The “Grand Tour”, the aristocratic educational trip was designed to perfect the education of young people, including painters, from the elite of European society, and elevate their centres of interest just after or during their studies which, at the time, where based mainly on Greek and Latin humanities. One important part of their trip was the production during their extended stay in Rome of a portrait by one of the painters in vogue at the time. This practice dates back to the 16th century and was at its zenith in the 19th century. The richest travellers had themselves painted next to a famous monument, others bought painted or engraved views of the monuments they visited. These souvenirs, placed around their homes, reminded visitors that they had enjoyed the privilege of travelling to the source of the civilised world.
In Liege, the Viva Roma exhibition, which has opened its doors at the La Boverie Museum, has been organised in collaboration with the Louvre. Its theme: the visit of Rome by European artists and travellers from the 17th century to the present-day. Among them, Corot, Ingres, and the inhabitant of Liege, Lambert Lombard. Many reasons drove young artists to visit Rome: to travel, discover ancient monuments and the Roman countryside, meet the inhabitants and copy the Renaissance masters, such as Raphaël and Michelangelo. A genuine landscape school was created in Rome. The Viva Roma exhibition is open until 26 August.
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