The Grand Tour
 “Travelling brings a Man a world of particular profits… It makes a Man think himself at home every where, and smile at unjust exile: It makes him welcome home again to his Neighbours, fought after by his Betters, and listened unto with admiration by his Inferiors…  In fine, it’s an excellent Commentary upon Histories; and no Man understands Livy and Caesar, Guicciardini and Monluc, like him, who hath made exactly the Grand Tour of France, and the Giro of Italy.”     - Richard Lassels, An Italian Voyage, or, A Compleat Journey Through Italy, 15-16. A term coined by Richard Lassels in 1670, the Grand Tour evolved on the tail end of the Medieval pilgrimage and provided the elite of Europe with an education-based reason to travel.  During the 17th and 18th centuries, the wealthy young men, and some women, of Europe were expected to embark on a trip that would mark the completion of their education, a trip which could last anywhere from months to years where they would learn about architecture, language, geography firsthand during the tour.  For those of a lower class, they might find a sponsor to help pay the way for their travel.  The primary destination of travellers was Italy, approached through France and Switzerland, where they visited sites of antiquity in Rome, Naples, Florence, and Venice.  The Renaissance’s revival of fascination and obsession with culture and arts of the ancient Greeks and Romans had become the foundation for a young mans education during the time.  Students were expected to be versed in the works of philosophers and writers such as Sophocles, Socrates, Homer, and Ovid.  There were guidebooks published for travellers which contained such information as which statues were important to see and a brief history of the object. 1   Once the youth returned home they were expected to be worldly enough to embark upon their adult life and duties. Travellers brought back more than a worldlier view: they carried home new ideas and developments.  During the 1600s a new style of art emerged in Italy in response to the Protestant Reformation, one that was quite unlike the Medieval and Renaissance styles that Europeans were used to.  Grandiose, vibrantly colourful, full of drama and motion, the Baroque is an overwhelming feast for the eyes and the next stage in evolution from the Renaissance style.  To travellers who were not used it, the Baroque could appear repugnant with its opulence, with it’s plethora of gold, marble, and bared flesh.  Baroque art had one major thing in common with Renaissance art that endeared it to Europeans: a heavy focus on Antiquity.  There are innumerable paintings and sculptures depicting figures from Greco- Roman mythology that have survived to this day (fig. 1).  In addition to this is the presence of religion in Baroque art and architecture.  A traveller to Saint Peter’s basilica in Rome would have been in awe of Baroque feats, such as Bernini’s Baldacchino di San Pietro, a sculpted canopy for the high altar of the basilic, which stands at 66 feet tall and is composed of bronze (fig. 2).  Those who travelled to Italy for their Grand Tour were exposed to the Baroque way of thinking, new scientific ideas, and feats of architecture, which they brought home with them. As with the modern tourists, the travellers would have wanted souvenirs of where they had been and what they had seen.  ‘Speculum Romanae Magnificentiae’ (Mirror of Roman Magnificence) was created by a Frenchman named Antoine du Pérac Lafréry, who changed his name to Antonio Lafreri when he moved to Rome in the mid sixteenth century. 2   He sold prints, often bound in a book, that were meant to reflect the importance of Rome.  Lafreri eventually changed it so that people could purchase a customized book, with their own choice of prints within, and they quickly became collector items.  This, in turn, changed these books into a status symbol as their choices of prints reflected their scholarly knowledge and a folio-sized book would have cost quite a bit.  For those without wealth, there was the option to buy individual unbound prints.  Erin L. Thomson wrote that “Those who purchased antiquities, either on or after their Grand Tours, also did               Fig. 2                so with the goal of reinforcing their spiritual identification with Rome, as is clear from the overwhelming preference shown for portrait statues and busts, since these would bring the model personages of Roma back to life- and back home to England.” 3  These collections, amassed over time and travel, would be displayed in a small room or on a specialized table.  Known as Cabinets of Curiosity, or Wunderkammer, the collections showcased the owner’s worldliness and, like the Baroque style, emphasised one’s importance. Interested in Documentaries? Baroque! From St Peter's to St Paul's, a four part BBC series presented by Waldemar Januszczak. __________________________________________ 1  Roland Recht, Catheline Périer-d’Ieteren, Pascal Griener, Peter Burke, Roger Chartier, and Krzysztof Pomian, eds,  The Great Workshop: Pathways of Art in Europe 5th-18th Centuries (Brussels: Europalia International, 2007), 47. 2 Rebecca Zorach, The Virtual Tourist in Renaissance Rome: Printing and Collecting the Speculum Romanae Magnificentiae (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2008), 12-13. 3  Erin L. Thompson, Possession: The Curious History of Private Collectors from Antiquity to the Present (London: Yale University Press, 2016), 37.
