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The altarpiece of the Passion of Christ preserved in the Evangelical church in Sibiu, created in 1519 by a skilful artist, Simon Pictor, using extensively the prints of Dürer and Altdorfer, represents one of the most spectacular surviving artworks of the Renaissance in Transylvania. Its subsequent transformation in 1545 and 1701 certainly enhanced its historical significance. The restoration of the artwork in the 1980s brought back to light very significant details: the dating of the original artwork (1519), two coats of arms hinting to the patronage, and a part of the genuine style of master simon. The identification of the sinister coat of arms, thus the one in the inferior heraldic position, as belonging to Johannes Lulay (royal judge and administrator of the royal mint of Sibiu) constituted the basis of extensive incursions in the patronage of this remarkable altarpiece. However, an important question remained unsolved: who could have been the other patron or commissioner of the altarpiece? As the preeminent position of the coat of arms (on the heraldic dextra) clearly indicates, this was an individual even higher in the hierarchy as Johannes Lulay himself.

The assumption of the study is that this prominent patron was Paulus de Tomor/Tomori Pál. He remained in the Hungarian national consciousness as the heroical leader of the army in the „Mohácsi csata” of 29 August 1526, a critical turning point in the history of the state. This study contributes to the reveal of parts of his “Transylvanian biography,” his allegiances and political network in situ before he left the region, his patronal endeavours, and last, but not least, it discloses his real (and tinctured) coat of arms. At the same time, the great altarpiece of the Passion in Sibiu recovered another piece of its complex content, by the identification of the main patron (or, rather, the more honourable patron) in the person of Paulus de Tomor. Last, but not least, this study asserts that three of the characters depicted in the scene of the Lamentation over the dead Christ on the predella are in fact crypto-portraits of Johannes Lulay, his wife Clara Thabiassy, and his partner and superior Paulus Tomori.

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After the abolition in 1782 several works of art owned by the Clarisses were lost. Some of them were identified in recent years; I would like to write about an other one that was found in the cloister of the Order of the Sisters of Saint Elisabeth in Bratislava. It is fairly unique because of its theme: it commemorates the escaping of the Clarisses from Stephen Bocskai’s attack on Graz and Vienna in 1605, also the taking over of the reformed and stricted Regula. It was painted together with another, recently hidden picture that has since been lost almost twenty years later in 1623, most likely in the Austrian capital, when Clarisses escaped secondly to Vienna.

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In the bas-de-page decoration by Jörg Breu the Elder of a leaf in the Prayer Book of Emperor Maximilian I (fol. 78r), a cheerful winged putto is gracefully propelling a walking frame. Both the rolling structure aiding its first steps and the presence of wings cry out for an explanation, especially as the two are shown together.

Unlike most other depictions of a child with a walker, this putto is neither a personification of an age of man, nor a reference to a specific infant. Among its precedents, it is worth mentioning the marginal decorations of prayers of intercession, especially the relevant depiction in the Hours of Mary of Burgundy.

The structure of the walker in Maximilian’s prayer book is counterfunctional: its wooden slats together form a capital A and capital D. By modelling the walker on Dürer’s monogram, Jörg Breu was, on the one hand, thanking his mentor for his inspiration, and on the other, fulfilling the wish of Konrad Peutinger – and indirectly of the emperor – that the decoration of the prayer book be completed in the manner commenced by Dürer.

While there are also classical precedents for the motif of the walker as a device aiding the acquisition of knowledge, later examples are particularly relevant to the sustentaculum modelled on Dürer’s monogram. In the seventeenth century, the metaphor of the “first step” and the concept of “giving and receiving support” frequently conjured up the theme of master and pupil; at this time, the child learning to walk with the aid of a walker was repeatedly alluded to in the context of the study and practice of art. This notion also comes across in the etching by Rembrandt known as ‘Het Rolwagentje’: here too, learning to walk independently refers to the process of mastering art, with the obligatory first steps being to practise drawing nudes and to copy the works of the master.

In the depiction of the putto, its hesitant steps imply slowness, while its wings suggest speed. This ambivalence is also the essence of the adage festina lente, which was of particular relevance to Emperor Maximilian; the theme was probably suggested by Peutinger. Other references to the emperor are the figure of Hercules stepping on a snail, in the lower right margin of the same sheet, and the crane depicted on its verso.

