In the coastal regions of Istria and Dalmatia, today mostly belonging to the Croatian Republic, traces of Greek (Nesatius) and above all Roman settlements are still preserved, among which Pula and Split are particularly noteworthy. This territory was later part of the Eastern Roman Empire and was affected by a huge architectural activity especially during the reign of Justinian I (527-565). The construction of Julia Parentium in the ancient Roman colony dates back to this period (today’s Parenzo), of the Euphrasian Basilica, where the splendid original mosaics are still preserved. From the end of the century. VI, when the invasion of the Slavic populations interrupted the Roman tradition, in the century. IX only the finds from the grave goods provide evidence of an artistic activity in the region. § Between the sec. In the ninth and eleventh areas, an art of a monumental nature flourished in this area, witnessed, especially in Dalmatia, by churches with a central plan, among which the rotunda of San Donato in Zara is worthy of note., and by small longitudinal churches with domed vaults. This pre-Romanesque production was later flanked by the penetration of the architecture of the Benedictines of Cassino, who built various basilicas along the Adriatic coast. In the sec. XII Dalmatia and Istria experienced the spread of the Romanesque, whose characteristic features initially merged with the architectural style of the Byzantine tradition , while only in the following centuries the different currents tended to differentiate themselves, accentuating the more specific features of each. In Croatia it penetrated in the century. XIII the French and German Gothic, of which significant testimonies remain in the Cistercian churchof Kostanjevica (13th century) and in the Zagreb cathedral, built around 1275 and later rebuilt in the 13th century. XIX. There are also numerous late Gothic buildings of worship, such as the one dedicated to St. Mark in Zagreb and the ruins of the Topusko church. In Croatia, the Gothic was only exhausted in the century. XVII with the affirmation of the late Baroque architecture of the Italian masters, to whom we owe the construction of the parish church of Belec (1729-1740) and those of Lepoglava (1740 ca.) and the nearby city of Purga (1750). The Slovenian sculptor of Venetian origin F. Robba worked in Zagreb, also influenced by Italian artists. A particular artistic event characterized Dalmatia which, unlike the rest of the country, being inextricably linked to Italian art, followed the developments from the Romanesque to the Baroque. § In the sec. In the 19th century, Croatian painting was influenced by the artistic trends that were affirming themselves in other European countries and in particular in France. At the beginning of the twentieth century the impressionist paintersCroats, such as M. Kraljević, J. Račić and V. Bečić, became linked to the Yugoslav national unity movement and after the unification with Serbia, Slovenia and Bosnia and Herzegovina, which occurred in 1918, it manifested itself in Croatia, as also in the other regions, a reaction to impressionism. The sculptor I. Mestrovič also had great influence, even outside Croatia. After the end of the Second World War, art adapted for a certain period to the canons of socialist realism but after 1950 artistic currents inspired by similar European experiences also regained strength, as in the case of the avant-garde group Gorgona, created in Zagreb in the 1960s on the basis of Fluxus, or the abstract geometries of Edita Schubert (b.1947) and Djuro Seder (b.1927). The naive painters deserve a special mention, among which the Croatians I. Generalić, around whom the school of Hlebine flourished, and I. Rabuzin. Finally, to mention the best-known names of contemporary Croatian art, Edo Murtić (1921-2005) was a painter of Mediterranean landscapes with thick chromatic backgrounds, close to the informal; Dimitrije Popović (b. 1951) is instead a surrealist painter, extremely popular in Croatia, and not surprisingly called the “Croatian Dali”. Finally, it should be remembered that, during the conflict that began in 1992, in the Croatian territories bordering Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina, numerous cities of art, such as the Dalmatian Dubrovnick, were bombed, suffering serious damage and an incalculable number of monuments and works of art have thus been irreparably destroyed.
As in other Balkan countries that have emerged from years of wars, in Croatia too cinema has taken on the role of critical conscience destined to retrace the war years and the immediate post-war years with an impartial eye. An example of this is the director Vinko Brešan (b.1964), author of the award-winning I witnesses (2004), which pushes us to reflect on the sins of Croats during the war, and who was therefore opposed by the most nationalist fringes of Croatian society.. Zagreb has always been considered the European capital of animated cinema, a role that independence has not affected. According to petsinclude, the best-known exponents of the Zagreb school are Dušan Vukotić (1927-1998), Oscar winner in 1961 for the film Surogat; and Joško Marušić (b. 1952); among the authors of animated films of the late twentieth century we remember at least the names of Daniel Suljic, with Il dolce (1997) and Dusko Gacic, author of A complex presentiment (2003).