Storia dell’Arte 113/114, Gennaio – Agosto 2006
The Roman Journal of Count and Countess Northern
In 1781–1782 Catherine II Empress of Russia set off her son, Grand Duke Paul and his wife, Grand Duchess Maria Feodorovna to travel around the countries of Western Europe. It is well known that the Russian Empress always tried to march with the times. No important event of the epoch could pass her, and all the more such phenomenon of the European culture as Grand Tour. This peculiar event of the second half of the 18th century was at its highest point at that moment. The main destination of Grand Tour was Italy, and its major centres – Rome and Naples with their vicinities. Gradually, during several decades the special “program” for noble and well-off people was developed to be followed while their stay in Rome. This program is now known due to the richest epistolary and memoirs heritage left by both travellers themselves and by numerous guides, antiquarians, artists of different kind who served the noble tourists. The fact that Russian Grand Dukes – Count and Countess Northern – also followed the above-mentioned program while staying in Rome can be proved by documents from the Manuscript Archives of the Pavlovsk Palace.