Promoting the popular understanding of the importance of the Grand Tour and its role in advocating civil society since the Renaissance.

Submitting Institution

Southampton Solent University

Unit of Assessment

Art and Design: History, Practice and Theory

Summary Impact Type


Research Subject Area(s)

Language, Communication and Culture: Literary Studies
History and Archaeology: Historical Studies
Philosophy and Religious Studies: History and Philosophy of Specific Fields

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Summary of the impact

Professor Chaney's research has had a major impact on the awareness of the Grand Tour as one of the most significant cultural phenomena since the Renaissance, today's cultural tourism being its most obvious legacy. This has been achieved by international publications, the organization of conferences, exhibitions, numerous well attended public lectures throughout Britain, continental Europe, Egypt, America and Australia, and contributions to television and radio programmes, including BBC 4 and Radio 4. His promotion of Italian culture has been recognized by the Italian government with the title of Commendatore. His research continues to reach global audiences through Adam Matthew Digital's publication on The Grand Tour, 2009.

Underpinning research

After graduating with a first in art history, Prof Chaney chose the Warburg in preference to the Courtauld Institute in order to broaden his cultural range and be taught by Ernst Gombrich. Having produced a mid-17th-century travelogue for his MPhil dissertation, he concluded that while the 18th-century Grand Tour was relatively well-covered, the origins of (and deeper justifications for) this extraordinary cultural phenomenon were insufficiently studied. After the Reformation those in newly Protestant countries who had once gone on pilgrimages to Rome were obliged to evolve new, non-Catholic justifications to travel abroad, among which secularized criteria, art, antiquity and architecture eventually predominated leading directly to today's tourism. En route to this becoming the case, the acquisition of languages, good manners, diplomatic skills, `riding the great horse', the study of fortifications, hospitals and the like predominated. Chaney documented the continuing and crucial role of British Catholics and, during and after the Civil War, of Royalist exiles, via a large quantity of published and unpublished travel accounts and diaries as well as portraits, passports, and government correspondence.

After completing his PhD in Italy and teaching at Pisa University, Chaney returned to Britain as Shuffrey Research Fellow in Architectural History at Lincoln College, Oxford. His research meanwhile underpinned the more popular Traveller's Companion to Florence (2nd revised ed. 2002). He then worked as an Historian for the London Region of English Heritage (on listed buildings and promoting Blue Plaques) and taught art history at Oxford Brookes University (where he played a major role in their very successful RAE submission). In 1997 he came to the then Southampton Institute to developed a new unit on the Fine Arts Valuation degree entitled `Travel, Taste and Collecting' and launch the History of Collecting Research Centre. Chaney's Yale U.P. book on The Evolution of English Collecting was based on lectures given on this course and the international conference he organized through this centre. His 124-page introduction was written with this and related courses in mind. A set book in Southampton and elsewhere this has emerged as one of the most popular in the Mellon series of Studies in British Art. Chaney's selection of younger scholars for conference and book proved beneficial both to the subject and their careers throughout Britain and beyond. His Stuart Portraits catalogue has also proved influential. Meanwhile, Prof Chaney became increasingly interested in receptions of ancient Egypt, the visual legacy of which European travellers first encountered in Rome before crossing the Mediterranean to Egypt itself. Having published two major articles on this subject (as well as more accessible versions in the London Magazine, in 2010) he was awarded a Leverhulme Major Research Fellowship to work on this subject. Whilst working predominantly on the Idea of ancient Egypt in Early Modern Britain (through the Grand Tour), Chaney also followed the effect of this phenomenon through to more recent times as evidenced in artists such R.B. Kitaj. He researched the role of Warburgian ideas and the conscious and unconscious legacy of ancient Egypt behind Kitaj's injunction to `invent a Jewish style, like the Egyptian figure style' in his contribution to Obsessions: R.B. Kitaj 1932-2007 (Berlin, 2012), pp. 97-103.

