Riding the wave


Giovanni Antonio Rizzi Zannoni (Padova 1736 - Naples 1814)
Cartographic Society in men and institutions in Southern Italy (Florence, Military Geographical Institute , 1993)

In 1993, Vladimiro Valerio published by the Military Geographic Institute of Florence (where you can buy the work) Cartographic Society men and institutions in southern Italy, which is the largest report on the mapping of the South - and not only - never published.

The impressive work (751 p., Overview of the career of surveyors, designers, engravers and lithographers; indices of documentary sources, bibliography, names, places and 655 pictures, with 93 players) want to rebuild the "memory map" of the Italian States, of which 'Military Geographical Institute is the custodian, which has its origins in the work of the Neapolitan school mapping.

We like to start from the premise of the author, which well expresses the spirit of the work:
Beyond any possible historical intent, this work comes from deep admiration for the man and a cartographer my innate interest in cartography and for each representation of the environment, filtered and brought to life by the human mind
.I was I, like many others, designer and inventor of maps, drawing the interest it Cartographic predecessor me what to write, and inexplicable paths have led me in recent years to investigate the historical aspects of cartography.

By collecting news published here pay a debt of gratitude we all have, to a neglected and forgotten group of image makers, recently praised then as now, and forgotten by official history of the great historical figures and major avvenimnenti.Builders of ephemeral images, continually overcome by human practice, surveyors have never risen to the glory of art or science, except in rare cases.Yet these men have built the image of our country, and we have used and abused of their cards to change the environment in which we live.

The cards, like the air we breathe or the water we drink, seem to belong to that category of objects whose existence is not questioned, we realize their importance only when missing and we tend to forget that in the production of cartgorafie are onerous and institutions involved men indefinitely.

The paper is Penelope, the stone of Sisyphus, never end and when you get closer to completion you realize you have not done anything yet, because everything has to be redone.

The information revolution is coming and before finally jumping the ditch that separates the image symbol by symbol number, let us pause a moment to look grateful to those who have preceded us.

Elsewhere, we have included a biography of Ferdinand Visconti , always by Vladimiro Valerio, and excerpts of his images Builders / Designers, engravers and lithographers nell'Officio Topographical Naples . Now we propose the biography of another star of Neapolitan and not just maps, namely Giovanni Antonio Rizzi Zannoni processed by companies and institutions cited men., P. 409-412.

No known portrait of youth Rizzi Zannoni.
Although this recording shows him to stretch into old age, certainly after the return to Italy, in 1776.
From Gallery of writers and artists of the Venetian provinces in the eighteenth century, Venice 1844 (Society men and the institutions cited above.)

In fact, the most comprehensive and updated biography on Rizzi Zannoni is what appears in Chapters II to X Company men and institutions cited. In great detail and bibliographical and archival. Later in the book, the author briefly sketches the figure of the Geographer, in order to provide a general approach on his long and industrious life and help the interpretation of his complex personality.

"The prestigious biography, written by Blessich in 1898, has done-certainly not the fault of the author-more harm than good to the reconstruction of the life of the great astronomer and cartographer Padua, since all subsequent references and studies have been based on his unquestioned authority. This has led to progress in a century, studies zannoniani if not within walking distance. Only in 1981, for example, through a survey mathematics, came out into the open some manufacturing faults, or questionable choices in the implementation maps of the kingdom of Naples (VALERIO 1981b, c) comments received, however, with skepticism from the academic world.

Born in Padua, Jerome and Elena Marchiori, at 13, September 2, 1736, Giovanni Antonio Bartolomeo lived a traumatic childhood. Although little is known about the reliability of early life and his education, all sources accredit the image of a young and restless by nature unstable. A special bond between him and his mother all his life, in her correspondence she is listed as the person who always have to ask forgiveness for the suffering arrecatele and which give comfort. The return from Paris to Padua in 1776, he lived and was described as the return of the prodigal son, which also begs the benevolence of his fellow citizens (letter from Monaco on 10 July 1776).

These psychological elements, seemingly irrelevant to a historical analysis, but are essential for understanding the figure of the scientist and his many contradictory attitudes.Explain, in part, the thick veil of mystery that he wanted to throw over their lives, as "de entrêmelée bizarres vicissitudes" and worthy of a "roman" (see Section.II, note 67).Introverted, saturnine, looked at life and the events always from your personal point of view: the world seemed to gravitate to its existence.Attitudes of cynicism, such as those experienced during the flight from Naples in 1799 and the subsequent demand for some goods of "status offenders" (ch.IX, note 23), be read as manifestations of his egotism.The difficulties in relating to other scientists soon manifested themselves and accompanied him throughout his life and only during his long stay in southern Italy did not witness clashes and rivalries manifest, but it must be said that the 33 years he lived in Naples more total isolation.The choice between Milan and Naples, which he made in 1781, was also made favoring his desire to excel unopposed, which the lively and somewhat hostile atmosphere in Milan would not have allowed.Only a character with such a temperament and such defects could embark on an operation like that of de novo detection of the Kingdom of Naples relying solely on their strengths.

