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Wedgwood - The Grand Tour

Page history last edited by Joyce Weaver 3 months, 3 weeks ago

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Brief video (5 minutes) on The Grand Tour

Starting in the late sixteenth century, well-to-do young men (and some young women) would take several months, a year or even more to travel through Europe including stops in Paris and extensive travel throughout Italy to visit and learn from Greco-Roman statues, ancient ruins, architecture and paintings.  At the time, few museums existed for this type of cultural immersion.  It was believed that the only way to become truly educated was to experience what became known as the "Grand Tour." It became a social and educational rite of passage.  Participants in the Grand Tour included architects and collectors who influenced Wedgwood along with those whose taste for the antique became his customers.


  • Walk through the Grand Tour from The Getty 
  • More about the Grand Tour from The Met's Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History
  • Stanford University's The Grand Tour Project, an interactive digital research site
  • Mrs. Flaxman's Diary - a first person account of the Grand Tour (1787-1789) from the wife of sculptor and modeler John Flaxman, Jr. 
  • Richard Lassel's The Voyage of Italy (1686)- Where the terms "Grand Tour" and "tourist" were first coined 



Created by Christina Petty, LIS Graduate Student




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