In this image, we see a young couple — a man and a woman — talking excitedly while looking at a map. At first glance, you might believe that the newlyweds are deciding where to go on their honeymoon.
The couple is in fact a newlywed couple who recently married. On the table is a wedding bouquet tied with a white ribbon that has not yet withered.
The young are going on a honeymoon, but not in the traditional sense. According to the image’s title, the couple is discussing the grand tour, a popular type of travel for young people in the 18th and 19th centuries.
Such tours were undertaken by European aristocrats for educational purposes. The journey was lengthy; people went on grand tours for months, if not years.
For the tours, European capitals and cities were chosen, where one could become acquainted with masterpieces of architecture, painting, sculpture, and so on. During the trip, Europeans learned about other countries’ manners and traditions, as well as made useful contacts and learned new skills.
Moreover, during the trips, young people improved their knowledge of foreign languages, as well as the fundamentals of diplomacy and foreign secular manners.
These journeys typically took them through France, Central Europe, Italy, Spain, and Holy Places. Russian travelers frequently passed through Germany and Switzerland on their way to Paris, London, and Italy.
The young people in the picture appear to be very happy and cheerful. They’re giggling like a couple. The joy of their first days of marriage is mixed with the excitement of an exciting trip.
The artist carefully depicted the interior of the room, its characters, and their outfits with photographic accuracy. The girl’s satin gown shimmers in the sunlight, making the heroine appear to glow. The artist apparently wanted to convey his young wife’s condition in this way — she just beams with happiness.
The image is filled with kindness and positivity, eliciting only positive emotions. And I want to be happy for the young people and wish them well in their future family lives.