As the British National Gallery prepares to celebrate Leonardo Da Vinci and his art in November we look at the most famous Italian artists the world has ever known. 

Born in 1452, Leonardo Da Vinci, aka the Genius, was a painter, sculptor, scientist, draughtsman, architect and engineer. In other words, he was the quintessence of art and creativity.

Its best works exhibited in Paris, London, Milan and St Petersburg; include the Mona Lisa, The Virgin of the Rocks, La Belle Ferronière, and the first ever known helicopter design.

Leonardo was concerned by reality while aiming at awe-inspiring mystery. And it's exactly the mystery in his Vitruvian Manthat inspired Dan Brown's The Da Vinci Code.

Michelangelo Buonarroti was also from Tuscany and Leonardo's contemporary. A painter, sculptor, poet and architect, he owes his fame to David, the Renaissance sculpture of the Biblical hero who killed Goliath with a slingshot, located in the Accademia Gallery in Florence. Unforgettable are also his paintings of the Sistine Chapel ceiling in Rome and The Last Judgement.

Federico Fellini is the father of post-war Italian cinema. He was born in Rimini, central Italy, in 1920 but soon moved to Rome.

He began a career in neo-realist cinema but later preferred an oneiric blend of fantasy and baroque style, especially evident in his La Dolce Vita, Amarcord and 8½.

Fellini was active from 1940 to 1990 during which he made twenty four films and won four Oscars for the Best Foreign Language Film and the Oscar for Lifetime Achievement.

Martin Scorsese, Terry Gillian and Woody Allen are only some of the directors who named Fellini as their most important influences.


This article is contributed by journalist, Vito Panico, and does not represent the views or opinions of the International Business Times.

Vito Panico holds a Master's degree in journalism from The University of Sheffield. He currently lives in the Apulia region in Southeastern Italy where he writes for local and international publications. To contact Mr. Panico by email, please click here.