To complement the conference Discovering the Italian Trecento in the Nineteenth Century, the Italian Cultural Institute will host a lecture by Rosemary Sweet, Professor of Urban History, University of Leicester, entitled "Gothic and Renaissance Italy on the Eighteenth Century Grand Tour".
The pursuit of classical antiquity and the artistic masterpieces of the 16th and 17th centuries lay at the heart of the Grand Tour throughout the 18th century. Raphael and Michelangelo, Palladio and Sansovino, were the principal attractions of the post-antique world. But it is wrong to assume that the art and architecture of earlier periods went entirely unnoticed.
This lecture will explore how and why British travellers showed increasing interest in and awareness of the artistic and architectural creations of earlier centuries and how this evolving interest in the gothic and early renaissance period began to change their perception of Italy and its history. This gradual evolution in taste and understanding represents an essential precursor to the nineteenth-century ‘discovery’ of the Italian trecento.