The Lure of the Grand Tour

More than just an upper class form of early tourism that reached a pinnacle in ' the eighteenth century, the fashion for embarking on a grand tour of Europe had enormous repercussions on the taste and attitudes of those who returned.

A major new exhibition opening at the Tate Gallery in London this month focuses on Italy – perhaps the most influential and certainly the most popular of Grand Tour destinations, with its classical appeal and fine art and architecture.

Among other first-time loans to Britain from the Vatican museums is the partnering sculpture to this 2nd century AD marble of a bitch caressing a dog, excavated by Gavin Hamilton in 1773 and acquired by Charles Townley the following year. Reuniting them after more than 200 years, the Vatican will be lending the opposite duo of a dog nuzzling a bitch, excavated at the same time and also pursued by Townley for his collection, as the finer of the two sets, but export was refused and this pair remained in Italy.

To continue reading this article you will need to purchase access to the online archive.

Buy Online Access  Buy Print & Archive Subscription

If you have already purchased access, or are a print & archive subscriber, please ensure you are logged in.

Please email if you have any problems.