The Grand Tour can be understood as the original "liberal arts" education. From the 16th through the 19th centuries, wealthy young people, mostly men, from England or Germany would journey south to Paris and especially to Venice, Florence, and Rome. They were attracted to the paintings and sculpture of the Renaissance and the antiquities of Rome. Their journals and sketchbooks reflect the warm southern climate as well as the impact of that visual culture.
DMA label copy.
The Grand Tour
Read Jean Sorabella's essay on the importance of these European sojourns in the Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History (October 2003).
Stories from the Grand Tour
Take a look through the British National Gallery of Art's examination of how individual's journeys through these traditional European sites impacted the artists and artworks represented in the NGA's collection.