Turin and the British in the age of the Grand Tour



Turin and the British in the age of the Grand Tour

edited by Paola Bianchi, Karin Wolfe

(British School at Rome studies)

Cambridge University Press, 2021, c2017

  • : pbk

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Originally published: 2017

"First paperback edition 2021"--T.p. verso



The Duchy of Savoy first claimed royal status in the seventeenth century, but only in 1713 was Victor Amadeus II, Duke of Savoy (1666-1732), crowned King of Sicily. The events of the Peace of Utrecht (1713) sanctioned the decades-long project, the Duchy had pursued through the convoluted maze of political relationships between foreign powers. Of these, the British Kingdom was one of their most assiduous advocates, because of complimentary dynastic, political, cultural and commercial interests. A notable stream of British diplomats and visitors to the Savoy capital engaged in an extraordinary and reciprocal exchange with the Turinese during this fertile period. The flow of travellers, a number of whom were British emissaries and envoys posted to the court, coincided, in part, with the itineraries of the international Grand Tour which transformed the capital into a gateway to Italy, resulting in a conflagration of cultural cosmopolitanism in early modern Europe.


  • List of figures
  • Contributors
  • Preface and acknowledgements Christopher J. Smith and Andrea Merlotti
  • Foreword Martin Postle
  • Introduction Paola Bianchi and Karin Wolfe
  • Part I. Britain in Turin: Politics and Culture at the Savoy Court: 1. England and Savoy: dynastic intimacy and cultural relations under the early Stuarts Toby Osborne
  • 2. Marriage proposals: seventeenth-century Stuart-Savoy matrimonial prospects and politics Andrea Pennini
  • 3. The court of Turin and the English succession, 1712-20 Edward Corp
  • 4. The British diplomatic presence in Turin: diplomatic culture and British elite identity, 1688-1789/98 Christopher Storrs
  • Part II. Turin: Gateway to Grand Tour Society: 5. The British at the Turin Royal Academy: cosmopolitanism and religious pragmatism Paola Bianchi
  • 6. Thomas Coke in Turin and the Turin Royal Academy Andrew Moore
  • 7. 'Never a more favorable reception than in the present juncture': British residents and travellers in and about Turin, 1747-8 Edoardo Piccoli
  • 8. The British and Freemasonry in eighteenth-century Turin Andrea Merlotti
  • Part III. Torino Britannica: Diplomacy and Cultural Brokerage: 9. John Molesworth: British envoy and cultural intermediary in Turin Karin Wolfe
  • 10. Silver from London and Turin: diplomacy by display and George Hervey, Earl of Bristol, Envoy Extraordinary to the Court of Savoy 1755-8 James Rothwell
  • 11. The 'Savoyard': the painter Domenico Dupra and his British sitters Jonathan Yarker
  • 12. The culture of confession: the Sardinian Chapel in London in the eighteenth century Paola Cozzo
  • Part IV. Turin and Britain: Architectural Crossroads: 13. Architects and kings in Grand Tour Europe Tomasso Manfredi
  • 14. A homage from Turin: Filippo Juvarra's sketches for Lord Burlington Cristina Ruggero
  • 15. Crossing borders: the pioneering role of the architect-engineer Giovanni Battista Borra between Piedmont and Britain Olga Zoller
  • Part V. Britain and Turin: Chinoiserie as an International Aesthetic: 16. Chinoiserie in Piedmont: an international language of diplomacy and modernity Christopher M. S. Johns
  • 17. 'Alla China': the reception of international decorative models in Piedmont Cristina Mossetti
  • 18. The British garden in Piedmont in the late eighteenth century: variations on the picturesque, the Anglo-Chinese and the landscape garden Paolo Cornaglia
  • Part VI. Turin in Britain: Cultural Exchange in Grand Tour Europe: 19. A plurality of pluras: the Plura family of sculptors between Turin and Britain Alastair Laing
  • 20. 'A memorable era in the instrumental music of this kingdom': Piedmontese musicians in London in the latter half of the eighteenth century Annarita Colturato
  • 21. The British Baretti: didactics and criticism Cristina Bracchi
  • 22. Vittorio Alfieri and the 'English Republic': reflections on an elective affinity Francesca Fedi
  • Appendices: I. British diplomats and visitors to Turin in the eighteenth century Christopher Storrs
  • Sabaudian diplomats to London in the eighteenth century Andrea Merlotti
  • II. British attendees at the Turin Royal Academy Paola Bianchi
  • III. Letters from the Molesworth-Galilei correspondence, 1721-5 Karin Wolfe
  • References
  • Index.

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