|Venezuelan music and dancing incorporate indigenous,
African and European influences. The styles vary from region to region.
The national dance is the joropo, which is performed by couples.
It is accompanied by the harp, maracas, and a unique musical instrument
called the cuatro, a small four-stringed guitar. One of Venezuela's
most popular musical groups, Un Solo Pueblo (One People), combines
the folk music of the Llanos with the African drumbeats popular in the
coastal towns. Although Venezuela is known for its folk music, classical
music is also popular. Caracas has four symphony orchestras and many other
cities have their own orchestras.
|Many of Venezuela's most gifted writers have also
been some of its most influential political leaders. Simón Bolívar's
writing inspired the Venezuelan people and prepared them for the War of
Independence. Andrés Bello also wrote inspirational non-fiction
and poetry. One of the most famous novelists in Venezuelan history is Rómulo
Gallegos. He became the president of Venezuela. His best-known novel is
Dona Bárbara, the story of a woman who lived in the Llanos
region. Arturo Uslar Pietri is one of the most celebrated living Venezuelan
authors. He won the Rómulo Gallegos Prize for Literature and the
Spanish Prince of Asturia Literary Prize in 1991 for his novel, Una
visita en el tiempo (A Visit in Time).
of Venezuela's most talented painters, Armando Reverón, was also
known as the "Hermit of Macuto". He was given this nickname because he
refused to socialize with anyone except his wife and one of the models
for his paintings.
|Venezuela has been home to many distinguished
painters, muralists, sculptors and architects. Venezuelan artists are at
the forefront of a new kind of art called kinetic art or movable sculpture.
The most famous kinetic artists are Jesús Soto, Carlos Cruz-Diez
and Alejandro Otero. Many of Soto's sculptures are located at the entrances
of some of Caracas's most important buildings. Otero is best known for
his work La abra solar, which is an intricate and beautiful metallic
cross that moves in the wind.
Manuel Cabre, Ángel Luque, Armando Reverón
and Hector Poleo are among Venezuela's most famous painters. Martín
Továr y Továr is renowned as a muralist. His best-known work
is a painting of Bolívar's victory at the Battle of Carabobo, which
he painted on the ceiling of the National Capital Congress Building.
|The Venezuelan architect Carlos Villanueva
combined beauty and utility in his buildings. He designed the bullfighting
stadium in Maracay, a housing development for the poor in Caracas and the
impressive University City for the Central University of Venezuela.
Different regions of Venezuela are known for specific
handicrafts. For example, the Amazonian region is known for its hammocks
and canoes. The Llanos region is known for saddles, musical instruments