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Thursday, 24th JanuaryThe ‘Grand Tour’ visit with lecturer Paul PickeringVictoria & Albert Museum

Members and friends of the Society will know that the Grand Tour was a journey made by classically educated male members of the Northern European ruling class. Beginning in the 17th century, it became part of an education in languages, manners and understanding of the politics, economy, geography and history of other countries.

The itinerary normally included Italy where the young milordi, as the young British aristocrats were known, studied the remains of the classical past.

Travellers like Edward Howard shown here might hope to be portayed by Pompeo Batoni, the most celebrated Italian artist of the eighteenth century.

Souvenirs in the form of original antique pieces or copies might be obtained for the adornment of country houses. Thomas Anson, grand tourist and founder member of the Society of Dilettanti, commissioned “Castor and Pollux” from the finest British sculptor of the day, Joseph Nollekens. He was inspired by a plaster copy of an antique sculpture now in the Prado: the Ildefonso Group, acquired for Felipe V to grace the Palace of San Ildefonso de la Granja.


Venue: Victoria and albert Museum (V&A) Cromwell Rd, Knightsbridge, London SW7 2RL (tube: South Kensington)
Time: Meet foyer V&A 10.30 a.m., Coffee/Tea/Cake 10.45 a.m. Tour 11.30 a.m.
Tickets: £15 BSS member/£20 non member
Tickets include tea/coffee & cake.
Exclusive event with a limited number of tickets available.


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