Art and history
Warrior of Capestrano
The famous Guerriero di Capestrano (Warrior of Capestrano), conserved at the Museo Archeologico Nazionale (National Archaeological Museum) in Chieti can be attributed to Italic culture and is ancient Abruzzo’s most famous work of art. The region’s indomitable peoples (the Sanniti, Piceni, Marrucini, Vestini, Marsi, Equi, Peligni and Frentani) challenged Rome and its expansion to the East. Of those Romans, who eventually came off best, relatively modest evidence remains – compared to that of the neighbouring regions – in Chieti, Teramo, Amiternum and Alba Fucens. It was not until the 11th to 14th Centuries that an intense artistic blossoming could be witnessed which would leave more obvious and evocative traces on the region: it was the period during which the cathedrals of Atri, Teramo and Chieti, the abbeys of San Clemente a Casauria and Santa Maria Arabona and the churches of San Pietro in Alba Fucens, San Pelino a Corfinio and Santa Maria in Valle Porclaneta were built, to name but a few. It was the period of Romanesque and Gothic churches, hermitages hidden away on mountains, mighty castles, paved roads and shrines.
Participation in the Renaissance was marginal (the Palazzo dell’Annunziata in Sulmona and the façade of San Bernardino in L’Aquila can be seen): construction and figurative art no longer shone and Naples and Rome were allowed to dominate. It was only in the nineteenth century with the unification of Italy that a new generation of artists, musicians and writers came to the forefront. Some of them, such as Gabriele D’Annunzio, Ignazio Silone, Ennio Flaiano and Basilio Cascella are very well known. Others, such as the painters Teofilo Patini, Francesco Paolo Michetti and brothers Giuseppe, Filippo and Francesco Paolo Palizzi are known predominately within the region.