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The present paper has in its focus a letter written in Buda in the mid-1480s by a mysterious Hungarian author, Ioannes Pannonius, whose figure is shrouded in obscurity. After a brief overview of the letter, the paper summarises the misconceptions and uncertainties surrounding the identity of the mysterious author and then attempts to outline his biography on the basis of fragmentary information. Contrary to the Anglo-Saxon scholarly literature, it argues that the Hungarian author is neither a fiction nor an intellectual “avatar” of Ficino, whom he could challenge in the public ring of contemporary intellectual space in order to defend his own Platonic theory. And if he is not a fictional author, the significance of the short letter is not only that the head of the Florentine Platonic school, Marsilio Ficino, anticipating the later theological debates around Platonism in the 16th century, replies to the letter, but also that it is perhaps the first known, highly publicised debate in the history of Hungarian philosophy.

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Károly Kós, a pioneering master of 20th century Hungarian architecture, spent two years in Istanbul as a fellow of the newly established Hungarian Institute for Science in Constantinople between 1916 and 1917 to pursue research on the architecture of the Ottoman Empire. During this period, he created a whole series of drawings of numerous Byzantine and Ottoman historical buildings and street sections. A volume entitled Istanbul - Urban History and Architecture was published as a summary of his research. However, this historical event and the resulting publication have a far-reaching significance beyond themselves in many ways. Firstly, the aforementioned period was a significant turning point in Ottoman-Turkish architectural history. On the other hand, Kós's work is more than just an analysis of architectural and urban history.

This paper aims to provide an insight into the period and the turning point between the late Ottoman and the early Republican era of Turkey's history; the local context of Kós's activities in Istanbul and, at also to analyse the architectural-historical achievements of the Hungarian master's work in the location which he himself described as ‘The City”.

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Clipeus Christianitatis. Egy nagymúltú európai szállóige képi megjelenítésének változatai Magyarországon a 17. század második felében és a 18. század elején

Clipeus Christianitatis variants of the visualization of a time-honoured european adage in Hungary in the second part of the 17th and early 19th centuries

Művészettörténeti Értesítő
András Szilágyi

The news of the peace of Westphalia in the autumn of 1648 certainly elicited great sighs of relief all over Europe, though contentedness was not yet universal. In countries over which the menace of the expansion and further advance of the Ottoman Empire loomed larger, the news generated a period of great hopes. This applied first of all to Hungary and Croatia where an optimistic public feeling began to spread wide. The main sources of this optimism were the influential politicians and their statements, who were both mouthpieces and shapers of the general attitude. Who were convinced that after 30 years of warfare a period of regeneration ought to come, and sooner or later – not in the distant future – what they had been painfully missing for decades, exactly since the reign of Emperor rudolph (†1612, rudolph I as king of Hungary): a major concerted anti-Ottoman military undertaking would be launched, a comprehensive campaign with the participation and support by Europe’s Christian countries initiated and controlled by the ruler of the Holy roman Empire and also king of Hungary ferdinand III. As the contemporary utterance of the politicizing Hungarian estates reveal, this optimistic expectation was paired with a zealous manifestation of a readiness to act. They voiced their great resolve with which the eligible population would take part and fight as effectively as their reserves allowed against the porte. This uncompromising intrepidity, the fight against the Ottomans at any price was fed – in addition to many glorious examples in the past – by several contemporary events. Clashes with great casualties which made great stirs in the Hungarian and European public life. Contemporaries hailed the fallen, including those of the ill-starred military encounter at vezekény on 26 August 1652, as inflaming examples of perseverance. In the eye of the contemporaries those killed in the clash – including four members of the aristocratic Esterházy family – set an inspiring example of moral courage in the teeth of Turkish superiority in numbers: in a hopeless battle they chose perseverance to the end, that is, heroic self-sacrifice, instead of surrendering. In addition to numerous quondam utterances including some quality works of literature testifying to the intrepidity and fighting value of the Hungarian estates, two works of the applied arts were also created with the aim of perpetuating the glorious memory of the fallen heroes.

