History of the Grand Tour – Part II

At Home & Afield

A reconstruction of the Roman Forum by our staff co-author, Michael Madsen.

To an architect, the Grand Tour had a more spiritual meaning – it was more than simply versing oneself in the generic education provided for the aristocrat. Instead, it was an immersion into the ephemeral masters of the past and their grand accomplishments.

Vitruvius was a Roman architect, author, and military engineer during the 1st century B.C.

Beginning in Antiquity, Vitruvius was a Roman military engineer whose chronicle of his architectural feats earned him the title of the first ‘Western Architect.’ His work, De Architectura (Ten Books on Architecture), reveals his concept of what is considered ‘architecture’ as well as its importance to the everyday life of civilians. For Vitruvius, a building should always have these three characteristics: firmitas, utilitas, and venustas, or firmness/durability, commodity/useful, and delight/beauty.

Vitruvian Man by Leonardo da Vinci, an illustration of…

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