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Journal of Behavioral Addictions
Authors:
Albert Bellmunt-Gil
,
Victor Vorobyev
,
Riitta Parkkola
,
Jyrki Lötjönen
,
Juho Joutsa
, and
Valtteri Kaasinen

Abstract

Background

Changes in brain structural connections appear to be important in the pathophysiology of substance use disorders, but their role in behavioral addictions, such as gambling disorder (GD), is unclear. GD also offers a model to study addiction mechanisms without pharmacological confounding factors. Here, we used multimodal MRI data to examine the integrity of white matter connections in individuals with GD. We hypothesized that the affected areas would be in the fronto-striatal-thalamic circuit.

Methods

Twenty individuals with GD (mean age: 64 years, GD duration: 15.7 years) and 40 age- and sex-matched healthy controls (HCs) underwent detailed clinical examinations together with brain 3T MRI scans (T1, T2, FLAIR and DWI). White matter (WM) analysis involved fractional anisotropy and lesion load, while gray matter (GM) analysis included voxel- and surface-based morphometry. These measures were compared between groups, and correlations with GD-related behavioral characteristics were examined.

Results

Individuals with GD showed reduced WM integrity in the left and right frontal parts of the corona radiata and corpus callosum (pFWE < 0.05). WM gambling symptom severity (SOGS score) was negatively associated to WM integrity in these areas within the left hemisphere (p < 0.05). Individuals with GD also exhibited higher WM lesion load in the left anterior corona radiata (pFWE < 0.05). GM volume in the left thalamus and GM thickness in the left orbitofrontal cortex were reduced in the GD group (pFWE < 0.05).

Conclusions

Similar to substance addictions, the fronto-striatal-thalamic circuit is also affected in GD, suggesting that this circuitry may have a crucial role in addictions, independent of pharmacological substances.

Open access

In this paper I analyse the photomontages of Endre Bálint (1914–1986) in the context of the cultural politics of the Iron Curtain period in Eastern Europe and Hungary. First, the study takes a diachronic, historical approach to photomontage as a creative method that maintained continuity between the avant-garde generations of artists, a way of thinking and a creative process accordingly, cultivated in the circles of persecuted, banned or silenced artists experimenting during the decades from the 1920s to 1970s. Second, by placing Endre Bálint’s late photomontages (made after his 1963 return from his “exodus” to Paris) in the context of contemporary artistic phenomena (e.g. Brecht’s photobook, Jean-Luc Godard’s work, David Hockney’s montages or bricoleur punk artists), I argue that, in contrast to the generally held view, they are not the withering signs of renunciation, but rather a way out of renunciation, that is, a solution. “We breathe in fragments,” Bálint wrote, and the pictorial form to fittingly reflect a fragmented way of existence (together with the psychological burdens, shadows of the past, and the social and cultural-political determinations) was the montage-technique that had flourished from the 1920s, and whose Eastern European, distinctively Hungarian variant found its guardian, its good shepherd in Bálint, in his creative practice. Bálint’s late photomontages also deserve attention from the point of view of a silent narrative of art history, which does not focus on middle-aged artists’ major works, but on the profuse production by the old masters, the masters of sprezzatura, which is characterised by an aesthetic lightness, a kind of aesthetic liberation and swiftness, and the ability to allow memories a free influx into the creative work. One of the conclusions of this study is that Hungarian photomontage, and especially the late work of Endre Bálint, can be instructively read in conjunction with the equally restrained psychoanalytic literature of the period, in which the splitting of Self as a traumatic consequence of shocking events and also a means to survive those events is a key concept. A critically productive artistic construction that is based on fragments can be seen and read as the visual counterpart of a psychological notion of Self-splitting.

