A Silesian Grand Tourist in Italy

Morawitzky von Rudnitz, Johann Heinrich, Silesian baron and traveller (ca. 1677-1754). Technophylacium Germanico-Italicum oder die Deutsche und Italienische Kunst-Kammer in welcher mancherley alte und neue memorabilia vorkommen wolte Johann Heinrich Freyherr von Morawitzky u. Rudnitz nach seiner Anno 1695 und 1696 abgelegten Reise durch die aller vornehmsten deutschen und italienischen Oerther, denen Lieben Seinigen und andern Liebhabern zum guten Andencken hinterlaßen.

Boblowitz (Boboluszki), Upper Silesia, 19. I. 1730.

4to. German manuscript in red and black ink on paper. (2), 1, (1), 2-78, 89 (but: 79)-100, 111 (but: 101)-190, 197 (but: 191)-208, 210-259 (omitting p. 209), (2), 3 blank pp. Unsophisticated contemporary boards.


Unpublished manuscript account of a German nobleman's Grand Tour of Europe, performed in 1695 and 1696.

The journey took the young Silesian baron Johann Heinrich Morawitzky von Rudnitz to Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Brussels, Hamburg, Bremen, Berlin, Dresden, Wolfenbüttel, Marburg an der Lahn, Augsburg, Nuremberg, Milan, Venice, Padua, Parma, Florence, Tivoli, Rome, and Naples. In all, the index cites 48 cities and towns. Morawitzky's descriptions tend to be succinct, focusing on the main attractions, such as architecture, paintings and objets d'art, monasteries, churches, commercial buildings, Wunderkammern, castles, and fortifications. Rome is covered quite extensively (some 72 pages), including a description of a visit to "Roma Subterranea" and the Catacomb of Priscilla. The description of Naples includes an excursion to Mt. Vesuvius (smoking and spewing forth lava), Pozzuoli and the Phlegrean Fields, as well as an early witness account of the notorious dog experiment in the Grotta del Cane near Lago di Agnano (famously also demonstrated to Goethe, Dumas, and Mark Twain).

Pagination irregular, but complete thus. Binding rubbed; spine professionally repaired. An early waterstain in the upper gutter throughout. This manuscript, prepared in 1730, many years after Morawitzky's return, is one of two known fair copies bearing the same date, the other owned in 1783 by Friedrich Heinrich von der Marwitz and now kept at the Leipzig University Library. As the latter specimen appears to be more consistently paginated and yet seems to contain a number of copyist's errors, it is arguable that the present copy is the earlier one, possibly even Morawitzky's original fair copy.

A rare survival, and a fine opportunity to study the reception of the "ars apodemica" by a late 17th century Grand Tourist from the eastern fringes of the Empire.

Cf. T. Fuchs (ed.), Handschriften und Urkunden der Stadtbibliothek Leipzig, p. 98, Rep. IV 88s (Z334): "Reinschrift - 1730 [...] Erworben von Prof. F. Becker [...] Eine entsprechende Druckschrift konnte nicht nachgewiesen werden", accessioned 1927.

Stock Code: BN#50114