References to the research

Professor Chaney research output over the period 1January 1993 to 31 December 2013 comprises some 65 published outputs including books, book chapters, journal articles, catalogue essays, and reviews, the majority of which focus upon the impact of antiquity, via the Renaissance, on British culture. From the longer list the following six items have been selected:

The Evolution of the Grand Tour: Anglo-Italian Cultural Relations since the Renaissance, Frank Cass & Co (London and Portland, Oregon 1998), 416 pp and 60 illustrations. Revised and expanded paperback edition with additional critical bibliography, Cass and Co., November, 2000. Now in print with Routledge. Set book for art history degrees at Cambridge and elsewhere. ( Supplemented by A Traveller's Companion to Florence and the 4th edition of John Hale's England and the Italian Renaissance (both popular paperbacks, Constable Robinson and Blackwells, ed. E. Chaney).

The Stuart Portrait: Status and Legacy (with Godfrey Worsdale), Southampton City Art Gallery and Paul Holberton Publishing, 2001. Loans from Tate, NPG, Ferens (Hull), Ashmolean Museum, Oxford; National Gallery, London; National Maritime Museum, London; Gainsborough's House, Sudbury, and the Royal Academy, London. ( Legacy/dp/B001OQZF4K)

The Evolution of English Collecting: Receptions of Italian Art in the Tudor and Stuart Periods (Mellon Studies in British Art: Yale University Press, 2003). (Sole editor and author of 125 page introduction). Based on international conference on collecting at History of Collecting Centre, Southampton Institute. (

Inigo Jones's `Roman Sketchbook', 2 vols (The Roxburghe Club, London, 2006). (

• `Ein echter Warburgianer: Kitaj, Edgar Wind, Ernst Gombrich und das Warburg Institute,' essay in the catalogue of the Kitaj retrospective at the Jewish Museum, Berlin (September 2012-January 2013); then at Pallant House, Chichester, the Jewish Museum in London and the Hamburg Kunsthalle). English edition of the catalogue published simulataneously as Obsessions: R.B. Kitaj (1932-2007): my essay: `Warburgian Artist: Kitaj, Edgar Wind, Ernst Gombrich and the Warburg Institute' (Berlin, 2012), pp. 97-103. Digital version with e-maj (the Melbourne Art Journal).

The Jacobean Grand Tour: Early Stuart Travellers in Europe (I.B. Tauris: London, 2013). The product of long-term scholarly collaboration by Profs Chaney and Professor Wilks. 300 pages; 112 black and white illustrations and 12 in colour.

Grant information: Leverhulme Trust Funded Major Research Fellowship (c.£90,000). 2010-12. Polytheism and its Discontents.

Details of the impact

In 1998 Chaney published The Evolution of the Grand Tour to great acclaim; see selection of reviews on the back of the revised, paperback edition. It was chosen as `Book of the Year' by Jan Morris in the Independent and was the lead feature by John Mortimer in the Sunday Times. Melvyn Bragg asked Chaney to talk about the book on Start the Week (Radio 4). After the publication of the revised and enlarged paperback edition of this book by Frank Cass in 2000 (now in print with Routledge) Bragg asked Chaney back to discuss it on In Our Time in a special programme devoted to the Grand Tour (2002) (audience figures in both cases in the millions: As well as articles in Apollo, the Burlington and London Magazines, he contributed entries in the Dictionary of Art and the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (which he reviewed in the British Art Journal) and to exhibition catalogues such as the Tate's Grand Tour. This book and his popular anthology on Florence underpinned the annual student trips to Florence. In 2006 Chaney was awarded a visiting scholarship at the British School at Rome by the Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art. In all such venues he was able to promote his subject via seminars, lectures and liaising with colleagues, students and members of the public.

