Albania Arts and Architecture

Albania Arts and Architecture

The excavation and restoration campaigns of late antique and early medieval buildings, which followed one another with ever greater rigor since the mid-20th century, have highlighted art and architecture in Albania as native variants within the Byzantine sphere. Examples are the basilica (three naves, transept and polygonal apse) and the baptistery of Butrint, from the 6th century, with interventions in the 9th century (the floor mosaics, 6th century are remarkable). The renewed construction activity of the 10th century. it is testified by the heptaconco of Santi 1940, while the cruciform plan with dome (Apollonia, Episcopi near Argirocastro) and the exposed walls with ceramic decorations (churches in Berat and Labovo) spread. Noteworthy is the chapel of the amphitheater of Durazzo with its mosaic decoration (10th century). In the sec. 13 ° and 14 ° in the mural painting there is a strong influence; za of the art of the Paleologians (frescoes of S. Maria in Apollonia). Between the sec. 11th and 15th centers such as Berat, Scutari, Gjirokastra, Canina and the great castles (Petrele) are transformed, with the evolution of fortification techniques.

According to findjobdescriptions, the Christian pictorial tradition continues even after the Ottoman occupation; in the sec. 16th the greatest Albanian painter is active, Onufri (a museum is dedicated to him in Berat), free from Byzantine schematisms in landscapes and portraits. From the 17th century. Islamic decorative painting has notably developed, often by the same workshops active for Christian buildings. A detachment from tradition for a more direct relationship with reality is felt in the 18th century, alongside influences of the European Baroque with D. Selenica, K. Jeromonaku, K. and Albania Zografi and at the beginning of the 19th in the the work of the Kadro family. Between the sec. 17th and 19th centuries are made monumental Islamic religious buildings (Ethem Bey mosque in Tirana) and Christians, locally characterized by baroque and neoclassical solutions (Ardenice monastery),

A properly Albanian art develops from the end of the 19th century, with the birth of a national conscience; from the 20th the interest in psychology and social and everyday aspects and, on the formal level, realism is affirmed, with K. Idromeno, N. Martini, S. Rota, Albania Kushi, Z. Colombi, V. Mio Public buildings and urban planning are affected by Western architecture. After 1945 the artists of socialist realism produced celebratory works; in sculpture O. Paskali and J. Paco assert themselves, while painting is expressed with greater formal freedom thanks to S. Shijaku, M. Fushekati and, for graphics, N. Bakalli and P. Mele.

Since the 1980s, painting has been oriented towards monumental formats (frescoes and mosaics in the National History Museum in Tirana, by Shijaku and Fushekati, 1981); new figurative instances emerge (E. Rama, Albania Sala, E. Hila) which lead to a variety of expressions, combining autobiographical and cultural references, irony, violence and nonsense.

The Biennial of Contemporary Art has been held in Tirana since 2001.

Albanians of Italy The Albanians came to southern Italy at various times from the middle of the century. 15 °. The areas of greatest immigration were Calabria and Sicily. With the intensification of relations between the Albania and the Kingdom, Giorgio Castriota Scanderbeg sent soldiers to Ferdinand I to support him against the Angevins and then against the barons; the Castriota had fiefs in Puglia and many Albanians followed Irene Castriota in Calabria, married to the prince of Bisignano (1470). The last great immigration took place in the century. 16 °. Initially welcomed, the Albanians established colonies mainly of peasants and soldiers, with their own ‘chapters’ and regulations, but only in the eighteenth-century reformism did they find a possibility of ascent, with the granting of ecclesiastical colleges and bishoprics of the Greek rite.


Butrint (1992, 1999); historic centers of Berat and Gjirokaster (2005).

Albania Arts and Architecture