Against the backdrop of the political and cultural events that mark Europe, Italian art and architecture are full of ferment, even if they lose their position of domination and leadership. Italy still remains a reference point in the great decoration (Italian artists are active from England to Eastern Europe) and destination of the grand tour ; however, the French, English and German cultures take over. According to COUNTRYVV.COM, the international character especially in painting is accentuated; previous naturalistic and classicist tendencies are enriched with a new focus on Venetian colourism, Flemish and Dutch tradition and contemporary French experiences. In Rome, classicism of the Marattian type (G. Chiari, B. Luti) leads to an Arcadian grace, with a gallant or devotional imprint (F. Trevisani); PL Ghezzi, academic in religious works, is witty ironic in genre scenes and caricatures; M. Benefial represents a severe naturalism. In landscape painting, A. Locatelli and GP Pannini emerge. In sculpture, classicist and baroque instances interpenetrate in C. Rusconi; with late Baroque grace, in F. Della Valle and P. Bracci. In the architectural and urban fields A. Specchi, F. De Sanctis, F. Raguzzini, N. Salvi elaborate scenographic solutions; G. Valvassori and G. Sardi work with a graceful baroque; F. Fuga, A. Galilei, C. Marchionni refer to a classicist trend. F. Juvarra, trained in Rome, works with brilliant inventiveness in the transformation of Turin into a European level capital; B. Alfieri and B. Vittone followed. In the field of painting and decoration, in addition to the Turin court, CF Beaumont, G. Crosato, the Cignaroli, C. Giaquinto, the French C.-A. worked at the Savoy court. Vanloo. At the beginning of the 18th century Neapolitan architecture was affected by F. Solimena, better known as a painter; a Neapolitan school is formed with F. Sanfelice and D. Vaccaro. In the middle of the century, F. Fuga and L. Vanvitelli (his masterpiece the Royal Palace of Caserta) are in Naples; the sculpture reached subtle preciousness with G. Sammarini, F. Queirolo, A. Corradini. Solimena dominated in painting; his pupil, F. De Mura. S. Conca and C. Giaquinto were active above all in Rome the first, in Turin and in Spain the second. Genovese is A. Magnasco, with intense touch painting, also active in Milan; Mantua, G. Bazzani. In Milan, more than in architecture, which only with G. Piermarini finds its most original expression at the end of the century, is painting that presents interesting results with CI Carlone, the Galliari brothers, the work of G. Tiepolo. In Bologna, the classicism of C. Cignani, that of D. Creti and above all GM Crespi emerge against the backdrop of tradition. In sculpture, G. Mazza’s classical ways tend to soften in his most significant pupil, AG Piò. The leading role in eighteenth-century European painting is once again played by Venice, by S. Ricci, GB Piazzetta and Giambattista Tiepolo, in the great decorative enterprises, in religious or allegorical themes. P. Longhi and, in the view and landscape, Canaletto and F. Guardi operate with new realistic approaches. A classicism marked by a recovery of the Palladian lesson characterizes Venetian architecture, with G. Scalfarotto, A. Tirali, G. Massari and T. Temanza.
If the excavations of Herculaneum and Pompeii and the evidence of the antiquity of Sicily attract more and more educated and sensitive travelers, it is Rome that in the second half of the eighteenth century becomes the privileged place of neoclassical poetics: JJ Winckelmann and AR Mengs live in Rome; Going back to the Enlightenment rationalism of C. Lodoli and F. Algarotti, F. Milizia lays the foundations of neoclassical architecture and urban planning, while GB Piranesi’s approach to antiquity is completely personal; the presence of J.-L. David and A. Canova is significant. The neoclassical movement with its complex components left significant traces, in architecture also on an urban scale, in Milan with Piermarini, S. Cantoni, CF Soave, L. Pollack and, for interior decoration, G. Albertolli; in Venice G. Selva, in Rome G. Valadier.