Author: Marek Bratuń
Institution: Uniwersytet Wrocławski
Year of publication: 2014
Source: Show
Pages: 303-315
DOI Address:
PDF: iw/05/iw514.pdf


The article includes an analysis of Michał Mniszech’s travel accounts from the year 1767 concerning the Kingdom of Sardinia and Turin: Observations sur les États du Roi de Sardaigne and Observations sur Turin. According to the concept of Mniszech’s European educational travels that had been worked out in cooperation with the Polish magnate’s mother, Catherine Zamoyska of Mniszech, and Elie Bertrand, in the process of foreign education, becoming familiar with issues related to the broadly defined political economy was the most important aspect. Benefits of an aesthetic nature, resulting from admiring monuments of art and architecture, were less significant. Therefore, Mniszech’s travel accounts put strong emphasis on the problems of demography, administration, finance and taxation, government forms, trade and industry. In this respect, Italy was no exception. Mniszech’s travel accounts on the Kingdom of Sardinia and Turin are characterized by an intended complementarity. Observations sur les États du Roi de Sardaigne is mainly focused on the aspect of political economy. Hence, the emphasis is on information about trade, finance, demography, and industry. Observations sur Turin, although repetitive, e.g. educational matters while describing the University of Turin, concerns mostly issues of an aesthetic nature pertaining to architecture (also sacred), arts, culture and science. Importantly, in both accounts, Mniszech lists their potential sources: in reference to the first account, it was an outstanding piece of work in the field of political economy by Zanon, while in reference to the second account - a literary work of a well-known art historian, Cochin, and a literary historian, Richard, both distinguished experts on Italy and its spiritual and material culture. When focused on demographic issues, Mniszech draws special attention to his relationship to the clergy, which was very high in number ‒ not only in the described Kingdom of Sardinia and Turin but also in the whole of Italy, and was an obvious obstacle in the process of populating.

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