Naples / Pompeii

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Naples / Pompeii

From Rome, many would travel to Naples, but few would go any further south. Naples offered many things, including being a seaport and having paintings which incorporate this, to having Vesuvius and the many paintings of it glowing and being fiery (many people were in awe of the natural power that it held), and the Greek remains at Paestum which were two temples. When Herculaneum and Pompeii were discovered, these too became important places to visit. Some went further south, but it was pretty rare. If they did, they usually all went to Sicily because of the interest in Greek artifacts. There were also some smaller towns which were visited, but they weren’t very important in the grand scheme of things. Most people turned back at Naples, some only going as far as Rome.

Pompeii

The southern Italian city of Pompeii was a thriving city of about 10,000-20,000 people. It was like any other Roman city with a theater, baths, a market, and a forum. Many of the walls in the houses were beautifully painted with city views, figural tableaux, architecture, still lives, and portraits. Life was going on as always when in 79 CE Mount Vesuvius erupted , covering the city and all its people in 20 feet of ash. Everything was perfectly preserved till its rediscovery in the 18th century. Where they found hallow like cast of where people and animals were caught in those last moments before they were covered in ash. This was an amazing wealth of information of Roman history, architecture and art, for the people of the 18th century. This find definitely helped these people who were interested in the ancient world know what it was really like.

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Rome

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When travelling from Florence to Rome, tourists would have to cross the Campagna, which was as one tourist described, a “wretched, barren, sandy country all the way to the very gates of Rome.” Traveling from Florence to Rome was uneventful and dreary, but Rome was worth the hardships. Charles Cadogan said “it is impossible for a person to dash through it, as it is for them to fly. I stayed a full fortnight there, and only had time to get just such a general idea of the numberless wonders both of modern and ancient times, as to determine me to spend 2 or 3 months there before my return to England.” There were so many things to experience, including purchasing paintings and antiquities, hire antiquarians, and seek artistic advice. Rome offered Classical and Baroque sculpture, architecture, and painting. The ancient ruins were also an important site to see in Rome, and many paintings incorporated them. Despite the Italian people, the crowdedness, and dirtiness of the streets, Rome was still an important place to go.

Claire’s journal:

We had the most wonderful meal today. Italian food is a true novelty for us Grand Tourists. We dined on these meat-filled pillows, made of dough and covered with tomato sauce. The waiter called them ‘ravioli.’ Before this heavenly course, we nibbled on bologna sausages, figs and melons. Scrumptous.

Roger got hammered on wine. We’ve learned that wine is the most popular drink among the Grand Tourists due to its easy transport. Roger transported the wine all the way down his throat. He acted like that Caravaggio we saw in the restaurant.

Roger’s journal:

Man, that meal was awesome, and the wine was even better. The wine was so smooth that I had several glasses. Claire complained that I acted like this artist named Caravaggio, who was already dining at the restaurant when we arrived. He got mad at a waiter, jumped up, and yelled, “Do you know who I am?” I didn’t jump up but Claire kept telling me to lower my voice.

Sistine Chapel

The Sistine Chapel was built between 1475 and 1483 for Pope Sixtus IV. Michelangelo painted the ceiling and the altar piece, but there were many more, like Botticelli, Ghirlandaio, Pintricchio, and Signorelli which contributed to the artwork on the inside as well. Michelangelo wrote a poem about painting the ceiling, which was very dark because he really did not want to do it. One scene which is very popular is the “Creation of Adam” which depicts God charging Adam with a spark of life. The gesture is not completed, which brings in the psychology of the viewer to complete it.

Claire’s journal:

It’s very moving and emotional in the sense that someone could spend hours and four years paint something like this.

Roger’s journal:

This is definitely the climax of this Grand Tour. So monumental; it inspires me to create art! Can you image someone from our world doing something like this? I’d be the first! Nobody would know what to make of it; they would not understand. I’ve been all the way from England to Rome, and now I know why this trip is so important!

 

Museo Pio-Clementino

The day they go to see the plaster casts, the woman decides to wear a big dress, the fashion of the time. Of course, she is clumsy and trips, bumping into one of the famous casts. This one accident creates a domino effect eventually knocking over a whole row resulting in the dismembered statues we know of today.