The historic military events of the last one and a half decades in the 17th century – the triumphant termination of the Ottoman wars in Hungary, the expulsion of the Turks – overruled the original meaning of the time-honoured adage known all over Europe, the idea that Hungary was one of the safeguards/bulwarks of the western Christian community. Although it might have lost its topicality, it did not fall out of public remembrance. It underwent some modification, some shift of tone, the militant slogan of mobilization giving way to reference to the heroic deeds of the forefathers, to the glorious past, the historical merits of the kingdom, of Hungaria. Added to this – by way of a conclusion – is the profound conviction rooted in historical experience that it was not in vain to persevere above their strength against the pagan world power in calamitous times. To the contrary, the nation owed her well-nigh miraculous survival to it. After all, the fact that her disintegration and perdition could be avoided must have been by the will of divine providence. This idea is conveyed in a visual language by an extremely effective composition, an engraving made in Augsburg in the first decade of the 18th century undoubtedly upon a Hungarian commission. What were the Archabbot of pannonhalma p. Aegidius Karner’s ideas or intentions to have this engraving made? In the closing section of the paper an attempt is made to answer this question.

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Dürer nyitott ajtós címere és a korai híradások apai őseiről

Dürer’s open door coat of arms: early news about his paternal ancestors

Művészettörténeti Értesítő
Géza Szentmártoni Szabó

Albrecht Dürer’s name first appeared in Jacob Wimpfeling’s book on German history, printed in 1505, in which the Alsatian author praised the then famous artist. In his book on the work of Martin Schongauer, printed in Nuremberg in 1515, the humanist Christoph Scheurl mentioned that Dürer’s father was born in Cula, near the town of Várad in Hungary. He was therefore the first, albeit with an incorrect town name, to make this biographical information public. Joachim Camerarius also mentioned in the preface to his book on the artist’s symmetry, published posthumously in 1532, that Dürer’s paternal lineage was from Pannonia. The only surviving manuscript is the calligrapher Johann Neudorfer’s biography of Dürer, in which the artist’s father’s biography is in agreement with his family records. This knowledge also reached the Hungarian humanist János zsámboky (Sambucus), who compiled a Latin and Greek epigram in praise of Dürer, mentioning the Pannonian origins of the artist’s ancestors. This information was published in Adam Melchior’s book on the life of German scholars, published in 1615, in the section about Dürer. The artist’s own notes were published by Joachim von Sandrart in 1675.

From then on, this publication became the basis for biographies of Dürer. The present essay will now look at the reception of these family records in Hungary, with its pitfalls, especially the village of Ajtós and the Dürer name, as well as the related open-door coat of arms and the portrait of the artist’s father.

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Emlékszerűség és egyöntetűség. Hauszmann, Stróbl, Lotz és a budapesti Igazságügyi palota központi csarnoka

Monumentalness and homogeneity Hauszmann, Stróbl, Lotz and the central hall of the Budapest Palace of Justice

Művészettörténeti Értesítő
János Jernyei Kiss

The Palace of Justice opened in 1896 is among the country’s most important public buildings; its central hall is one of the most grandiose spaces of late historicism in size and decoration. A year after its inauguration Alajos Hauszmann, the architect, summed up the construction history and programme of the building, and the work appeared in ornate folio edition in 1901. the architect designed the central hall in the style of Rome’s baroque architecture reviving the spirit of antiquity, and also drew on the tradition of the space type of salles des pas perdus. As regards space forms and structures, its relatives are the halls of the palaces of justice in paris, Antwerp and Strasbourg.

The placing of the Justitia statue dominating the space was probably inspired by the central hall of Vienna’s Justizpalast and is permeated with the memory of antique temple interiors abounding in giant cultic statues. With its hieratic character, Stróbl’s statue reminds us of classical Rome’s enthroned Minerva and Dea Roma statues, the modelling of the dress and mantle imitating the Hellenistic and Roman baroque drapery styles.

The 19th century reconstructions of the rich mosaic and sculptural decorations of the spaces, walls and vaults of the Roman baths must have fertilized Hauszmann’s imagination and inspired him to envision the colouring and gilding of the surfaces and painted decoration of the ceiling, although the latter was also influenced by Roman baroque fresco painting. Károly Lotz designed the illusory architecture of the ceiling painting after Andrea del Pozzo by taking care to align the painted architectonic details with the framing mouldings and ornaments.

A cardinal element of the architectural program was the deliberately monumental effect and “homogeneity” of which – in Hauszmann’s view – fine arts were the “precondition and the instruments”. He himself chose the painter and sculptor for the decoration of the hall, because he deemed it important to give them “direction” and “enlightenment” through his personal influence to achieve a “homogeneously harmonious creation”. As a result, both the sculptor’s and the painter’s adaptation to Roman models and to the grandiosity of the formal idiom and dimensions of the hall can be perceived.