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Metamorphoses

The recent conservation-restoration in the ‘Hungarian Versailles’

Acta Historiae Artium Academiae Scientiarum Hungaricae
Author:
Áron Tóth

The Esterházy Palace in Fertőd is part of Hungary’s largest eighteenth-century residential complex. After severe damage at the end of the Second World War and in the 1950s, the palace was repeatedly renovated for almost seventy years. Between 2021 and 2022, the state apartments in the main building and some adjoining rooms underwent extensive conservation and restoration. Due to the palace’s complicated history and the inconsistent interventions of the post-war period, it was difficult to preserve as many remnants as possible. The aim was to preserve and display all historical periods from the beginning to the present, as they provide information about all the historical and cultural changes over the centuries. From this point of view, the contradictory relationship between some previous interventions and the principles laid down in documents such as the Venice Charter, the Nara Document or the UNESCO Convention of the Intangible Heritage were considered a legacy that can no longer be erased from the history of the palace. Based on conservation and restoration principles crystallised in the second half of the twentieth century and considering the changes in the field of heritage conservation since the 1990s, an attempt was made to preserve the tangible and intangible heritage as far as possible. With this in mind, the rooms were divided into three groups, each of which is subject to a different conservation and restoration method.

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Abstract

During the testing of laboratory Voriconazole API batches, one unidentified impurity (IMP-5.312) was detected employing the Pharmeuropa HPLC technique at a level in excess of 0.10%. This IMP-5.312 was synthesized and then characterized as 6-(3-(2,4-difluorophenyl)-3-hydroxy-4-(1H-1,2,4-triazol-1-yl) butan-2-yl)-5-fluoropyrimidin-4-ol by the corresponding spectral information (MS, 1H-NMR, 13C-NMR, and IR). The IMP-5.312 impurity was effectively quantified using an enhanced HPLC based-technique that was developed as well as validated. The approach made use of a Novapak C18 column with an inner diameter of 3.9 mm and a length of 150 mm (4.0 µm) for chromatographic separation. The analysis of IMP-5.312 was made at 45 °C, with a flow rate (isocratic) of 1.0 mL min−1 and a 256 nm detection wavelength. Acetonitrile, methanol, and 0.1% aqueous trifluoro acetate buffer (pH 4.0) were mixed at a ratio of 15:30:55 (v/v/v) to create the mobile phase for a 20 μL sample injection. The linearity range of 0.25281–1.51690 μg mL−1 had a correlation coefficient more than 0.99942, and the accuracy ranged from 89.3 to 100.3%. It was noted that the established HPLC based-technique was sensitive, specific, and precise. The technique was executed on the current batches of VRC API for IMP-5.312 analysis, and the outcomes were good. For quality control purposes during the manufacturing procedure of VRC, the identification as well as analysis of IMP-5.312 should be helpful. The in silico approach was applied to predict the IMP-5.312 toxicity. The reports indicated that IMP-5.312 in non-mutagenic and categorized as ICH M7 class-5 impurity.

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Originating from Leipzig and active in Vienna, the printmaker and painter Donat Hübschmann (†1583) had clients from Hungary who were close to the joint Hungarian and Bohemian royal and imperial court in Vienna of the composite Habsburg Monarchy, to which the Kingdom of Hungary belonged. Miklós Oláh (Nicolaus Olahus), humanist prelate and Archbishop of Esztergom, and head of the Hungarian Court Chancellery based in Vienna, commissioned him to make a copy of his etched portrait. János Zsámboky (Johannes Sambucus), who entered court service as a humanist, ordered two works from him. In 1564–65 Zsámboky had an illustrated broadsheet made to commemorate the coronation in Pozsony (now Bratislava, Slovakia) as King of Hungary of Archduke Maximilian II of Habsburg in 1563, which was decorated with a woodcut by Donat Hübschmann: a veduta of Pozsony. Further, in 1566 he assigned Donat Hübschmann to produce a copy of the earliest surviving printed map of Hungary (Lazarus secretarius, Tabula Hungariae, 1528). Other Hungarian-related works can be found among the master’s prints, such as a woodcut portrait of Hans Francolin the Younger, Hungarian Herald of Ferdinand I. It is likely that Donat Hübschmann was also responsible for the painted decoration on five letters patent, which were commissioned by Hungarian noblemen and issued by the Hungarian Court Chancellery in Vienna. In every case, the miniature coats of arms were signed with the monogram “DH”. The calligraphic decoration of these can be attributed to the noted calligrapher György (George) Bocskay and his workshop.

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