Italy - The Land of Dreams
Rome exerted an enormous draw as not only the centre of the catholic world, but also as the cradle of art and culture. Since the end of the 18th century, people here sought the models of antique greatness, both in art as well as morals, which appeared down the tunnel of time to be quite irretrievable. Generations of artists and writers made their way across the Alps to Italy. And with time a veritable colony of German artists had established itself in Rome.
In the early 19th century, a group of young artists who were frustrated by the rigidity of classicist painting turned their backs on academic teaching in Vienna and set off for Italy. Once in Rome they found refuge in a former monastery, where they lived according to mediaeval patterns as a religiously-minded brotherhood of painters. Their avowed aim was the reformation of art on the bases of religion and patriotism. Using a simple language of forms and a few clear colours, their works aimed at conveying piety and noble-mindedness. They drew their artistic inspiration from Dürer and the Italian painters of the 15th century. And since their long hair recalled the depictions of Jesus, people mocked them and called them "Nazarener" (Nazarenes).
In the second half of the century they were joined by other artists, and this circle became known as the “Deutschrömer” (German Romans). Their works also reveal an intensive study of the classical ideals of Antiquity, of mythological themes and the art of the Italian Renaissance. The experience that German artists gained in Italy had a significant effect on artistic developments in Germany.
And even in these times of mass tourism, the yearning for Italy seems unabated. Is this also true of you? Gilt das auch für Sie?