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2022/23 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

ARTF2059 The Grand Tour: travels, excavations, collections

20 creditsClass Size: 25

Module manager: Dr Kerry Bristol

Taught: Semester 2 (Jan to Jun) View Timetable

Year running 2022/23

This module is not approved as a discovery module

Module summary

The Grand Tour’s origins lie in the early seventeenth century, when a small number of British aristocrats left their native islands to explore the cultural capitals of Europe. By the eighteenth century, it had developed into a rite of passage for privileged young men sent abroad to expand their knowledge of the visual arts, architecture, music and foreign political systems. Its culmination was Rome, where a thriving cultural industry arose to meet the demand for paintings, objet d’art and antiquities. The module will follow atypical Grand Tour itinerary; assess the importance of certain travellers, guides, artists and dealers; explore key publications (some of which are held in Special Collections of the Brotherton Library);and analyse the classification systems and modes of display of major Grand Tour collections in Great Britain and Ireland.


On completion of this module, students should;

-have a critical awareness of the development of the Grand Tour as a cultural phenomenon, tracking and interpreting its continental itinerary from the British Isles to the Italian city states and beyond;

-be familiar with key travellers, cicerone, artists, and dealers in art and antiquities;

-be able to analyse critically important publications such as guidebooks associated with the Grand Tour and/or excavation sites such as Herculaneum, Pompeii, Palmyra and Athens;

-be able to identify key collectors and major collections in Great Britain and Ireland.

Learning outcomes
1.Produce a logically developed, coherent analysis and interpretation of the Grand Tour as a gendered phenomenon influenced by concepts of history and Britain’s place within it;

2.Understand the complex relationship between the object/antiquity as excavated, the object as restored, and the object as displayed in the aristocratic town-or country house;

3.Understand the complex relationship between the building/antiquity as excavated and that same building/antiquity as published;

4. Understand the international networks that supported Grand Tourists, from painters to bankers and dealers.


Indicative content:
-Origins and itineraries
-Guidebooks and publications
-Travelling women
-Excavations and the formation of collections
-Portraits and the business of portrait painting
-Panini, Piranesi and Roman vedute
-Naples, Herculaneum, Pompeii and Paestum-Canaletto and the Venetian cityscape
-Beyond Italy
–Palmyra, Baalbek, Greece, Egypt

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Private study hours180.00
Total Contact hours20.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)200.00

Private study

180 hours comprised of weekly reading(60 hours), seminar presentation preparation(10 hours), researching and writing mid-semester essay(40 hours) and researching and writing final essay (70 hours)

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Oral presentation, participation in class discussion.

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Essay2000 - 2200 word essay40.00
Essay2500 - 3000 word essay60.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)100.00

Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 29/04/2022 15:22:37


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