Viaggio archeologico nell’antica Etruria by Wilhelm Dorow, edited by Giulio Paolucci, is now on sale in bookshops and online. The new volume of the Cahiers series is the travel diary of the German archaeologist and collector Wilhelm Dorow (1790-1846). The book describes his stay in Italy in 1827 and it can be considered as one of the first testimonies of the Grand Tour in Etruscan land. The journal is a precious source of historical documentation, which depicts not only the landscape but also the main collections of Etruscan antiquities of the XIX century.
The author was a precursor of the Grand Tour to discover the Etruscan civilization undertaken later by better-known names like the explorer George Dennis, the watercolorist Samuel James Ainsley or Elizabeth Hamilton Gray. Wilhelm Dorow is among the first to travel between the cities of ancient Etruria with the focus of a researcher and the curiosity of a collector. He was a diplomat at the court of Frederick William III of Prussia, a historian, a professor and an orientalist, but above all an archaeologist and collector of antiquities. Dorow distinguishes himself from his English colleagues for his profound knowledge of the Italian context: his notes are written with remarkable wit and undisputed precision. The volume, that illustrates the sites of the most important Etruscan legacies and the main collections of antiquities, is also enriched by detailed descriptions of the findings and accurate drawings by the artist Giuseppe Lucherini, who accompanied Dorow during his journey.
Dorow’s notebook, published almost twenty years before the famous The Cities and Cemeteries of Etruria by George Dennis, represents a vital contribute to the history of Etruscology and of the collecting of antiquities. This version is translated from the French edition of 1829 and it is complemented with the sixteen original drawings.
Wilhelm Dorow was also the founder of the Museum Rheinisch-Westfälischer Alterthümer in Bonn, today the Rheinisches Landesmuseum, to which he left part of his collection of vases. He is the author of biographical writings on his travels and on his collection of antiquities.
The book is available online on the Johan & Levi website.