0026 Vers le Sud: Le voyage de Johann Georg von Dillis à travers la France, la Suisse et l'Italie en 1806
Southern France, and Provence in particular, started to lure painters as early as in the 18th century, first and foremost French ones, and then increasingly foreign painters, notably the German landscapist Johann Georg von Dillis. In 1806, he undertook a journey in the South of France in the company of the Bavarian crown prince, the future Ludwig I. Dillis' journey is known from two different sources: a group of drawings known as the Voyage pittoresque dans le Midi de la France dessiné par Dillis (Staatliche Graphische Sammlung, Munich) and his unpublished correspondence with his brother Ignaz Dillis. The drawings, which were ordered by the prince as a visual souvenir of his tour, reflect Ludwig's interest in Roman Antiquity and thus include numerous views of ancient monuments, such as the Maison Carrée in Nîmes, the arc de triomphe in Orange and the ruins in Saint-Rémy-de-Provence. Apart from this group there is another body of drawings, which Dillis also made during the journey, but that he chose not to include in the Voyage pittoresque. These sheets attest to the draughtsman's attentiveness and sensibility for nature more obviously than the commissioned drawings. An official commission, the Voyage pittoresque is an exceptional artistic testimony of travel in the early 19th century. It shows that Provence became attractive for artists earlier than was previously thought.
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