Sicily offers a range of delights for art lovers of all varieties, from traditional Italian frescos to modern art and photography, this unique Mediterranean island is a true gem, inspiring artists and art lovers alike. Wonderfully varied artistic influences have created a culture of beauty at every turn. Artists have been drawn to the island to make the most of the scenery and immerse themselves in a culture that values the aesthetics in life within an extremely fertile, lush landscape.
From the rolling hills of inland Sicily, the vineyards of the Marsala Provence and the sandy beaches and white cliffs known as La Scala dei Turchi – Sicily is a great place to visit and live if you are extremely lucky! Providing inspiration for centuries there has been a whole host of famous artists that have originated from the island.
Famous artists such as Antonello da Messina, an Italian Renaissance painter who broke the mould by becoming a southern Italian artist to prove influential on painters in northern Italy, especially Venice. The artist Renato Guttuso was also born here, taking inspiration from the people, the landscapes and the life style to create some very moving and poignant pieces.
To indulge your artistic passion yourself whilst in Sicily why not try a painting class in the countryside, the unique scenery provides awe inspiring thinking pieces, marvelous topics for your artistic toils. There is enough inspiration to last a lifetime!
What makes Sicily so different from mainland Italy are the Greek influences that have flourished over the centuries. It is often said that Sicilians hold a unique character, a blend of both Italian and Greek influences. The archaeological museums of Sicily are filled with artifacts from the Greek occupation: Painted ceramics and amphorae, sculptures and bronzes and carved ornaments from temple buildings. Terracotta ceramics from the island are also distinctive of the area; this artistic tradition goes back to the original ancient peoples names the Sicilians.
Probably the most well known art gallery in Sicily is the Sicily Regional gallery, or the Galleria Regionale di Sicilia, a grand, Gothic building in itself situated close to the waterside in Palmermo, it is the capital’s main art museum. It displays a range of medieval works such as Francesco Laurana’s Bust of Eleanor of Aragon and the massive 15th-centuary fresco; Triumph of Death, is also impressive yet chilling.
Other than the most well know galleries there are also many more hidden gems to discover in the country and local artists exhibiting their produce. An annual event also looked forward to by many is the Viaggio. A contemporary art project organised by Planeta, one of Sicily’s leading winemakers. This year’s exhibition features work by artists from the Scicli school, who recount, through painting and sculptures, their travels through Sicily and Planeta’s vineyards.
Not only have numerous paintings come out of the area but a unique type of architecture; Baroque. Architecture in the Baroque style covers the land; the style is extravagant and dramatic and characteristically adorns most cathedrals, churches and other key buildings in most towns and villages. The Noto province provides one of the best examples of the Baroque architecture brought to Sicily. After the town was completely destroyed by the 1693 earthquake, visionaries created a new town based firmly on baroque ideals with curvaceous façades and perfectly proportioned, linear open spaces. The beautiful architecture typical of the area also makes great topics for painting and sketching.
Religious inspired artworks: Most Sicilian towns claim a patron saint and these adorn buildings and inspire artworks from locals, these saints are also celebrated in processions through the streets and at festivals.
If you are relocating to Sicily with your art collection then it is advisable to commission a fine art handling specialist who specialises in the bespoke packing and transportation of fine art to ensure your prize artworks get to their new destination in one piece.
Sicilians are proud to be unique and have their own identity, proud to be Sicilian. Live like the Sicilians and immerse yourself in the culture, art and history of this unique and passionate Mediterranean island.