The Museo Pio-Clementino was founded by Pope Clement in 1771 as part of the Vatican museums. It houses Greek and Roman sculptures and the Sistine Chapel. There are many different galleries in this museum, including the Greek Cross Gallery, which houses the porphyri sarcophagi of Constance and Saint Helen, daughter and mother of Constantine the Great; the Sala Rotonda, which is shaped like a miniature pantheon and has ancient mosaics on the floors as well as ancient statues; the Gallery of the Statues which holds various important statues, including Sleeping Ariadne and the bust of Menander; the Gallery of the Busts which has many ancient busts; the Gallery of the Masks, which house ancient theater masks; and the Sala delle Muse, which houses the statue group of Apollo and the nine muses as well as statues by important ancient Greek sculptors.

St. Peter’s Cathedral

St. Peter’s Cathedral was originally built in the fourth century by Constantine, but was rebuilt by Pope Julius II. Bramante started the work, then Michelangelo took over, and was finally completed by Maderno and Bernini. The basilica’s dome is the largest in the world. Inside are works including the Papal altar and the Throne of St. Peter which was created by Bernini as well as the Monument to the Stuarts by Canova. There are two fountains and an obelisk which is said to be where St. Peter was crucified.

Roger’s journal:

I am in awe of this structure. It’s not made out of metal and covered in glass, like at home. It’s all stone and has this arcade that extends out like arms around the piazza. Inside, I’ve become a fan of Bernini’s Baldachino. The columns are all twisty and what not. I really appreciate the detail.

Claire’s journal:

I’m a little overwhelmed by the exterior but the inside is wonderful with all the gold in the Cathedra Petri. Even the floors are like pictures. I feel bad about walking on them. After touring the inside of St. Peter’s, Roger rediscovered his fondness for Italian wine. The last time I saw him he was racing across the piazza, yelling out Caravaggio’s name.

Florence

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Uffizi Museum

At the Uffizi museum tourists can see works from Michelangelo, Leonardo, Raphael, Caravaggio, and Titian. Originally built as house by Cosimo de Medici, and his son Francesco de Medici set up a gallery in the east wing with statues and valuables. The artworks that can be found here include The Venus of Urbino by Titian, Madonna of the Goldfinch by Raphael, and the Doni Tonda by Michelangelo. At the heart of the museum is an octagonal room called Tribuna, which represents the four elements.

Claire’s journal:

I loved the Doni Tonda by Michelangelo. But, then again, the Venus of Urbino by Titian is so very feminine. The nude Venus in the foreground shows the raw nature of womanhood, so different from our image of femininity back home. I love his color palette, too.

Roger’s journal:

Total chick fest in here.

Venice

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Roger’s journal:

The old man told us that we should start collecting artwork once we get to Venice. It’s so hard to decide whose work to get. I saw some captivating paintings by a man named Titian today. He was a master of light and color, grinding his pigments much finer than his predecessors. I saw a picture of portrait of Isabella d’Este; Titian painted the textures so believably. I also saw The Pastoral Concert, inspired by something called poetry. I’ve got to check out this poetry stuff!

Claire’s journal:

I’m voting for a view painting by Canaletto. The work is so accurate, and it was common for Grand Tourists to buy these souvenirs of their trip.

Roger’s journal:

I’ve changed my mind. I want something with some action. I saw Veronese’s Feast in the House of Levi with the drunkards, dwarfs, and Germans—at least that’s what I read. Anyway, I like the movement of the people; their body gestures aren’t feminine and elegant. The colors are more masculine, too, with browns and deep blues. This is a man’s painting—it looks like a ‘par-tay.’

 

Claire’s journal:

Before we left this part of Italy, we visited the Villa Rotunda by Palladio. In comparison to our world, this villa is so grand. We typically live in apartments in very plain buildings. I’ve never even seen columns before—our guide had to tell us what this was. I love the interior; it’s so symmetrical. But on the other hand, this place would be horrible to dust—all that molding—and the natural light does not hide the dust!

Roger’s journal:

We went to the Villa Rotunda today. Claire loved the garden, but she saw a bird and screamed. We don’t have these back home. Our guide must think that we are idiots; he has to explain so much to us. I really liked the villa. The emphasis is on the architecture and not on the furnishings.