It is also noted that his complex personality is a plethora of documents which may confer little credibility, because, on a substrate of real events, he grafted a network of personal speculation, dictated by special circumstances or expectations of the recipient document. All this has created and still creates serious problems of exegesis, of which one can not disregard nell'accingersi to tackle a biography.

Rizzi Zannoni's signature from a letter sent from Venice Abbot Toaldo, February 4, 1777. BSVP, cod.798, c.69. (Lf), men and institutions cited by the Company.

The Rizzi Zannoni, despite the assumed courses at the University of Padova, as a pupil of John Marquis Poleni (1683-1761), was probably a self-taught.A document drawn up in 1756, addressed to the Vicar General of Padua for clearance of a free state, minutely describes a long series of journeys through Italy and Europe, he played from the age of 10 years.The document concludes by noting that "it 'trips of his childhood [had] the life span with the charity of' faithful, and without adult support through exercise procured the art of Geography, and Painting" (ch.II, note 67), with no reference to studies pursued continuously at any school or university.Apprenticeship at the Polen, cherished by Blessich-hypothesized that the presence of Giovanni Rinaldo Carli (1726-1795) among his tutors-based to date only on information supplied by Rizzi Zannoni in a famous paper (" Abrego des travaux du S.Zannoni r ") drawn up in 1774.But if new evidence does not confirm, it could only attempt to provide a pedigree when disagreements arose with some of hydrography and French scientists.The Rizzi Zannoni was not due to new titles which are not enjoyed.However, the lack of authoritative teachers certainly can not be seen today as a demerit, indeed even more credit to his genius and his intellectual liveliness.

The first period of operations in Germany, which was very educational for the young geographer, trace remains of Lorraine performed in this paper for the establishment of the Heirs of Homann map, published in 1762. At the Homann, he worked as a cartographer and as professor of geography and mathematics. Private property. (Mv). Businesses and institutions cited by men.

Soon they left again to go to Padua in Germany where he worked at the plant map of the heirs of Homann and Seutter. In 1759 he was in Nuremberg pour dresser toutes les cartes ont here étées the theater continuel de la guerre dans la Saxe, dans la Bohème, dans la Westphalia "(Chapter II, note 63). But in 1760 it was already in Paris, where she cooperated with a French cartographer to the creation of a large map of Germany. Is very unlikely, therefore, participation at the battle of Rosbach in 1757, during which he would fall of the French prisoner.

After the uncertain years of adolescence and youth, his life can be divided into three periods net: that Paris, from 1760 to 1776 (described in Chapters II and III), the Padua from 1776 to 1781 (Chapter III) and finally the Naples from 1781 to 1814 (Chapters IV-X).

With 1760 begins the long period of activity in Paris at that time appeared the first French opera: Étrennes Géographiques with 26 cards. In 1761 it claimed the attention of astronomers and cartographers of Europe to publish a "Epistula" with which it asked to make simultaneous observations of the transit of Venus across the solar disk, in order to determine the difference in longitude of several sites of ' Central Europe. He also produced many maps and atlases, showing a remarkable ability in the construction of maps derived. Apart from astronomical observations, his scientific production, during the Paris period, was marked especially the development of existing material.

The contribution was not different for another remarkable staging of "Map of Sicily First, launched in 1762 by Galiani and supplemented by Rizzi Zannoni between 1767 and 1769.On 20 March 1765 became correspondent of the Academy of Sciences of Göttingen.Another prestigious work which set out to work, after the paper of Naples, was the Atlas of Poland, announced in 1770 and completed in 1772.

His fame grew considerably in those years with the estimate of some powerful politicians in France, also came first jealousies and enmities.On March 22, 1772 received a "Brevet d'ingénieur hydrographe de la Marine", and despite the clear opposition of Lalande, he secured the post of premier ingénieur "in the Dépôt de la Marine, formerly of Bellin, died first maggio 1772.But the hostility of the French, that an alien poorly tolerated in a position so important and delicate, was that he had to leave the place in August next.In 1775 he secured the intercession of Foreign Minister de Vergennes, the direction of "Topographique Bureau des limites pour la Demarcation".Unfortunately a series of unfortunate programming expenses mapping - was preparing a paper turkish empire in Europe - it reduced the brink of economic collapse.

