Cinque Terre as Text
“Impact of Art” by Madeline Pestana
Throughout the semester we’ve examined the evolution of artistic techniques and styles. These styles are interpretations of prominent people or events throughout history. For instance, the image of baby Jesus is painted by Michelangelo Buonarroti and Leonardo Da Vinci. It is evident that Buonarroti chooses to exaggerate his subjects muscles to portray strength, while Da Vinci prefers to focus on other details such as texture; yet in each depiction, we get the image of Jesus. As we’ve discussed, art is an expression of one’s own interpretation of an event, person, place, or thing. However, it is not just an expression, it is an ignition of emotions, of movements. The images painted by these artists create a reaction, physically and mentally. One canvas (or sculpture) can unite hundreds of people without any kind of verbal communication.
Before the 1970s, Cinque Terre had not been explored by many tourists and the villages consisted primarily of locals. Although it is still unclear as to how exactly tourism reached Cinque Terre, one theory is repeated by several online guides: tourists were introduced to the villages of Cinque Terre through art. The West Coast of Italy’s Cinque Terre captivated several artists beginning in the 19th century because of the colorful buildings and landscapes. This area, naturally, served as a muse for inspired artists. The earliest record of Cinque Terre’s smallest village, Riomaggiore was painted by Florentine artist Telemaco Signorini in the 19th century. Allowing passion to guide him through the mountains, Signorini stumbled upon the village and was captured by the square shaped pastel colored buildings, surrounding nature, and coastal landscape. Signorini paintings contributed to the Macchiaioli art movement. Not only did his paintings play significant role within art history, but it introduced the village of Riomaggiore to a larger audience. Signorini’s interpretations ignited adventure and curiosity into his audience, which inspired other artists and tourists to later explore the villages of Cinque Terre. We are often so focused on painting/sculpting techniques, that we overlook the impacts it’s made. Art in its simplest and most complex form unites people in community. We are embraced by culture and diversity as we congregate together to admire artwork amongst friends and strangers alike. The images of Christ unites us whether for religious purposes or for the sake of art. The image of Riomaggiore triggered curiosity and adventure, therefore bringing tourism to the area. Art has the power to unite communities in appreciation.