention to detail and accuracy.
Italy’s towns and coastal regions are also extremely popular with artists, and why we have over 100 paintings capturing these areas and places on our site.
From historic hill towns and coastal regions, right through to the Lakes, we think it’s impossible for an artist to ever get bored or struggle for inspiration and subject matter.
We couldn’t possibly put a blog together on Italian art without talking about its cities, especially Roma!
A place of romance, history, culture and escape, Rome is the twelfth most visited city in the world. It offers so much inspiration for artists as not only is it a chaotic and busy city but is also a calm, sanctuary-like place.
Rome is not the only inspirational city in Italy though, there is Lucca, Florence, Bologna and Sienna, to name but a few. All with different personalities and historical significance.
With over 150 paintings of Venice on our site, it’s clear that this city really captivates artists and tourists alike.
With its narrow canals and imposing buildings, St Mark’s square and the Doge’s Palace, Venice offers a lot of inspiration. It’s a city that’s dripping in history and atmosphere and, as a city that is built on water, Venice fascinates. It appears that once visited, you never seem to forget it.
Of course, Venice wouldn’t be Venice without its gondolas. They’re a very popular subject for artists and we have a very varied selection on the site.
As you can see, Italy inspires artists in many ways. Whether it’s capturing the Renaissance, differences in light or its vibrant cities and towns, the creative process could go on forever, and still there would be more to capture and inspire.