A Return to Formal Tendencies in Polish Literature on Gardens against a Background of Transformations in Garden Art in Selected Countries of Western Europe and North America
Powrót do tendencji formalnych w polskim piśmiennictwie o ogrodach na tle przemian w sztuce ogrodowej wybranych krajów Europy Zachodniej i Ameryki Pólknocnej
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This paper is an attempt at presenting a return to formal tendencies in Polish literature on gardens as viewed against a background of changes in garden art in selected countries of Western Europe and North America. The most important aspects of the 19th and 20th century transformations in European and North American garden art were recorded in Polish literature on gardening. Although with some delay, also Polish designers introduced the same solutions that had appeared and enjoyed popularity in European parks. It seems that the prominent theorists and creators of Polish parks were particularly linked with France, where Edmund Jankowski, Franciszek Szanior, and Teodor Chrzanski had studied, and especially with the work of Edouard André. Akin to the ideals of a reform park in turn was the concept of a didactic garden, promoted by Stefan Rogowicz, with a rigid division into a didactic and a sports part, and above all with the possibility of using it every day. A growing popularity of the national-historical tradition and the search for a national style at the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries were accompanied by a more and more evident aspiration to accentuate Polish unique features in garden composition. The source of inspiration for these activities were the former gentry gardens laid out at manor houses. This kind of garden would have consisted of the regularly shaped immediate surroundings of the house, usually in the form of a parterre, an orchard, and a vegetable garden, which next turned into a more landscape shaping of nature. However, the unique nature of the Polish garden style is open to question.The idea of a garden as an extension of a house appeared in Poland early in the 20th century, but it enjoyed its greatest popularity in the interwar period. Similarly as a public park, a home garden was expected to be first of all useful, serving the inhabitants as an open-air playground and recreation area, but also supplying fruit and vegetables. A return to formal tendencies in Polish garden art reached its peak as late as the 1920s and 1930s. Besides, we can hardly speak about a significant contribution of Polish garden art to the development of a new architectural garden, as the changes occurring then were for the most part the effect of the impact of foreign trends in gardening.
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