The Italian peninsula is marked by political fragmentation during these centuries. While the north witnesses rapid urban growth leading to the formation of city-states, Sicily and the south are ruled by successive monarchies. From the eleventh to the fourteenth century, territorial and power struggles between the Holy Roman Empire, the papacy, and the city-states of the northern and central peninsula preclude domination by a central authority. During a period of unparalleled economic and demographic growth, which peaks around 1300, the arts of painting, sculpture, and architecture flourish under the patronage of civic and religious institutions and private individuals. At the end of the period, the peninsula experiences a great cultural and intellectual revival, spawned by the study of classical antiquity and the development of vernacular Italian literature.