The region of Dalmatia has been contested for millennia, going back at least to the Illyrians, Greeks and Romans. Subsequently, Slavs, Latin Dalmatians, Byzantines, Venetians, Hungarians and Ottomans also vied for control.
Venice maintained some kind of presence in Istria and on the Dalmatian Coast from the Kvarner Gulf down to the Montenegrin littoral for eleven hundred years. The town of Kotor on the Bay of Kotor in present-day Montenegro was
formally under Venetian administration from 1420 until the demise of sovereign Venice in 1797. Evidence of this Venetian presence can still be seen today in the region’s preserved art, sculpture and architecture, where the Lion
of Saint Mark adorns the main gate to Kotor. Present day Italian narratives of this Venetian Renaissance (and later)
heritage, however, overlook an older, common heritage
shared by Venice and Dalmatia (Latin and Slavic), that of
the Eastern Roman (Byzantine) Empire.
|Keywords:||Art and Cultural Heritage, Art and Nationalism|
Professor, Department of Economics, University of Wisconsin–Whitewater, Whitewater, Wisconsin, USA
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