Fig. 1
The Grand Tour
 “Travelling brings a Man a world of particular profits… It makes a Man think himself at home every where, and smile at unjust exile: It makes him welcome home again to his Neighbours, fought after by his Betters, and listened unto with admiration by his Inferiors…  In fine, it’s an excellent Commentary upon Histories; and no Man understands Livy and Caesar, Guicciardini and Monluc, like him, who hath made exactly the Grand Tour of France, and the Giro of Italy.”     - Richard Lassels, An Italian Voyage, or, A Compleat Journey Through Italy, 15-16. A term coined by Richard Lassels in 1670, the Grand Tour evolved on the tail end of the Medieval pilgrimage and provided the elite of Europe with an education-based reason to travel.  During the 17th and 18th centuries, the wealthy young men, and some women, of Europe were expected to embark on a trip that would mark the completion of their education, a trip which could last anywhere from months to years where they would learn about architecture, language, geography firsthand during the tour.  For those of a lower class, they might find a sponsor to help pay the way for their travel.  The primary destination of travellers was Italy, approached through France and Switzerland, where they visited sites of antiquity in Rome, Naples, Florence, and Venice.  The Renaissance’s revival of fascination and obsession with culture and arts of the ancient Greeks and Romans had become the foundation for a young mans education during the time.  Students were expected to be versed in the works of philosophers and writers such as Sophocles, Socrates, Homer, and Ovid.  There were guidebooks published for travellers which contained such information as which statues were important to see and a brief history of the object. 1   Once the youth returned home they were expected to be worldly enough to embark upon their adult life and duties. Travellers brought back more than a worldlier view: they carried home new ideas and developments.  During the 1600s a new style of art emerged in Italy in response to the Protestant Reformation, one that was quite unlike the Medieval and Renaissance styles that Europeans were used to.  Grandiose, vibrantly colourful, full of drama and motion, the Baroque is an overwhelming feast for the eyes and the next stage in evolution from the Renaissance style.  To travellers who were not used it, the Baroque could appear repugnant with its opulence, with it’s plethora of gold, marble, and bared flesh.  Baroque art had one major thing in common with Renaissance art that endeared it to Europeans: a heavy focus on Antiquity.  There are innumerable paintings and sculptures depicting figures from Greco- Roman mythology that have survived to this day (fig. 1).  In addition to this is the presence of religion in Baroque art and architecture.  A traveller to Saint Peter’s basilica in Rome would have been in awe of Baroque feats, such as Bernini’s Baldacchino di San Pietro, a sculpted canopy for the high altar of the basilic, which stands at 66 feet tall and is composed of bronze (fig. 2).  Those who travelled to Italy for their Grand Tour were exposed to the Baroque way of thinking, new scientific ideas, and feats of architecture, which they brought home with them. As with the modern tourists, the travellers would have wanted souvenirs of where they had been and what they had seen.  ‘Speculum Romanae Magnificentiae’ (Mirror of Roman Magnificence) was created by a Frenchman named Antoine du Pérac Lafréry, who changed his name to Antonio Lafreri when he moved to Rome in the mid sixteenth century. 2   He sold prints, often bound in a book, that were meant to reflect the importance of Rome.  Lafreri eventually changed it so that people could purchase a customized book, with their own choice of prints within, and they quickly became collector items.  This, in turn, changed these books into a status symbol as their choices of prints reflected their scholarly knowledge and a folio-sized book would have cost quite a bit.  For those without wealth, there was the option to buy individual unbound prints.  Erin L. Thomson wrote that “Those who purchased antiquities, either on or after their Grand Tours, also did so with the goal of reinforcing their spiritual identification with Rome, as is clear from the overwhelming preference shown for portrait statues and busts, since these would bring the model personages of Roma back to life- and back home to England.” 3  These collections, amassed over time and travel, would be displayed in a small room or on a specialized table.  Known as Cabinets of Curiosity, or Wunderkammer, the collections showcased the owner’s worldliness and, like the Baroque style, emphasised one’s importance. Interested in Documentaries? Baroque! From St Peter's to St Paul's, a four part BBC series presented by Waldemar Januszczak. __________________________________________ 1  Roland Recht, Catheline Périer-d’Ieteren, Pascal Griener, Peter Burke, Roger Chartier, and Krzysztof Pomian, eds,  The Great Workshop: Pathways of Art in Europe 5th-18th Centuries (Brussels: Europalia International, 2007), 47. 2 Rebecca Zorach, The Virtual Tourist in Renaissance Rome: Printing and Collecting the Speculum Romanae Magnificentiae (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2008), 12-13. 3  Erin L. Thompson, Possession: The Curious History of Private Collectors from Antiquity to the Present (London: Yale University Press, 2016), 37.