Slovene literature, founded in the 16th century by Primož Trubar and other Protestant Reformers, achieved its highest level with the Romantic poet France Prešeren (1800–1849). In the 20th century, it went through several periods. The beginning of the century was marked by the authors of the Slovene Modernism, with the most influential Slovene writer and playwright, Ivan Cankar. It was then followed by expressionism (Srečko Kosovel) and social realism (Ciril Kosmač) before World War II, the poetry of resistance and revolution (Karel Destovnik Kajuh) during the war, and intimism (Poems of the Four, 1953), post-war modernism (Edvard Kocbek), and existentialism (Dane Zajc) after the war.
In all times of the Slovenian history, visual arts have been regionally diverse and have significantly shaped the Slovenian culture and landscape. In the late 18th and the 19th century, they were marked by Neoclassicism (Matevž Langus), Biedermeier (Giuseppe Tominz) and Romanticism (Mihael Stroj). Alojz Gangl started a renewal of Slovene sculpture. In the late 19th century, Ivana Kobilca painted her realistic paintings and organised the first Slovene art exhibition. In the beginning of the 20th century, the painter Rihard Jakopič, the sculptor Franc Berneker, and others created in an impressionist manner. Max Fabiani, and in the mid-war period, Jože Plečnik and Ivan Vurnik, introduced modern architecture in Slovenia. Gojmir Anton Kos was a highly-esteemed realist painter and photographer in the mid-war period. During World War II, Božidar Jakac created numerous graphics, and contributed to the post-war establishment of the Academy of Visual Arts in Ljubljana. In the second half of the 20th century, the architects Edvard Ravnikar and Marko Mušič merged the national and universal style. A number of conceptual visual art groups formed, among them OHO, Group 69, IRWIN, and others. Nowadays, the Slovene visual arts are diverse, based on tradition, reflect the influence