Art and Culture in Albania

Art and Culture in Albania

Albania is a country known for its unique art and culture. As a country in southeastern Europe, it has a long and eventful history, a factor that is attributed to its present art reputation. In the beginning, Albania was ruled by the Ottoman Empire. This largely affected artwork in the country because Ottoman brought in different art forms like mural paintings and mosaic, which in turn became prevalent and introduced as fine art in Albania.

However, it was not until independence did radical artistic change. This brief history gives insights on how art forms were molded in the country.  Among the first architecture works in Albania include the many ancient Byzantine churches, venerable mosques and the southern Albanian regions of Korca. The other not so common art forms include the elegant Ottoman-style vaulted bridges, catholic churches in the north and the lofty mansions of Gjirokastra. Subsequent to murals and mosaics from the medieval period, the very first representations include the icons in the orthodox tradition.

They are presently preserved in various museums such as Berat, Tirana and Korca.   The modern sculpture and painting were invented during the first half of the 20th century when the first art exhibitions were held. The dominant theme during the time was proletariat, which was the stamina of the socialist system. Most of the art depicted during this time was landscape painting. They focused on paintings that showed women feeding chicken and men working in the fields. 

One of the painters who specialized with such works was Fatmir Haxhiu. However, the artwork was faced with several challenges but despite that, it still got better and richer.   Though the country changed to democracy in the year 1991, they still identify their artwork with socialist realism. This is because they believe that it portrays real situations and people, more especially where they came from and where they are now. The present fine art in Albania captures the everyday life that the nationalities encounter. It inspires them to continue building their nation as days go by and to overcome any struggles, they face in their life journey.

Nonetheless, new artists are now utilizing other artistic styles to express their messages. They continue to shift their art forward, whilst it remains Albanian in content.   When it comes to culture, Albania is divided into two cultural groups. They include the northern Albanians or the Ghegs and the southern Albanians also known as the Tosks. Both groups are literally divided by a geographic border that is based on dialect and running along a river called Shkumbin.

Though their cultural differences are substantial, they both identify strongly with the general ethnic and common national culture. Albania in general is a beautiful country with a rich culture and great people. Many people will identify it with the ancient art forms first viewed during a tour to the country. Most people also associate this country with many famous artists responsible for the fine art and culture in Albania including Sokol Beqiri, Adrian Paci, Helidon Gjergji, Anri Sala, Edi Muka and many other contemporary ones. The more reason for its popularity in art.

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