A Photographic Journey Through Goethe's Italy.
Text by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe.
Hatje Cantz, 2013. 144 pp., 60 color illustrations, 13x19".
In the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, an extended trip to Italy-“the land where the lemon trees blossom, the golden oranges glowing amid dark foliage,” as Goethe famously described it-was considered an indispensable part of a young gentleman’s education. On arduous coach journeys, these adventurous youths would travel to Florence, Venice, Rome and Naples, taking in the antiquities, the architecture and the landscape, receiving en route a practical education in Roman civilization. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe made his own odyssey south between 1786 and 1788. His Italian Journey vividly conveys the profound enthusiasm he experienced, but also captures insightful details of the well-organized, nascent Italian tourist industry. This large (13 by 19 inches), impressive volume features an array of Italian photographs from the nineteenth century, which depict the highlights of the Grand Tour in gelatin silver prints (some of which are gorgeously hand-colored). These historic images are interspersed with quotes from Goethe’s Italian Journey, and include poetical views of the wonders of Piazza San Marco, the Coliseum, a smoking Vesuvius and the fisherwomen of Capri.