In 1816, Italian artist Mauro Gandolfi arrived in New York, eager to establish himself in America and to witness the workings of the young nation's democratic society. Perpetually amazed and astonished by his experiences, Gandolfi kept extensive notes on the customs, people and quirks of behaviour he observed in New York and Philadelphia. His vivid account of his stay in the United States is published here, accompanied by an introduction and numerous illustrations that include examples of Gandolfi's own work and contemporary views of the sites he describes. As an artist, Gandolfi deplores the American prohibition against studying or depicting the nude figure. As a former revolutionary in his own country, he is enraptured to discover the many manifestations of liberty, fraternity and equality in this democratic land. Throughout his writings, the visiting European provides an account of society, culture and the art scene of the early-19th-century United States.