Greek statue of a woman

A bigger picture

During the AD 1700s, Italy had been an essential destination for travellers from northern Europe. Most of these were noble young men on the Grand Tour; others were artists, architects and writers. In the early nineteenth century, some of the more intrepid travellers made their way to Greece and what is now Turkey. Architects in particular gained new inspiration from encountering the physical remains of Greece at first hand rather than through the filter of the Romans. These experiences found expression in a new, Greek, neoclassicism of which the British Museum is one example. Here is a selection of drawings made by travellers in this period.

Temples at Paestum


Print of the temples at Paestum in south Italy by Robert Scott Lauder; 1822.

See more See more: http://www.britishmuseum.org/research/collection_online/collection_object_details.aspx?objectId=3407436&partId=1&searchText=paestum&images=true&page=1

Temple of Apollo at Bassae


Drawing of the temple of Apollo at Bassae by Robert Smirke, architect of the British Museum;1802.

See more See more: http://www.britishmuseum.org/research/collection_online/collection_object_details.aspx?objectId=751247&partId=1&searchText=doric&images=on&page=1

Parthenon in Athens


Drawing of the Parthenon in Athens by William Gell; 1811.

See more See more: http://www.britishmuseum.org/research/collection_online/collection_object_details.aspx?objectId=1431128&partId=1&searchText=parthenon&images=true&page=1

Temple of Athena Nike


Drawing of the temple of Athena Nike in Athens by James Skene; 1847.

See more See more: http://www.britishmuseum.org/research/collection_online/collection_object_details.aspx?objectId=3451280&partId=1&searchText=temple+of+athena+nike&images=true&page=1

Temple of Apollo


Print of the temple of Apollo at Didyma in present-day Turkey after a drawing by William Pars; 1779.

See more See more: http://www.britishmuseum.org/research/collection_online/collection_object_details.aspx?objectId=3093021&partId=1&searchText=didyma&images=true&page=1

South front of the new British Museum


The south front of the new British Museum; drawing by Frederick Mackenzie; 1850 – 52.

See more See more: http://www.britishmuseum.org/research/collection_online/collection_object_details.aspx?objectId=743774&partId=1&searchText=robert+smirke+british+museum+&images=true&page=1
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Greek statue of a woman