Italy

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Snow Storm: Hannibal and His Troop Crossing the Alps by Turner

Over Alps
Tourists were faced with problems early on in their trip. Often, an itinerary had to be thoroughly mapped out allowing room for delays both in travel and in towns. The first and largest obstacle facing travelers was the entrance into Italy because there were only three entrances. The most common choice was to journey through the Swiss Alps. This trek could only be made between the months of May and August because any other time during the year the mountains were impassable. The trip, alone, took two weeks, if you had a competent guide. The other option consists of going by sea from France to Italy, and traveling all the way to Austria. Here they would cross the foothills of the Alps and head south to Italy going completely around the mountains. Issues with the later option generally pertained to time constraints and Geo-political problems. Turin was the main entry point for tourist being the next big stop after Paris, then they could go south to Milan and Verona or, Southeast to Reggio and Genoa always heading to Florence and Venice. Weather, heat, and poor sanitation would obstruct any travel along the Adriatic coast certain times of the year so timing of arrival and departure of Turin was critical.

They go to Swiss Alps to Turin and then on to Venice.

Claire’s journal:
Roger and I found a guide today, and we are going to take our two-week trip through the Alps to Turin first and then to Venice.

Roger’s journal:
We met a guide, who is a sort of European Grizzly Adams. The Alps were amazing, and we keep running into nobility like those we met at the palace at Versailles. I can’t wait to get to Turin. The old man back home said great things about the place.

Claire’s journal:
Roger keeps muttering something about Grizzly Adams. What’s a Grizzly Adams?

Roger’s journal:
You don’t realize how long a two-week trip through the Alps can be until you are halfway through it. I also did not realize how bad hanging out with a European Grizzly Adams could be either.

Versailles

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Marie Antoinette en Chemise by Élisabeth Vigée-Lebrun

Marie Antoinette

Marie Antoinette was the height of fashion in her time, always having new clothes, shoes, pomade, and rouge. At first she was very popular with the French subjects but eventually started being disliked. She was not really French but Austrian and had married the Dauphin Louis XVI. She then became Queen when Louis ascended the throne. The portrait by Elisabeth Vigee-Lebrun of Marie Antoinette in a muslin dress was pretty controversial because many though it was improper for a queen to wear such clothing. Marie Antoinette also took part in amateur plays and musicals, so she was a big fan of the arts. There are many different portraits of her and her family.

The French Revolution has broken out, and angry revolutionaries are about to storm the palace. Our travelers get out just in time. They head south to Italy, the ultimate destination for Grand Tourists.

Paris

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Salon de la Princesse, Hôtel de Soubise

The Hotel de Soubise was built by the Prince and Princess de Soubise. Work began in 1704. The hotel is located in Paris on the site where the Hotel de Guise once was. Architect Pierre-Alexis Delamair was in-charge of the remodeling. The inside hasn’t changed much since the 18th century. It is an ornate building containing two semi-circular wings lined with pillars. It contains gilded carvings, mirror-glass embedded in the carved wood, and ceiling canvases. In 1808, the Hotel de Soubise became property of the State. Now it is the Museum of French History and a part of the French National Archives.

The woman nags enough and convinces the man that they need to go shopping to fit into the society; she just wants shoes and a new wardrobe.

Versailles

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Claire’s journal:

We finally made it to the palace at Versailles!  It is so beautiful and overwhelming with over 19,000 acres of land.  I understand that it started as a hunting lodge.  I hope we don’t see any wild animals.  I’m a little scared.  Anyway, I can’t wait to visit the Hall of Mirrors.  The old man back home told us that there are over 300 mirrors lining the walls under 17 archways.  It was rare for people to see themselves from head to toe in mirrors when it was built, and I tell you, I can’t wait to see myself in all those mirrors.  I haven’t seen myself in a full length mirror since we left home.

Roger’s journal:

We saw the place a mile back before we even got to it.  It was huge; I’ve never seen anything like it before.  I can’t believe that people can make stones look like people; there’s over 400 freestanding stone people around this estate.  Maybe this is what the old man back home calls ‘sculpture.’  Oh, and there’s a garden with orange trees!  How did they get orange trees this far north?  The sheer extravagance of this palace is unheard of back home.  Everywhere you look is marble and gilded decorations.  This art stuff is amazing.

