In previous centuries the labouring classes were only spared work on saints’ days (‘holy days’). For the upper classes, however, foreign travel was an important part of their education. The Grand Tour, most fashionable in the eighteenth century, enabled them to build up art collections and encouraged a flourishing market in portrait and view painting, especially in Italy. The impact on British collections is immeasurable.
In the nineteenth century, growing prosperity and the railways allowed more people to travel and explore their own country. Railway posters illustrated the attractions of seaside and country villages and new holiday resorts. In the later twentieth century, cheap air travel made foreign holidays commonplace. Artists at home and abroad benefitted from these growing markets.