Sardinian art and architecture

Art and architecture in Sardinia are mostly imported, but what arrives on the island is often re elaborated and acquires a typical sensibility of the Sardinian soul.

Some historical periodes are important for having left here true treasures of art.
First of all Sardinia has the record of having made born the first great culture of the western Mediterranean. From the different prehistoric cultures, sees his birth around 1.500 b.C the nuragic civilization. This civilization is very important because it represents the meeting point between the megalitic culture of the west and the urban culture of the eastern Mediterranean. The perfect megalithic constructions of the nuragic art, are among the most majestic of the whole bronze age.
After the relations with Phoenicians and Carthago, Sardinia is conquired by Rome in 238 b.C., thus it becomes one of the first extra italic regions to be latinized. Rome gives to Sardinia the urban, economic and social structure that is still the base of today’s Sardinia.
Another foundamental periode in Sardinian history is the Byzanthinian administration, which gives a strong imprinting that served as starting point for the burocratic and juridical structure of the four medioeval kingdoms.

Sardinian middle age is signed by the presence of the four kingdoms of Càlari, Torres, Arborea and Gallura. This is a periode of fervent artistic activity, promoted by the kings who called the skilled master from Provence, Lombardy and Tuscany, giving life to the extraordinary season of the Sardinian romanesque.

With the conquest of Sardinia by the Cathalan-Aragonians, it is imported on the island a new artistic sensibility, that is the one of the european gothic. One of the imported art forms is the one of the the retablo, (altar piece), that is soon metabolized by the local painters, forming a local school that soon takes over the Cathalan masters and that lives till the ‘600. We are talking about the school of Stampaxi and about the painters Miali and Perdu Càvaro, but also of the master of Castelsardo, about the one of Othieri, about Antiogu Mainas etc. This was a time when Sardinia was part of the spanish empire and Cagliari was part of the intense trade traffics, and art was florid.

It follows a periode of slow decadence, coinciding with the decadence of the spanish empire, in which the above mentioned art forms are repeated with tiredness, and that, with the arrival of the Savoys end for ever, because with the new lords comes a new sensibility which considered the art of Sardinian painters and sculptors, a poor art that didn’t deserve the attention to be developed any further.

The ‘800 is the century that sees two personalities, one in the architecture and the other in painting, keeping the premiership of Sardinian art by having fully metabolized the styles imported from Piedmont. Those personalities are Gaetanu Cima, theoric of the classical purity, and Juanni Marghinotti.

But is with the beginning of the ‘900 that births on Sardinia a new generations of artists who would give such a strong inprinting to Sardinian art that the influences are still visible today. The istances of the european art seccessions, and the influence of the Spanish costumbrismo, give the excuse to invent a painting that tells about the proud Sardinian people, in a almost mythical dimension, a mythology that has as main characters the shepherds, the farmers, the women, and the Sardinian landscape. The names of those artists are Jusepi Biasi, Filipu Figari, Franciscu Çusa, Eugèniu Tavolara, Felici Melis Marini etc.

The Vernacular architecture deserves a particular mention because it surprises for its originality and variety of the forms, making deserve to Sardinia the nick name of "almost continent" not only for the vareity of its landscapes, but also for the anthopic and cultural one.

Depending on the region, whether flatlands, mountains, coasts, and from the consequent function, rises architectonic structures belonging specificly to Sardinian culture.

Exclusive Sardinian architectonic forms are the houses of the Campidano, the cumbessias or muristenis (villages build around a sanctuary), the country churches with vast loggias around, the pinnetas (shepherd’s huts) and others.



Condividi e Pubblica:
  • Print
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Google Bookmarks
  • LinkedIn