Wydawnictwo Neriton, 2005
THOMAS DACOSTA KAUFMANN
ADAM MIŁOBĘDZKI, MAPPING AND THE GEOGRAPHY OF ART
Maps play a prominent role in some of the most familiar works of Adam Miłobędzki. Maps of Poland
with types of monuments shown on them comprise a section of his exceedingly useful guide to architecture
in Poland, where they are accompanied by city plans with major constructions indicated in red1.1 would like
here to express my gratitude to Stanisław Kozak for his gift of а сору of this book thirty years ago in
Kraków, and my hope that it will be recognized that it has been well used over the years. Maps are to be
expected in a guidebook, but the comparatively fréquent récurrence of maps and the large format of some
of them in Milobçdzki's magisterial history of Polish architecture of the seventeenth century would seem to
cali for further comment. For Milobçdzki's magnum opus not only contains illustrations, diagrams, and
other architectural renderings, but also maps indicating such matters as the location of Bernardine, Dominican,
Jesuit, and Carmélite foundations, and of the diocesan organization of the Latin church. Moreover, Milobçdzki's
book is accompanied by a détachable fold-out map of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth2. The présent
paper outlines how the interest in mapping evinced by Miłobędzki may be related to the concerns of the
geography of art.
The geography of art may be defined as an interest in such questions as: what are the particular
environmental factors (societal, économie, personal, psychological, materiał) that encourage change? How
are the changes to be defined, in the sense of style? How changes in styles spread, and how do they in this
sense become successful? How do they cease?3
One can trace a historiography of the geography of art alongside, and at times within the historiography
of art history. Since Hippocrates and Vitruvius many writers have stressed the importance of the geographical
dimension for cultural création. More specifically, sińce at least Giorgio Vasari and Hans Vredeman de Vries
in the Renaissance geographical considérations have constituted a continuing thème in the literaturę of art.
A concern with relating art to its geography, conceived either in terms of physical surroundings, social
context, or ethnie origins, became a major current in the historiography of art already with what is often
regarded (if not entirely correctly) its origins with Winckelmann. Geographical considérations of art history
remained important throughout the nineteenth century. And in the early twentieth century the idea that art
could be related to its geography as much as to its history developed into a spécifie discourse, which was
called Kunstgeographie in German4.
An interest in the geography of art has also been a strong current in the historiography of art in Poland.
Notable figures such as Jan Białostocki wrote eloquently on thèmes that had once engaged Kunstgeographie,
' See: J.Z. Łoziński and A. Miłobędzki, Guide to Architecture in Poland, Warszawa 1967.
2 A. Miłobędzki, Architektura polska XVII wieku, vol. 1-2, Warszawa 1980.
3 Thèse définitions are taken from: T. DaCosta Kaufmann, Toward a Geography of Art, Chicago and London 2004, p. 7.
4 This paragraph summarizes the first chapters of Toward a Geography of Art.