The Grand Tour by Joakim Vujić and his Serbian Contemporaries
Copyright (c) 2020 Nada Savkovic
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
Although the grand tour was, above all, a cultural construct of the British social elite, due to its permanence and frequency, it became a kind of new pilgrimage, and spread to other countries of Western Europe as well as Russia and America. Three contemporary Serbian writers of the 18th and 19th centuries lived and travelled through Italy, which they experienced as a paradise on earth: Dositej Obradović (1739-1811) in 1780, Joakim Vujić (1772-1847) in 1803 and Pavle Solarić (1779-1821) in 1818. Despite great admiration for Italy and its rich culture, history and art, they left scanty records of their travels in their autobiographies and letters. Although the travelogue was a favourite genre of the 18th century, writing about traveling does not seem to have appealed to the three authors. This may be because they had a clear awareness that they needed to create what was useful for the development of their Serbian people. At the time —when Serbs were creating a civic culture, when Serbian literature of a new age was being written, when the reading public was being formed — much had precedence over writing a travelogue. Both Solarić and Vujić compiled books on geography, following someone else’s example. Their grand tour was realized (Obradović and Solarić) and unrealized, that is false (Vujić).