Now I am here at my ease, and as it would seem, shall be tranquillised for my whole life; for we may almost say that a new life begins when a man once sees with his own eyes all that before he has but partially heard or read of. All the dreams of my youth I now behold realised before me […] and all that I had long been acquainted with through paintings or drawings, engravings, or wood-cuts, plaister-casts, and cork models are here collectively presented to my eye. Wherever I go I find some old acquaintance in this new world, it is all just as I had thought it, and yet all is new, and just the same might I remark of my own observations and my own ideas. I have not gained any new thoughts, but the older ones have become so defined, so vivid, and so coherent, that they may almost pass for new ones.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Italian Journey