BORCHIANA VERSUS SICILIANA. Count Borch’s Sicilian Journey and Its Reminiscences in Literature and Art  Cover Image
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BORCHIANA VERSUS SICILIANA: Grāfa Borha Sicīlijas ceļojums un tā reminiscences literatūrā un mākslā
BORCHIANA VERSUS SICILIANA. Count Borch’s Sicilian Journey and Its Reminiscences in Literature and Art

Author(s): Aija Taimiņa
Subject(s): Cultural history
Published by: Mākslas vēstures pētījumu atbalsta fonds
Keywords: Michał Jan Borch; Polish Livonia; Varakļāni; Warklany; Varakļāni Palace; cultural history; letters; manuscripts; drawings; engravings; vedute; travel notes; Sicily; Malta

Summary/Abstract: Michał Jan Borch (full name Michał Jan Alois Anton Borch, 1753-1810), christened in Varakļāni on 1 July 1753, was a natural scientist and writer whose name is recognized in Europe and inscribed in the history of science. To understand Borch’s personality, it is important to consider his wide scope of interests and education-based competence. He was well versed in classical literature, poetry and history, had studied the basics of botany, physics, mathematics, architecture and land surveying as well as drawing, music and several languages. Borch wrote his works in French in which he was fluent and even Voltaire is said to have praised the young Borch’s mastery of French. His correspondence is also mainly in French, including letters to his father and mother. On an everyday level, the Count communicated and wrote in Polish and German; he also learned English and Italian, and wrote verse in French, Italian and Latvian. Borch had a scholarly interest in natural resources and the population of other countries, very typical of Enlightenment-era nobility and intellectuals. This enthusiasm was fully developed during his research travels. In his early twenties, he toured Germany, France, Switzerland and Italy from 1774 to 1778, and then set out for Holland and England in 1790. He was captivated most by two Mediterranean islands Sicily and Malta, describing them with much fervour. Months spent in Sicily (23 September 1776 - 25 April 1777) provided diverse research material for seven books printed in Italy, which describe the nature of Sicily, Malta and Italy - stones, ancient monuments and people combined with historical, natural and anthropological aspects.

  • Issue Year: 2013
  • Issue No: 16
  • Page Range: 5-17
  • Page Count: 13
  • Language: Latvian