Meanwhile he co-curated and edited the catalogue for The Stuart Portrait: Status and Legacy, a major loan exhibition at the Southampton City Art Gallery in 2001. Since then he has co-curated and co-written Richard Eurich: 1903-1992: Visionary Artist (an exhibition which travelled to Southampton, Bournemouth and London in 2003) and contributed to Obsessions: R.B. Kitaj 1932-2007 (2012) His Kitaj essay has been singled out for praise. He gave a related paper at the Wyndham Lewis conference hosted by the University of London School of Advanced Studies on Lewis and Kitaj in December 2012. His catalogue essay on Kitaj as Warburgian artist is being in revised and in more substantial form in both English and French and has appeared in the E version of Melbourne Art Journal (emaj);

Via the Grand Tour literature of visitors to Rome Chaney gradually became more interested in what was said about ancient Egyptian artefacts and early-modern speculation about Egyptian history and religion. He gave a paper on the reception of ancient 'Egypt in England and America' in Naples in 2004 which was published in Sites of Exchange: European Crossroads and Faultlines (Amsterdam and New York, 2006), after which he published a more accessible, popular version in The London Magazine. He also gave a paper on the Collector Earl of Arundel and the Obelisk of Domitian which was eventually published in Roma Britannica in 2011. On the basis of this research he applied to the Leverhulme Trust for a Major Research Fellowship, awarded in 2010. He gave a paper on `Shakespeare and Egypt' to a large number of Egyptian students and members of the public at the Alexandrian Library, Egypt, in early 2011 (just as the `Arab Spring' was getting underway), and related papers in Oxford, Cambridge, Chichester, London, Florence and Rome, where he gave the opening, plenary lecture on `Torino Britannica and the Cultural Memory of Egypt' at the Mellon-sponsored Torino Britannica conference held at the British School and the Veneria Reale, Turin (20 June 2013) the proceedings of which are to be published by Cambridge University Press. Meanwhile, the Kitaj exhibition opened at the Jewish Museum Berlin in July 2012 and has since, thanks to his entrepreneurship, re-located to Pallant House, Chichester, and the Jewish Museum London, whence it travelled in July 2013 to Hamburg's Kunsthalle. This has been widely reviewed, discussed on Radio 4 and the catalogue has appeared in German and English. Chaney's catalogue essay was singled out for praise by Tim Hyman in his Burlington Magazine review. In connection with this Chaney gave a paper on Lewis and Kitaj in London in December 2012. His expertise in the history of collecting and interest in the welfare of the Southampton City Art Gallery and its collections, enabled him to lead a successful campaign against the proposed sale of works of art to fund the Titanic museum. This involved him appearing on BBC TV South and in radio debates with the leader of the council, he further supported the campaign objectives by publishing articles in local and national newspapers in the summer of 2009. Where the history of collecting is concerned he advised on James Stourton and Charles Sebag Montefiore's The British as Art Collectors (Scala, 2012) as a result of which he was asked to act as consultant to BBC 4's 2013 Great British Art Collectors , narrated by Lady Helen Rosslyn.

Impact of `Roma Britannica and the Cultural Memory of Egypt: Lord Arundel and the Obelisk of Domitian' (published by the British School at Rome in their conference proceedings: Roma Britannica (2011). Prof Chaney's article on the Collector Earl of Arundel's attempt to acquire the Obelisk of Domitian was initially given as a lecture at the British School's `Roma Britannica' conference, and subsequently Southampton, Arundel Castle (under the auspices of the Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art), the British Institute in Florence and at the University of Cambridge. The idea was first mooted in Chaney, The Evolution of English Collecting (New Haven and London, 2003), p. 105. Material from it was included in `A Grand Tour and its Cultural Memorials', The Grand Tour, Gayle Chong Kwan, eds. Alexandra Boyd and Peter Bonnell (Artsway, Sway, 2009), pp. 1-3; book review of Obelisk: A History, Brian Curran, Anthony Grafton, Pamela O. Long and Benjamin Weiss (MIT Press, Cambridge, Mass., 2009), in the popular History Today magazine (January, 2010), pp. 56-57; the entry on `The Grand Tour', Encyclopedia of Consumer Culture, ed. Dale Southerton, 3 vols, Sage Publications, 2011, pp. 688-92; postscript to David Carrigan's illustrated poem: Panormus (Palermo, 2012); conference paper: `Inigo Jones and Egypt', given at conference on `Inigo Jones, the Queen's House and languages of Stuart culture', 15-16 February 2012 The Queen's House, Greenwich, London. Also for lecture: `The Evolution of the Grand Tour and the Discovery of Art,' at the University of Oxford's Department for Continuing Education (Rewley House) day school (audience 127) on The European Grand Tour, 2-3 March 2013, Torino Britannica conference and the Annual Conference of the Sussex Archaeological Society, Lewes, 2 November 2013 (audience 210).

