The first Grand Tour : Greco-Roman antiquity

From the late 17th century up to the end of the 19th century, the Grand Tour enabled boys of good family to complete their education and become men, as was the case for the famous Lord Byron (1788-1824). It gave rise to a generation marked by these experiences and new artistic trends.
The traveller went off to the roots of Western culture to visit the Coliseum of ancient Rome and the Acropolis of Athens.

The Grand Tour made it possible to acquire much knowledge and to take home images from this period of the apogee of Fine Arts. These models came in various forms: engravings by Piranesi, moulds of engraved gems representing artworks and called intaglios, and also, for the wealthiest, marble sculptures of classical models.

An entire generation was marked by this experience and Classicism triumphed in the arts. There was a subsequent flourishing of Capriccio – invented compositions combining various ancient ruins – or imaginary museums, so typical of Pannini and Hubert Robert.
In interiors, there was the fashion of Palladianism, inspired by the great Venetian palaces of the Renaissance architect, Andrea Palladio (1508-1580).

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