English French Germans Danes Dutch Russian Poles Swedes and eventually

English french germans danes dutch russian poles

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open international academy. English, French, Germans, Danes, Dutch, Russian, Poles, Swedes, and eventually Americans all came to Italy claiming its treasures as an international cultural heritage. Indeed, the Grand Tour had become a vast social phenomenon of intellectual and cultural exchange in a new atmosphere of cosmopolitanism. Such attention would have enormous consequences upon the Italians’ self- consciousness and evaluation of their own history. Veduta painters, like Gaspar Van Wittel, Luigi Vanvitelli’s father, flourished. Giovanni Paolo Panini welcomed the world to his Rome with panoramic paintings of ancient and modern sites. It was in this international economic context that Piranesi worked. So thrilling were Piranesi’s visual images, so sublime the sense of monumentality communicated through his widely circulated prints, that many travelers who prepared their itineraries upon them found the actual sites a disappointment.As Piranesi’s images suggested, ancient ruins required imagination if they were to be brought to life, especially as modern archeological excavation was not yet developed into a modern science.Whereas Panini painted the cosmopolitan piazzas of the contemporary city, foreign painters like Nicolas Poussin imagined Elysian Fields with Arcadian shepherds. Prevailing theories in art, codified in the European academies, dwelled upon the concept of a 62 the architecture of modern italy
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classical ideal of recognizable, recurrent schemata and established traditional images.The Grand Tourist expected to find them in Italy. Under such intense and inspired scrutiny, Italy and especially Rome developed a cultural consciousness.The idea of Italy was formed in the light of tourists’ mental images of it. Italians also had their Grand Tour. Carlo Rezzonico, another papal relation, traveled the breadth of Europe in the 1780s admiring art, architecture, gardens, and natural landscapes, even Gothic buildings. Italians traveled less assiduously to other Italian cities.There was less urgency and far less diligence in examining the vestiges of one’s native culture, especially in the case of well-documented architecture.When Italians traveled abroad, more likely they traveled, like Quarenghi, to practice their professions in the host countries, not to learn from them. Music masters, librettists, scenographers, singers, painters, plasterers, architects, and urban planners brought to the European courts Italian classical traditions. Many, like the artisans Robert Adam brought back with him to London, stayed abroad for their entire careers.Through the export of objects and skilled labor, Italy was the producer of classical beauty and culture for all of Europe, a heady proposition for eighteenth-century Italians but one that created among them a brain drain.
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  • Spring '17
  • Archt. De Veyra

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