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the period in the history of Italian culture that marked the beginning of pre-Renaissance art. The rapid economic development of the Italian city-states in the 12th and 13th centuries prepared the ground for the gradual decline of the medieval world outlook. Numerous local schools of art arose during this period, including those of Florence, Pisa, and Siena, and individual artists emerged from among the anonymous medieval masters. The Byzantine style was disseminated by Greek masters who fled to Italy after the conquest of Constantinople (1204) by the Crusaders, and icon painting flowered. Within the framework of traditional Byzantine and Gothic iconography, realistic tendencies grew stronger, and there was a revival of interest in the real world and in the classical heritage. These pre-Renaissance traits appeared in the 13th century in different degrees in the works of the sculptors Nicola Pisano and Arnolfo di Cambio and of the painters Cimabue and Pietro Cavallini and, especially, in the art of the poet Dante and the painter Giotto at the beginning of the 14th century.