The first cultural references in Tuscany date back to the Etruscans. The Romans left few traces here. Via Romantic and Gothic, we continue to the Renaissance, during which Tuscany was founded.
Read a short overview of the eras, which defined Tuscany's art and culture:
Etruscans and Romans
Impressions of Etruscan culture can be found in the relics such as the alabaster cups, wall paintings and impressive tombs, the necropolises.
Tuscany was defined less by Roman culture than the other areas in Italy. The cities of Florence, Arezzo, Pisa and Lucca still show Roman influence however.
The architecture of the late Classic joined the Romanesque style from France. Especially the Benedict abbeys and rural parish churches were built in Romanesque style in Tuscany.
In the middle of the 11th century, a separate trend developed in Pisan Romanesque style. The extravagant decorative style can be seen on classical stone facades in marble, which are formed in two geometrical patterns (incrustation). Byzantine influences also dominated the Romanesque period of the Pisan navel power.
At the end of the 12th century, the French Gothic style started influencing Tuscan architecture. The buildings, especially sacred ones, began taking monumental proportions. The first profane buildings of the aristocracy and the affluent bourgeoisie were defined by Gothic elements.
The Gothic style, which is not as prominent in Tuscany as in other places, can be seen especially in Siena, Florence and San Gimignano.
Nicola Pisano, Jacopo della Quercia, Giotto di Bondone and Cimabue are famous representatives of this period.
Renaissance and Humanism
The Renaissance covers the period of time from the end of the Middle Ages until Modern Times. The focus of the period is a reflection on the art and life philosophy of the classical era. The name, which means rebirth in French, symbolises this perfectly.
The Renaissance does not only apply to the ideals of art. It overcame the mediaeval worldview and societal order. Humans became the frame of reference for everything.
Famous humanists such as Dante, Petrarca and Boccaccio are today mentioned in the same breath as the representatives of the Renaissance.
Sculpture and painting in the renaissance emphasised the realistic, perceptively perfect representation of humans and nature. The artists portrayed the individual in their sculptures and paintings in great detail. Fresco painting was very popular during the Renaissance.
Florence is known as the cradle of the Renaissance. It began here in the 15th century, before spreading throughout Europe in the following 150 years. More magnificent art treasures can be found in Florence, than anywhere else in the world.
The artists of the Renaissance were not just painters, sculptors, architects, scientists, authors- they were often all in one. The most famous all-round genius was Leonardo da Vinci.
World famous artists like Michelangelo, Raffael, Ghiberti, Brunelleschi, Donatello, Della Robbia, Michelozzo, Della Francesca, Fra Angelico, Botticelli and Ghirlandaio created magnificent works of art and breathtaking constructions.
People in Tuscany like to celebrate. Magnificent historical spectacles, in addition to religious and traditional festivals bring excitement to the yearly cycle. Unusual historical contests are especially popular. more
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