In times of great upheaval, opportunities can present themselves. The mid-1700s were certainly a time of such change in Florence. Politically the Medici era was coming to an end and the basic infrastructure of the city was in a state of decline. Florence, like all of Europe, was slowly recovering from the devastating loss of life during the era of the Black Plague and, by the 1740s, a new census revealed that the city’s population was finally beginning to grow. Then, with the death of the last Medici ruler, control was in the hands of the Habsburg dynasty, bringing uncertainty about how Florence would fare in this new order. This was also the era of the “Grand Tour”, when Europeans were traveling widely through Italy, Greece and beyond. Thousands came through Florence bringing a renewed interest in its treasures despite the turmoil and shift in political fortunes.