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„Gyönyörű volt szál alakja”. Szent István király ikonográfiája a sokszorosított grafikában a 15. századtól a 19. század közepéig - Pótlások (új ábrázolások, adalékok és javítások)

“His stately figure was Beautiful” Iconography of king saint Stephen in graphic prints from the 15th to the mid-19th Century - Complementations (New representations, additions and corrections)

Művészettörténeti Értesítő
Éva Knapp

More than twenty years ago, in the “millennial year” (1 January 2000–20 August 2001), a representative work of scholarship was released in honour of the millennial anniversary of the foundation of the state (budapest, boda Antikvárium, 2001) about the representations of the first king of Hungary, Saint Stephen, in the medium of graphic prints. The publication was reviewed by noted scholars and has been referred continuously in special literature ever since.

It is common knowledge that the “image” of king Saint Stephen has been closely tied to Hungarian history, as a decisive personage at its turning points. After the publication of the book I have therefore kept tabs on and collected the data that enlarge, supplement and at a few times rectify its contents. for easier orientation, both the complementary material, the additions, and new representations are adjusted to the item numbers in the iconographic catalogue attached to the volume.

From among the addenda, one picture is a complementation to item 71, because in 2001 no copy of its first publication (1692) could be had. Among the sixteen addenda (27, 37, 46, 49, 62, 70, 79, 95, 96, 104, 108, 126, 153, 188, 191, 219) item 46 also received a new picture which arose as the “b” variant of the copperplate engraving (first published in 1626) in a so-far unknown, unique function in 1632. Another six items of the addenda also contain corrections (69, 76, 94, 100, 139, 139, 208), of which two (76, 100) name the original publication (1609 and 1612, resp.) of the two prints in the Hungarian Historical portrait Gallery removed from their original function. Six items of the corrigenda (5, 61, 75, 179, 187) make the description more accurate, with a picture added to one (187), restoring a cut-out copy kept in the Hungarian Historical picture Gallery now to its original function.

In the past two decades, the material of the volume has been enlarged by twenty five unpublished depictions, i.e. nearly by 10%. These pictures and descriptions collected on the basis of autopsy affect the period between 1493 and 1852, adjusted to the earlier chronology of the data. Their item number received the number of the preceding bibliographic description with the addition of an ‘a’ or two (5a, 35a, 55a, 70a, 79a, 81a, 90a, 90aa, 97a, 105a, 116a, 128a, 155a, 155aa, 187a, 188a, 192s, 193a, 215a, 216a, 216aa, 228a, 238a, 251a, 254a). The new representations are always attached pictures, and their description adopted the structure of the data in the 2001 volume.

Order of new information after the number of the item:

  1. Title or iconographic type of the representation

  2. Title of the print without the religious texts. Latter only given when there is no title.

  3. Form of appearance

  4. Date of making

  5. Technique of production

  6. Place of making, signature

  7. Size by the producing technique and by the state of the sheet

  8. Bibliographic description of the source containing the representation, with the accurate place of the print in the work at issue

  9. Place of preservation and mark of the copy about which the description is made

  10. Remarks

  11. Bibliography

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Magyar történelmi témák 18. századi bécsi festői: adatok Wenzel Pohl munkásságához és az August Rumelnek tulajdonított mohácsi csata-képhez

18th century viennese painters of Hungarian historical themes: addenda to Wenzel Pohl’s work and the battle of mohács painting attributed to August Rumel

Művészettörténeti Értesítő
Júlia Papp

Media news made the name of Wenzel Pohl known in Hungary in the early 2000s, for the two large history paintings (The Battle of Mohács, Saint Stephen converting the Hungarians to the christian faith), which had cropped up in the art trade and which were purchased by the Hungarian state and deposited in the Hungarian embassy in Vienna, were attributed to him. Although more recent research has proposed that the painter of the cycle once consisting of six pieces was most probably August Rumel and not Pohl, it is worth knowing of Pohl’s artistic activity irrespective of the Hungarian relevance, too, because his person is gradually fading out of art historiography – for example, his name is missing from the 96th volume of the Saur Allgemeines Künstlerlexikon published in 2017.

