Letters from Abroad Vol. II: Venice, Bologna and Rome
Archive reference number
Letter-book containing copies of eight letters from Ralph N Wornum to his father sent from Venice, Bologna and Rome between September 1836 and October 1837. It is indexed at the front and contains 90 numbered pages. The letters appear to have been copied into the book when Wornum returned to England in 1840. They describe his journey from Innsbruck to Venice, Bologna and then on to Rome; his visits to churches in Venice, Bologna, Siena, the Vatican City and Rome. He includes detailed descriptions of private and public collections in Venice, Florence, the Vatican and Rome. He refers to other European galleries visited on his tour and to the National Gallery and its collection including, Correggio (p. 10, 15) and Claude (p. 12). There are lengthy descriptions of the Cholera epidemic in Rome which include mortality rates, treatment of the dead, the influence of the Church, cemeteries, and public prayers led by Pope Gregory XVI. The letters also contain references to mosquitoes and malaria (including an account of a violent encounter with a Swiss mercenary lieutenant Blaser while in quarantine in Valice), his notes on politics, society and culture, particularly Italian independence, social conditions; comments on his life in Rome, his daily routine, Italian cuisine, public health, walks and visits to ancient monuments in Rome. He describes friends and acquaintances that he met in the "Bon gout"coffee house including the American sculptor Thomas Crawford, the English sculptor John Gibson, the English artist Penry Williams, art historian Ernst Platner, the Scottish artist William Allan and Vatican restorer Carlo Maratti. Other places visited include Padua and Ferrara
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