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  • Author or Editor: Árpád Mikó x
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Abstract

The Psalter (Wolfenbüttel, Herzog August Bibliothek, Cod. Guelf. 39 Aug. 4º) of Beatrice of Aragon, the wife of King Matthias Corvinus, often features in research literature on account of its title-page and ornate binding. The title-page (fol. 13r) was long attributed to Francesco del Cherico, but for some time now it has been ascribed to Francesco Rosselli and his collaborator, the Maestro dell'Iliade Medicea, while the binding is attributed – after Anthony Hobson – to Felice Feliciano. There are written documents to prove that both Francesco Rosselli and Felice Feliciano visited Hungary, both in the late 1470s, in1480 the latest. That Rosselli painted the Psalter title-page in Buda cannot be proven, although the arguments proposed by Edina Zsupán – the Hungarian saints in the calendar, the crudeness of the parchment – may suggest it. However, not only the title-page but six other pages of the Psalm-book are illumined (foll. 43r, 59v, 76v, 94r, 115v, 135v, 155v). These pages so far ignored by research literature are not Francesco Rosselli's works, being in completely different style. Their illuminator was presumably one of the North Italian masters who illumined for Hungarian clients several manuscripts in Buda around1480 and later, among whom only one is known by name(Franciscus Kastello Ithallico de Mediolano). He used cold, bright colours, the faces of the figures are markedly modelled, the drapery has a metallic hardness. One of the ruling motifs of the marginal decoration is the cornucopia. This hand cannot be identified at present in any manuscript whose provenience was Buda; its closest relative is a single Italian illumination in the Corvinus Gradual(National Széchényi Library, Cod. Lat. 424, fol. 7r). The master of the ornate binding of the Psalter – as Marianne Rozsondai has established – was the binder of the 14th century Bible kept in Erlangen (Universitätsbibliothek, Ms. 6) which also features of portrait of King Matthias. Important roles are played on both bindings by the leather filigree arabesques and the embossed all'antica motifs. The hand of the master making the gilded Corvina bindings can also be discerned on the Bible binding. So it seems that these two luxurious manuscripts completed around 1480 had an important – maybe even model-giving – role in the history of the evolving royal library, the Bibliotheca Corvina.

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Abstract

Research has managed to verify that an ivory cup in the Museum of Applied Arts in Budapest – a signed word by Johann Christoph Ludwig von Lücke of Dresden (1703) – originally belonged to the collection of Miklós Jankovich (1772–1846). It is described in the original handwritten inventory book, as item 170. The cup was preserved in the Hungarian National Museum until 1936 when it was transferred to its present place. Earlier (during preparations for the Jankovich exhibition in 2002) it was not identified because the two dancing figures on the cover described in the inventory had been removed without documentation in the 20th century (as later additions). An archive photo has preserved the original state.

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Abstract

The treasury of the mediaeval cathedral of Várad (Oradea) was secularized by the Protestant estates of Transylvania in 1557. Following this move, a part of the goldsmith's work and textiles were taken to the castle of Ecsed. The manuscripts and textiles were still there in 1603; the remnants were transported to Kassa (Košice) in 1617. There is evidence, however, that important items of the Várad textiles had left the castle of Ecsed earlier. Gergely Bornemissza, who was bishop of Várad from 1572 to 1584, seems to have been able to get back valuable pieces which were at Jászó when he died (December 1584). The Vienna court had the movables inventoried, for it was customary to exchange a high priest's estate for money. The first step was taken on 27 August 1585, followed soon by an order to transport the silverware to Vienna. The rest was assessed in 1588 when the three inventories discussed in this paper were taken. At that time, there were mainly textiles in Kassa, most of them chasubles, copes and two infulae with beadwork. Outstanding among them were a chasuble showing King St Ladislaus in the company of St Stephen and St Emeric (the crowns of Ss Ladislaus and Stephen were made of silver), and one adorned with the coat of arms of King Matthias Corvinus. The beadwork images on one of the infulae show the Calvary and the Resurrection of Christ. They alone were embellished with precious stones mounted in gold rosettes, the chasubles were not decorated with gems but with beads of varying sizes. There is no doubt that the liturgical vestments that went from Várad into Bishop Gergely Bornemissza's possession were of extraordinary importance. (Nothing is known of their subsequent history.) Bornemissza was already known for art history as the white marble reliefs of King Matthias and Queen Beatrice now in the Museum of Fine Arts, Budapest, first appeared in his possession before king Maximilian ordered them to be sent to Vienna.

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Summary

The relief in the Hungarian National Museum, attributed in the Hungarian art historio-graphy to a local Hungarian Master of the Renaissance shows stylistic features of the Verrocchio cercle and may be dated earlier than the inscription with the date of 1526. It was a sculpted image which could be inserted into an architecture or in a frame. In 1777 it was surely in the possession of a canon of Vác cathedral, but its provenience – determined by the division of the aristocratic family of the Báthory in a Catholic and a Protestant line – is uncertain and can only be enlighted by written sources.

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