Arte e identità nazionale. Riflessioni sul caso italiano
Skip to main content
Open Access Publications from the University of California

California Italian Studies

California Italian Studies banner

Arte e identità nazionale. Riflessioni sul caso italiano


Artists have played an important role in representations and reflections on the “idea of Italy” from the Risorgimento to the present day.  The Garibaldian, monarchical, and liberal currents of the movement for unification were figured in patriotic scenes and symbols, as were the disappointments with the political realities of the new Italian kingdom.  In the twentieth century the “mission” of a “pure” Italian art to bolster identification with the nation (and with the ruling regime) is repeatedly challenged by cosmopolitan interests and imported styles, sometimes in support of the project of a national art but more often hostile or indifferent to it.   This essay chronicles the forms in which Italian national identity is asserted or contested in a succession of artistic movements, particularly in painting:  Romanticism, the Macchiaioli, Post-impressionism, Futurism, Arte Povera and the “non-art” of Maurizio Cattelan.



Main Content
For improved accessibility of PDF content, download the file to your device.
Current View