Nathanael Greene papers  1762-1852 (bulk 1780-1785)
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Collection Scope and Content Note

Louis Lang, a painter from Waldsee, Germany, who moved to the United States in 1838, kept this diary (6" x 8", 228 pages) between August 18, 1841, and July 31, 1846. He spent most of the period in Rome and Venice, Italy, where he commented on his artistic endeavors and other aspects of his daily life.

Lang began his diary just before embarking for Europe from New York in August 1841 and recorded daily entries about the weather conditions during his voyage to Bremen, Germany, which he reached in late September. He traveled from Bremen to Waldsee, Germany, where he briefly stayed with his family before continuing to Rome, where he spent most of the following five years. Many of Lang's entries from Rome recount his daily activities, which included visits to famous buildings and works of art as well as encounters with other artists, especially Americans and Germans. In addition to writing about the creation of his own paintings, Lang exhibited an interest in the techniques of other painters; for example, on December 9, 1842, he copied an Italian document concerning the sale of paints to Titian (Tiziano Vecelli; pp. 114-115). His entries occasionally describe religious traditions, such as the annual Carnevale and Easter festivities. Though based in Rome, he also took extended visits around central Italy (July-August 1842) and to Venice, where he lived and painted between May and November 1843.

Lang's final entries, composed between June and July 1846, concern his return trip to North America, which he reached around July 31, 1846, the final date recorded in the diary. Though Lang wrote fairly regularly during his time in Europe, his entries became less frequent after early 1844.

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