The best-known Pohl portraits are the ones he painted of the noted Jesuit astronomer, mathematician and physicist Miksa Hell. A full-figure portrait shows the scientist in traditional Sami costume during his research trip to the North, and we know of a portrait showing Hell is a monk’s frock. His engraved copies of paintings in the Viennese imperial collection, real forerunners to the representative 19th century album of prints presenting the collection, probably belong to a series. In the cycle of paintings about the coronation of Joseph II as Holy Roman Emperor (Frankfurt, 1765) he was assigned the painting of architectural details, which is confirmed by the fact that he was sent on a study trip to Frankfurt to make drawn sketches of the venues of the event. After the representative painting of Martin van Meytens he made a small-scale version of the group portrait of Maria Theresa and her family. His chef d’oeuvre is the representative painting series showing the events of the coronation of Maria Theresa in Pozsony in 1741 painted for the Hungarian court chancellery in Vienna. He painted it with Franz Messmer in the second half of the 1760s. In contrast, the three portraits of monarchs in Riesensaal in Innsbruck so far attributed to him by researchers were actually painted by Jakob Kohl.

The other part of the paper contributes a few new viewpoints to the examination of the painting about the battle of Mohács earlier attributed to Pohl. In addition to contemporaneous woodcuts of the tragic battle of 1526 in news-letters and pamphlets in German, to 16th century Turkish miniatures, and diverse 16–18th century European manuscript and book illustrations, a ceiling fresco in Garamszentbenedek and several large paintings – including Rumel’s work – also conjured up the battle in the 18th century. Since in the nation’s historical consciousness and cultural memory the battle of Mohács did not acquire its symbolic, mythic position represented to this day before the 19th century, the two works of art were way ahead of their time in anticipating the salient position of the tragic event, because, unlike, for example, István dorffmaister’s late 18th century pictures ordered in Mohács, they show the battle as a fatal even in the history of the entire nation. on the other side, by the terminating piece of the series ordered for the Transylvanian court chancellery being the battle of Mohács, the client departed from the 18th century imperial, dynastic outlook which presented as positive parallels to the battle of Mohács and the capture of Szigetvár by the Turks the victorious battles of the late 17th century liberating war led by the Habsburg Empire: the second battle of Mohács and the recapture of Szigetvár, partly as examples of divine justice and partly as legitimation of the Habsburg Empire’s territorial expansion “earned with blood”. It is noteworthy that the right side of central scene of Rumel’s Battle of Mohács resembles the composition of leonardo da Vinci’s Battle of Anghiari surviving in copies only. It is presumable that the renaissance battle scenes served as a model example for the painter.

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Succus Prudentiae: Hevenesi Gábor neosztoikus emblémáinak festészeti recepciója

Succus Prudentiae: applied emblematic reception of Gábor Hevenesi’s neo-stoic emblems

Művészettörténeti Értesítő
Ágnes Kusler

The Hungarian Jesuit Gábor (Gabriel) Hevenesi’s emblem book Succus prudentiae (The Seed of Wisdom) was published in 1690 in Vienna and then in 1701 in Nagyszombat (Trnava, Slovakia), containing fifty emblems. He compiled a collection of Christian wisdom and virtues with the help of quotations and paraphrases from the Stoic philosopher Seneca. In this article, I present two instances of applied emblematic reception of the emblems of Hevenesi’s Succus prudentiae in Transylvanian buildings. The first example is the painted decoration of a room in the castle of Nagyvárad (Oradea, Romania). The program survived only in fragments, yet, three emblems could still be identified. The use of a Jesuit emblem book points towards the conception of the decorative program during the Habsburg occupation of the castle during the first half of the eighteenth century. The second example is the former wall and furniture decoration of the Daniel manor house in Szasznagyvesszős (Michelsdorf/Veseuș, Romania). The inner decoration of this building was destroyed before the twentieth century, but it was preserved by the detailed description of the writer József Ponori Thewrewk from 1817. Based on his account, the walls and several pieces of furniture (including a folding screen and a cabinet) were decorated with Hevenesi’s emblems. This program was most possibly ordered by István Daniel the elder, a state official during the Habsburg rule in Transylvania. As an appendix, I draw attention to a surviving cabinet with emblematic paintings based on Jesuit Herman Hugo’s Pia desideria, now in the collection of the Sárospatak Catholic Museum.

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