Discovering Dalmatia is a week-long programme (18th-23rd May 2015) of the Institute of Art History – Centre Cvito Fisković in Split. It is devoted to cultural and historical aspects of the Croatian littoral that, with their many-layered links with the overall Mediterranean and European world, gradually began to be discovered during the 18th and 19th centuries, when many travel writers and visual artists on their Grand Tours started regularly to visit the eastern coast of the Adriatic.
“Now, at last, I have arrived in the First City of the world! … All the dreams of my youth have come to life … In other places one has to search for the important points of interest; here they crowd in on one in profusion.”
These impressions of Rome were noted down by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe in 1786. His “Italian Journey” (published in 1816-1817) abounds in inspired reflections of the city’s architectural and artistic treasures. Throughout the 18th and 19th centuries, Rome excited similar interest of countless travelers from across Europe, many of whom left invaluable visual and written records of their journeys. However, it is not difficult to imagine such thoughts as Goethe’s being written down by a contemporary traveler to Rome. To this day, the seat of Europe’s ancient Classical heritage has continued to invoke widespread awe and delight. A desire to see firsthand the finest specimens of art and architecture documented by 18th- and 19th-century Grand Tourists has led the members of the research team Ana Šverko, Ivica Čović, Irena Kraševac, and Iva Raič Stojanović to undertake a tour of their own and visit the Eternal City.
As a part of this project, from May 18 to May 23 a student workshop will be held on a topic entitled:
During the 18th and 19th century, European architects, writers and painters, during the Grand Tour, a practice aimed at making the direct acquaintance of other cultures, which represented the foundation of classical education and the formation of artistic stances and expressions, left verbal and pictorial records of their visits to Diocletian’s Palace in Split. Diocletian’s Palace was a must-see of the Grand Tour on the eastern shores of the Adriatic.
Through an analysis of the drawings and texts, the key points that the travel writers of the time selected to define Diocletian’s Palace and of which they left a lasting record in their art works have been defined. They did not record just the physical condition of the monuments, but also the life within the palace, and rendered their personal impressions and feelings during their sojourns in this very specific space.
We are particularly pleased that the conference organised as part of this project entitled “Discovering Dalmatia. Dalmatia in 18th and 19th travelogues, pictures and photographs”, to be held in Split from May 21 to May 23 has been announced in the distinguished British journal Minerva. The announcement of the conference can be seen here.
During her study trip to Vienna in March 2015, Irena Kraševac examined the archival records of the Künstlerhaus Wien (Association of Austrian Artists), kept at the Wiener Stadt- und Landesarchiv (Municipal and Provincial Archives of Vienna).