Versailles (17th century)

The Palace at Versailles, gardens and palace, take up around 19,262 acres just outside Paris, France. Versailles had a humble beginning as a hunting lodge built for Louis XIII. His son, Louis XIV saw it’s potential and expanded turning the lodge into this over the top grand palace. Versailles became the epitome of French baroque architecture and decoration. He spared no expense as a show of his power and wealth. With its Grand Apartments and Hall of Mirrors Louis XIV built the palace to impress all who walked in. He used the palace not only as a place of residence but a symbol of power forcing the French aristocracy to spend most of their time there seated in the lap of luxury. In the hall of mirrors, 357 mirrors line the walls filling the 17 archways below the extravagantly painted ceiling. Everywhere around the palace is filled with opulence and grandeur. With a building so opulent the surrounding land had to follow suit. Versailles is surrounded with perfectly manicured gardens fitting the extravagance of the palace. Louis XIV even had an orange grove built where the trees are in individual pots due to the cold winters. Among the gardens are amazing 1,400 fountains made from immaculate sculptures. Apart from the fountains are 400 other sculptures that stand-alone. Around the palace other rulers had smaller buildings built to escape the court life.

Using the port-key, our travelers decide to fast forward to the 18th century to learn about society in the Rococo period.  They travel to Paris, where the aristocracy loves to play.

France

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Claire and Roger continue their journey overland on their way to the Palace at Versailles.  On the way, they get lost and their carriage wheel breaks.  Claire begins nagging, “If only we had stopped to ask for directions…” On top of all of this, she has to find a bathroom!

While they are lost and trying to fix their broken wheel, they come upon a wrecked carriage with a drunken driver stumbling away.  They steal a priceless painting in the carriage (after all, they are charged with the duty to bring art back to the present), but in the end they must sell the painting to finance their Grand Tour.

Eventually, they fix their wheel and make their way to Versailles.

Roger’s journal:

The French countryside is really nice, but our carriage broke down—one of the wheels broke.  We have wheels on our vehicles at home, but these are so different!  They are nothing like tires, and there’s no jacks around!  Several Grand Tourists pass us along the road while I was fixing the wheel, and they just laughed.  Claire won’t leave me alone, either.  Apparently, she has to go to the bathroom, and she is having problems with these clothes.

Claire:

Poor Roger.  I know it’s hard to fix a wheel, but it can’t be much harder than changing a tire.  I won’t make fun of Roger, but really, I could do this myself.  On top of the discomfort of waiting for Roger to fix the wheel, I have to find the ‘facilities’—in the woods and in this enormous dress and with no toilet paper!

London

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Marriage à la Mode, Painting 1: The Marriage Settlement by William Hogarth

The young man and woman find themselves in 17th-century London after using the portal.  Like the Grand Tourists of the 17th and 18th centuries, they have recorded their adventures below.  Our travelers each kept their own journals, so that the reader may get a full perspective.

An English Vessel and Dutch Ships Becalmed by Willem van de Velde

British tourists beginning their trip made their way to the coast of England. They then sailed across the channel to France. Because most tourists were novice sailors, it was very difficult due to seasickness, calm or troublesome winds, and disembarking. Along with those troubles, strong winds and dangerous storms arriving at any moment added to the delays. Upon arrival, disembarkation was just as problematic. Circumstances caused them to exit into rowboats, dangerous in stormy weather, several miles away from their destination. Adding insult to injury, the French would keep some travelers from coming ashore, but most tourists were able to make the trip in about three hours. Many traveled across the channel in packet boats for a fee or made arrangements with captains of private ships to carry them to their destination. The favorite route to take was from Dover to Calais, but other routes include: Dover to Boulogne; Brighton or Southampton to Le Havre, Dieppe, or Cherbourg. Once in France, they would make their way to Paris stopping at Amiens cathedral, the palace of Chantilly, and St. Denis.

Claire’s Journal:

To cross the Chanel from England to Calais, we had to travel in a row boat, with so many people.  Even though many others were ill from the waves, I didn’t get sea sick.  I am a strong woman.  We finally got across, but the French would not allow us to disembark after all that rowing!  We had to sneak ashore.

Roger’s Journal:

The trip across the Chanel was miserable.  First, Claire was sick the entire boat ride over.  She may claim that she wasn’t sea sick, but she complained the whole time.  Then, I had to wear ridiculous clothing to blend in with these Grand Tourists.  I had to wear these ridiculous stockings; men should never have to wear stockings, definitely.  Add to that, the boat ride was way too long.  And finally, I had to carry Claire’s belongings up the rocks as we snuck past the French guarding the shoreline.  It was all so tiring.  I’m just glad that I am not a whiner like Claire.

Claire’s Journal:

Roger’s tights were a little too tight in certain areas…