Prehistoric art in Italy begins during the Upper Paleolithic. Out of stratigraphy some female figurines were found, with almost always very pronounced sexual characteristics, of the type of the so-called Aurignacian Venus, but which in reality are not at all attributable to this culture: they are the Venus of the Balzi Rossi, of Chiozza, of Savignano sul Panaro, of the Trasimeno, of Parabita. The Italian paleolithic and mesolithic parietal and furniture art centers belong to the Mediterranean province, characterized both by a great development of abstract, symbolic tendencies, and by very simple naturalistic expressions, often limited to the profile of the figures only. In addition to graffiti on pebbles and bone from Barma Grande (Balzi Rossi) and Arene Candide, the furniture art finds are made up of graffiti from the Polesini cave (Tivoli) and, in Puglia, from the beautiful engravings of the Paglicci cave, from a pebble with an engraved ox head from the cave of Monopoli and from the numerous engraved objects, graffiti and paintings of the Romanelli cave. Furniture art is also present in the Romito cave near Papasidero (Cosenza), and the bovid engraved on stone found in stratigraphy in Levanzo is known. As for rock art, some figurations of great beauty are sometimes found in the Paglicci, Romanelli, Cala Genovese in Levanzo and Addaura caves in Niscemi. In the Mesolithic levels of the Arene Candide and the grotto of the Madonna in Praia a Mare, pebbles painted with patterns similar to those of the French Brazilian came to light; in the Armalo dei Bufali (Sezze Romano) the so-called man a is painted on the rock In the Mesolithic levels of the Arene Candide and the grotto of the Madonna in Praia a Mare, pebbles painted with patterns similar to those of the French Brazilian came to light; in the Armalo dei Bufali (Sezze Romano) the so-called man a is painted on the rock In the Mesolithic levels of the Arene Candide and the grotto of the Madonna in Praia a Mare, pebbles painted with patterns similar to those of the French Brazilian came to light; in the Armalo dei Bufali (Sezze Romano) the so-called man a is painted on the rock phi, the first example of an anthropomorphic figure in Italy.
For the most recent prehistoric phases, from the Neolithic to the Iron Age, among the best known are the Neolithic or Aeneolithic rock paintings of Levanzo, and the numerous figurations of Valcamonica, engraved with a hammer. Rock engravings from the Iron Age can be found in various points of the peninsula: Monte Pellegrino (Triora), Arma della Moretta (Liguria), Coalghés cave (Brescia), Val Chisone (Cottian Alps). Various are the findings of stelae reproducing the human figure, more or less stylized, and interpreted as idols, sepulchral stones or heroicized dead. They are generally attributed to the Bronze Age (stele of Pontevecchio, Moncigoli, Filetto) or the Iron Age (stele of Campoli, Malgrate, Filattera). The steles of Lagundo and Termeno, in South Tyrol,
According to ITYPEAUTO.COM, the first manifestations of the new Christian civilization are the paintings of the catacombs in Rome, Naples, Sicily, and the sculptures of the sarcophagi. The iconography was partly drawn from pagan figurative schemes, with a Christian symbolic meaning; the influence of symbolic representations of a Jewish environment was also noteworthy. In architecture, Christian communities tended not to characterize in any way the domus ecclesiae – meeting houses – or, in Roman language, tituli, which were considered meeting places. A certain arrangement was given to the tombs of illustrious martyrs, such as the aedicule erected by Gaius in the late 2nd century. on the tomb of s. Peter. More ambitious constructions and of oriental origin are the Trichorae cells(with three apses) or the first basilicas (S. Sebastiano on the Via Appia, before 313). Characteristics of the Adriatic are the combined buildings (double cathedrals), such as that of Aquileia (before 319).
The development of architecture became important after the Edict of Constantine; in Rome the cathedral dedicated to the Savior (od. S. Giovanni in Laterano), built by him, or S. Pietro, acquired a normative and ideal value for religious architecture throughout the Middle Ages. From 350 onwards the importance of Milan was very great, with remarkable and differentiated buildings: the ancient S. Tecla and its octagonal baptistery, S. Lorenzo and the Ambrosian foundations of the church of the Ss. Apostoli (incorporated into the Romanesque structure of S. Nazzaro), S. Sempliciano and S. Ambrogio, whose basilical typology spread to Vicenza, Verona, Brescia, Pavia, with the characteristic chapel of the martyrs placed on one side of the church near the apse. The transfer of the imperial seat to Ravenna (402) gave rise to construction programs (mausoleum of Galla Placidia, baptisteries of the Orthodox and Arians, S. Apollinare Nuovo, S. Apollinare in Classe, S. Vitale) which, although connected in structure and materials with late Roman architecture, belonged to the architectural solutions and the style of the monumental mosaic decorations, in the orbit of oriental art. For the Italy The construction of Cimitile by s. Pauline. Splendid mosaics from this period are preserved in Albenga, Milan, Rome, Naples, S. Prisco near Capua, Cimitile, Casaranello in Puglia. Rome, after the brief revival of the 6th century. (mosaic of Saints Cosma and Damiano), on the one hand it moves towards a linearistic stylization, with characters suited to the orientation of Byzantine art; on the other hand it reveals constant contributions from the Hellenistic vein, the greatest expression of which are the frescoes of S.
Early Middle Ages
Fundamental monuments of painting in Italy between 7th and 9th century. are the frescoes of Castelseprio, of S. Salvatore in Brescia, of Cividale (of disputed dating), of Malles in Val Venosta (to which those of Müstair are connected), of Naturno, in addition to the famous frescoes and mosaics of Rome and some frescoes of Naples and Benevento. An important contribution is made by the art promoted by the Lombards. The attribution to the Lombard age of the S. Salvatore di Spoleto and the so-called temple of Clitunno has been discussed; masterpiece of the time is the church of S. Sofia in Benevento. Noteworthy are the stuccos (Cividale, Brescia) and the sculpture (Cividale, Ferentillo, Rome). The exchange of influences between Carolingian art and Lombard art is also discussed. In the miniature the code of Eginone (Berlin, Deutsche Staatbibliothek) is important, written in Verona in the last years of the 8th century, and some codes of Vercelli (Capitular Library). Some ivory reliefs are very important, now in Trento, Ravenna and in foreign museums, and, in the goldsmith’s art, the altar of S. Ambrogio in Milan, by Vuolvinio. In the northern Adriatic, alongside paleochristian themes, there is an up-to-date knowledge of Byzantine painting.