The Grand Tour

The Grand Tour "phenomenon" was an important cultural /artistic movement that started in Europe in the second half of the 18th century until the end of the 19th century. Famous travellers were also Goethe, Stendhal etc... The enlightenment period pushed the research of the knowledge of the roots of our culture all over the Western world : Europe ( England, Germany, France etc..) ; Russia; America etc..
At the same time in South Italy started the discovery and excavations of the ancient Roman cities of Pompei, Herculaneum etc.. More discoveries in Rome etc.. These exceptional news spread thruoghout the world pushing thousands of cultured, aristocrats, rich people to travel to know, study and enjoy of such discoveries. This travel was a Must to do to complete their educational path.
The main destination was Italy with the beauties of Venice, Florence, Rome, Naples, Sicily etc... While to go to Greece was dangerous because of the domination of the Ottoman Empire.
Of course all of these rich people were willing to buy special souvenirs from the places they visited. Therefore a production of top quality objects developed very quickly.
For example :
- In Venice flourished : Canaletto paintings (vedutisti); decorated glass production etc..
- In Florence flourished : the Pietra Dura art etc...
- In Rome flourished : the Micromosaic ; the top quality archeological jewellery of the Castellani; Pomeo Batoni and Piranesi paintings (vedutisti); etc...
- In Naples (the main destination) flourished : the Lava Stone art, the Coral art, the Cameos art, the Gouaches paintings; etc...
We try to present shortly these arts : Lava jewellery souvenir was a must among the Grand Tour Tourist of the 19th century in Italy. In different colours, always in classical subjects, sometimes the artists created real masterpieces for the quality of the detailes in hand-work engraving.
The Coral was fashinating for the "mystery" of the stone and the quality of the artistic work always in classical subjects. The wonderful "frutti e foglie" fruits and leaves jewellery was very famous.
To own such “beauties”, to treasure and to show them as souvenir of the Grand Tour was essential for all the aristocrats once at home.
Big push to these fashion was given by all the Napoleon family, Emperors and Kings of Europe using also Corals and Lava for tiaras, earrings, colliers, pins etc...

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