In this delicate juncture, the opportunity presented itself to new contacts with his homeland, through the thick Venetian colony in Paris.Involvement of the astronomer Giuseppe Toaldo the work he and his impressive collection of astronomical data and cartographic convinced him to return to Padua.After a series of adventurous circumstances (on this see chapter three), he left Paris June 10, 1776, hoping to return one day when his problems are economic, they were resolved.

Return to Padua was realized slowly, after an interesting journey through scientific Baden and Bavaria, which led him to visit the main observers of Lower Germany, host of principles and voters, who wanted to know the geographer, whose name is was held throughout Europe.In Monaco, where he arrived in early July, he resided for about four months, starting to express concern Maximilian III, a map of Bavaria to be funded by subscription.Unfortunately, this project had begun operations as of detection, had to be abandoned due to the failure of the subscription.

The Rizzi Zannoni finally arrived in Padua, in the last days of November, then went to Venice where, as directed by the Toaldo came in contact with scholars and aristocrats, to collect materials, tools and financial support for the creation of a map of states Veneto. Worked on this project throughout 1777, bringing in Friuli and Istria, making triangulation and astronomical observations needed to carry the card. During such trips - maybe he went to Vienna - had occasion to contact the Prince Kaunitz, who underwent (November 13, 1777), perhaps at his express request, a project for a map of Lombardy.

On this work, whose technical direction was divided between the abbot and Rizzi Zannoni Frisians, a conflict broke out immediately "cultural" with astronomers of the Observatory of Brera, which considered the instrumentation geographer Padua totally inadequate for the realization of accurate astronomical observations and angular. The conflict of jurisdiction between astronomers and the Frisians soon became a controversy to which the staff Rizzi Zannoni was quite strange, but stopped the operation of the paper for about three years.

In 1778, faded paper of Milan, he initiated the creation of a large map of the Paduan territory, scale 1:20.000, which was to be composed of twelve sheets, published in 1781 they were already three. The Rizzi Zannoni was appointed March 29, 1779 Pensionary Academy of Padua with a monthly salary of 100 ducats.

On April 17, 1781, was forwarded to the Venetian Senate, by a resident of Naples, the request to grant a permit to Rizzi Zannoni six months "to reduce the effect of his work to correct and improve the topographic map of the Kingdom" ( ch. III, note 64). In fact Galiani, which has taken the diplomatic initiative, he never abandoned the idea to conduct a regular survey of the kingdom of Naples, similar to what they were carrying the Cassini in France. Unfortunately, the vicissitudes of Parisian geographer Padua Galiani had not allowed the easy contact with him. Only through friends in Milan, Naples Abbot could know the new employment and the residence of Rizzi Zannoni.

In the same month of April, the Frisians resumed contacts with Rizzi Zannoni, requesting it to submit a new draft paper of Lombardy, which would have done without the astronomers of Brera. But the commitment made to prevent him from Galiani to award the Frisians, the project would resume in the Milan paper only after "the Commission of Naples.

In June of 1781 was in Naples, again with the Abbe Galiani, to design a map of the whole kingdom to be realized, this time through direct measurements. The permit was renewed for six months and two years later for two more, until they became permanent resident of Naples. Galiani's idea of "rectifying" the paper made in Paris in 1769 - but we know that this is just a loophole to overcome the distrust of the Court and the scientific Neapolitan - gave birth to, in southern Italy, the modern geodetic mapping. The Rizzi Zannoni witnessed by all the topographical changes of the institution "Committee on the map, from 1781 to 1795, a workshop geographical and topographical, of which he was solely responsible for administrative and scientific, to Topographical Luggage, during the Decade French.

The ability to return to Paris the promises in 1799, during his stay in Naples of the French. Left the kingdom in May, remained stuck in the city of Rome, with all the rich cartographic material it produces, the difficulties encountered by the French to reconnect with the army of Italy. Forced to return to Naples after the entry of British troops in Rome, continued to negotiate secretly with the French government for his appointment as director of the Dépôt de la Guerre. But the tall claims made by geographer aground negotiations in 1803.

The Bourbon period, could also bear the title of "geographer of the King." In fact he was the last real geographer court in a world that was changing radically and quickly under the impetus of the French Revolution and new surveying techniques and geodetic calculation.

With the coming of the French, Rizzi Zannoni continued to await the realization of the Kingdom of the cards. In 1807, he was placed in charge of the deposit topography, established by Joseph Bonaparte in 1812 during the reign of Murat, was able to print the last sheet of the 31 geographic atlas, whose publication was started in 1788.

The works in Naples, in over thirty years, established him as the greatest cartographer of the modern Italian and one of the most recognized in Europe. "

By V. Valerio, company men and institutions cited., P. 409-412.