Global impact has resulted from two major essays and co-editorship of Adam Matthew Digital (a Sage Company) The Grand Tour (based on research carried out over a thirty year period). This major digital resource includes searchable scans of hundreds of books and manuscripts selected from the Chaney library, currently housed in two locations in Southampton Solent University and available to research students and for undergraduate dissertations, and my research in the form of two substantial essays, `A Bibliographical Survey of the Literature of the Grand Tour since 1900' and `Travel as Education and the Origins of the Grand Tour' (subsequently uploaded); Adam Matthew Digital. 2009-2013. Available since 2009 but recently enhanced as a digitized data-base of primary and secondary sources on the cultural history of the European Grand Tour to include diaries and journals, account books, published guidebooks and travelogues of the period, paintings and sketches, architectural drawings and maps, selected by the editors Jeremy Black, Edward Chaney and Rosemary Sweet.

Sources to corroborate the impact

During the relevant period Prof Chaney has been awarded the title of Commendatore by the Italian Republic for services to Anglo-Italian relations. He has been selected for inclusion in Who's Who, been made an honorary member of the Society of Fine Art Auctioneers, received a scholarship from the Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art, been elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries, Fellow of the Royal Historical Society, made an Honorary Life Member the British Institute in Florence and the Guernsey Society.

Sources corroborating the specific impact of outputs mentioned in section 4 above include, for Roma Britannica: The Court Historian (2012) in which Dr Clare Hornsby, author of Digging and Dealing, referenced `Thomas Howard, Earl of Arundel, whose deep love of the ancient world extended beyond Rome to Egypt, as examined by Edward Chaney in his brilliant essay on Lord Arundel and the Obelisk of Domitian. A valid point is made that there was a link between classical antiquity and the not-so-distant English Catholic past; the "sense of loss, of mourning"; that is part of the motivation of Arundel in his fervent collecting and the pursuit of the antique as part of our shared "cultural memory".' Dr John Bold singled it out for praise in Times Higher Education.

The exhibition Obsessions: R.B. Kitaj, 1932-2007, which has only been shown in Britain thanks to Prof Chaney's promotion of it when he discovered that the Tel Aviv slot had fallen through, has been widely reviewed and praised (after Chichester and London it moves to Hamburg's Kunsthalle). His catalogue essay has been singled out for praise in lectures (eg Warburg Institute `Picture Act' conference, 25 January) and Tim Hyman wrote an enthusiastic review in the Burlington Magazine in May 2013. Revised and enlarged edition widely circulated in E version of Melbourne Art Journal (emaj); see chaney-r-b-kitaj-1932-2007-warburgian-artist/

Adam Matthew Digital Grand Tour: Library subscriptions throughout the world Reviews in History , December 2009, Library Journal, June 2009 and Choice November 2009. Related lectures: 26 November 2009 at `Art and Travel' conference at the Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art, organized by National Maritime Museum. `The Evolution of the Grand Tour and the Discovery of Art,' forthcoming at the University of Oxford conference on The European Grand Tour, 2-3 March 2013 and the Annual Conference of the Sussex Archaeological Society, Lewes, 2 November 2013. Adam Matthew Digital may be contacted re number of sales

The Jacobean Grand Tour: Early Stuart Travellers in Europe (I.B. Tauris: London, 2014). Although Tauris wanted this dated 2014 they have confirmed it was in the public domain in 2013. Reviews are anticipated in Times Higher Education, Country Life, Apollo, Spectator, BBC History Magazine and IHR Reviews in History.