In the historical period, the peninsula, home to various peoples and different civilizations, offers an extremely complex and multiform archaeological and artistic panorama. We cannot therefore speak of the origins and development of a single and unitary civilization, but of as many civilizations as there were populations that inhabited it. Sanctuaries and necropolises appear to be places of artistic ‘consumption’, where devotional forms linked to individuals or groups find simplified formal expressions, even when they depend on ‘cultured’ Greek or Etruscan models, which are characterized by their ease of communication. Regardless of the problem of figurative manifestations, Archaeological and epigraphic discoveries have allowed the development of an ‘Italic archeology’ as a discipline that studies the cultures that developed between the Iron Age and Romanization among the people speaking languages of the ‘Italic’ lineage (Celtic and Venetic in northern Italy; Umbrian, Sabine and Latin in central Italy; languages of the Oscan group in southern Italy). The difference in contacts with more advanced cultures, such as that of the Greek colonists in the South and the Etruscans in the Center, and the diversity of the same environmental realities favored the formation of regional cultures in which processes of political self-identification established themselves at different times, becoming objectified in communities of predominantly territorial and cantonal rather than urban type.
Sicily and the coasts of the Italy southern, where the Greek colonies were formed, were immediately deeply Hellenized, giving rise to artistic manifestations in which the local taste always emerged, while in the innermost areas the indigenous element maintained its characters for a longer time, and especially in the western part the Punic civilization also asserted itself on the island. Sardinia, seat of the original and autonomous Bronze Nuragic civilization, which persisted even in historical times, was deeply affected by the Punic influence during the 6th century. BC, until it was Romanized. In the Italy the Villanovan and Lazio civilizations, which developed the geometric decoration throughout the 8th century. BC, it was transformed in the 7th century. for the active reception of the orientalizing current, especially through Phoenician mediation,
In the 6th century. BC a wave of Ionic culture, largely through traders and Phocean settlers and also through the immigration of Ionic artists, gave new vigor to Etruscan art, which at the end of the 6th century. and in the early 5th century it acted powerfully not only in Rome, but also in the South (Campania) and in the North, where Spina, at the mouth of the Po, represented a thriving Etruscan outpost, towards which Greek artistic products flowed. Particular local aspects take on the artistic productions of some more isolated peoples, such as the Veneti, the Atestini, and prehistoric forms persist in more backward areas, such as the Ligurian ones. The flourishing orientalizing artistic culture of Picena with a local flavor did not fail to be affected by the Etruscan influence and then by the Gallic contribution, while the Italic populations of the interior, along the central-southern Apennines,
According to remzfamily, the influence of the superior Greek artistic civilization became more and more normative and in the Hellenistic period determined a certain koinè throughout the peninsula, albeit with a variety of levels and accents. In the midst of this vast confluence of artistic currents and in the varied action and reaction of local substrates, with the affirmation of Rome an art was born derived from the convergence of Greek teaching, of the Etruscan tradition and of the Italic taste. These various strands, which gave rise in the 1st century. BC to artistic expressions of various tones, merged more and more, creating an imperial art that was able to originally interpret the ideals of Roman civilization, from portraiture to historical subject relief, from the sarcophagus to decorative sculpture, and which came to brilliant creations in the field of architecture, developing up to the crisis determined by the barbarian invasions.