During the 17th to early 19th century, it became customary for young men of sufficient means to make a traditional trip throughout Europe, typically with Italy being the key destination. Upper-class Europeans with the company of an older relative saw these trips as crucial to social development and as a rite of passage.
By the mid-18th century, the Grand Tour was a regular part of European life, although these journeys were usually restricted to the higher nobility.
Artists and craftsmen benefited greatly from the Grand Tour as eager patrons sought to bring back mementos of their travels. Small paintings, micro-mosaics, and miniature statues were common items to find during this period as they were beautiful as well as being easier to transport.