Naïve Art and Italian Culture

When you hear the word 'Italy' what's the first thought that comes to your mind?

Perhaps it's a gondola on the canals of Venice or the white marble statues of Rome (missing a limb or two). To many in the art world, Italy is the epicenter of creativity.  It is the birthplace of the Renaissance and the home of celebrated artists like Michelangelo, Da Vinci, and Bernini.

Throughout Italy's elaborate history, different art forms have come and gone. Yet, one thing remained constant: The warm and happy culture.

Italy symbolizes more than carved torsos and 'Sistine chapels.' Italians are known for their joy of life. And, for their unapologetic LOVE of things. They have a love of food, a love of music, and a love of women and beauty. The Italian language itself sounds more like song than a form of speech (Italians could probably get offered a recording contract just by arguing with one another!). When not hyperactively passionate, Italians enjoy a restful 'siesta.'

There is no better art form that captures the warm nature of Italians than Naïve art.

Naïve art, at its core, is a genre based on pure happiness. The scenes depicted in Naïve art, even scenes of war, draw upon the positive aspects of an event or memory. The bright color schemes, animated characters, and even the fine details in the background of Naïve paintings have one goal–to leave the viewer with a smile. Throw some Italian culture into the mix and that's AMORE!

Here are a few Examples of Italian Naïve Art:

A typical day in southern Italy involves buying fresh produce, and perhaps some calamari, at one of the many seaside markets. Allesandra Puppo captures such a morning scene at Camogli port, where the boats often outnumber the people. 

Camogli Port by Allesandra Puppo.
Camogli Port by Allesandra Puppo.

No other fruit better symbolizes Italy than the olive. Many scenes of Naïve art involve olive pickers, groves of olives, and even olive oil (extra virgin olive oil, yum!). Giovanni Galli paints a very typical Italian scene: a family gathering olives at the beginning of the harvest. 

Olive Harvest by Giovanni Galli.
Olive Harvest by Giovanni Galli.

No Italian town exists without at least one musician. After all, music is a key component of any proper serenade! This Italian 'harlequin' by Guido Vedovato comes ready with his own mandolin. 

Italian culture stands out for its dedication to the arts and its warm and happy culture. These two characteristics are perfectly aligned with the essence of Naïve art as well. "When the moon hits your eye like a big pizza pie, that's Italian Naïve Art!"



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About Nirel

 I currently get my art fix by painting and writing an art blog  for a gallery (called Naive Art Online), the largest collection of international  and truly awesome Naive Art!