January 13, 2019 Classic Beauties Artists, Italy and the beauty ideals of the 18th century The whole of Europe looks at the excavations in Italy with great excitement in the mid-eighteenth century. The beauty of the art treasures that emerge is like a bomb. They become the inspiration for artists, who rediscover and perfect the physical beauty of the classics. It provokes a craze among young aristocratic Europeans: they go on Grand Tour. Many take the months-long journey to Italy, particularly to Rome. Also Johann Wolfgang von Goethe and the ‘Count and Countess of the North’, the later Russian Tsar Paul and his wife Maria Fjodorovna. In the Eternal City, Grand Tourists meet famous artists: Pompeo Batoni, Anton Raphael Mengs, Angelika Kauffmann and the most famous of them all, Antonio Canova.