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A spatial fantasy: Dalmatian agricultural school in the vision of Ivan Luka Garagnin

Ana Šverko ; Institut za povijest umjetnosti – Centar Cvito Fisković, Split, Hrvatska

Puni tekst: hrvatski pdf 862 Kb

str. 65-82

preuzimanja: 382



Ivan Luka Garagnin (1764 – 1841), a prominent physiocrat from Trogir, dedicated vast majority of his writings to topics of education in agriculture and the organisation of agricultural schools. His was a vision of Dalmatia as a land prospering on the basis of strong and modern agriculture, and excellence in education in the spirit of physiocracy, respectively. Garagnin disseminated his physiocratic ideas which perceived nature as the key to development, and natural law as the one governing social and economic behaviour, in scientific papers, lectures given at economic societies, through his correspondence with renowned men of science, while putting them into practice on his family estates. Garagnin`s theses rely explicitly on his predecessors: from the Italian Renaissance champions of agrarian ideals Camillo Tarello de Lonato and Agostino Gallo, the English agricultural pioneer Jethro Tull and the French physicist and botanist Henri-Louis Duhamel du Monceaua, to his contemporaries Arthur Young, Giovanni Fabroni and Giambatista da San Martino. Da San Martino was also a member-correspondent of Split Economic Society and Garagnin was personally acquainted with him. In 1790s Italy, the advancement of agriculture and the establishing of agricultural schools was one of the predominant issues in public life causing heated debate. This was also the time when, in a Venetian magazine Nuovo giornale enciclopedico d’Italia, edited by Elisabetta Caminer Turra, a famous writer, journalist and translator, Garagnin published essays on the importance of agriculture and its modernisation, including the modernisation of beekeping, cattle breeding and mining. Agricultural schools present a leitmotif of Garagnin`s scientific and professional work envisaged in a booklet titled Delle scuole agrarie, published in Milan in 1798, as well as in the 7th book of his grandiose opus Riflessioni economico-politiche sopra la Dalmazia, titled Dell’educazione e dell’istruzione pubblica from which we learn about Garagnin`s belief in the necessity of education of the lower social classes on agriculture and crafts, these two presenting the basis of economy, therefore the basis of progress, too. Equally important was Garagnin`s empirical application of his theoretical work. As a firm believer in physiocracy, he established model farms. On his family estates he cultivated plant and animal species in order to disperse them throughout Dalmatia and thus advance the underdeveloped economy. The mission of advancing Dalmatia served as a motivating force behind landscaping and building model farm buildings. His mission was to create prototypes whose purpose would not be fulfilled until they were implemented throughout Dalmatia.
Work on the family estates helped him to devise and organise agricultural estates for the purpose of agricultural school, the pinnacle of his vision of unity of scientific, educational, and practical work. This vision is visible in the projects of Ivan Luka Garagnin – two spatial plans of estate where he marked the allocation of each building and three designs with elaborated layouts of some of those buildings – all kept in State Archives in Split. In these designs he developed and concretize the ideas previously set forth in words . Garagnin`s spatial plans present the organisation of an agricultural estate with grape and olive processing facilities, which he considered essential for the teaching of agriculture in Dalmatia. He personally designed architectural designs of appurtenant buildings together with detailed legends explaining the markings, a priceless testimony on spatial organisation of rural buildings of that time. The mere fact that numerous locations in Dalmatia today match the Garagnin`s plan of estate with grape and olive processing facilities proves that the realisation of an architectural idea is not of utmost importance, nor it is the establishing where the boundary between fantasy and reality used to be. We believe that the time will show that the ideas of a persevering individual going beyond the boundaries of his surroundings can be realized outside his time, in future, in a space those ideas were intended for in the first place. A close relationship between agriculture and spatial planning, founded on respect for the spirit of place, once envisaged, can be realised in present time and possibly provide a foothold for our daily activities, even in altered spatial context.

Ključne riječi

Ivan Luka Garagnin, physiocratism, Neoclassicism, education, agricultural school, rural buildings

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