The series of copper engravings representing Hungarian noblemen (Icones illustrium heroum Hungariae), which was prepared by Elias Wideman, appeared in 1652 at Vienna as the last piece of a three-part series containing a hundred portraits each. This unit of a hundred portraits, which offered a cross-sectional view of 17th-century Hungarian noble society, exerted a strong influence upon the further development of the portrait in Hungary. The three volumes were sponsored by field marshall count Johann Christoph Puchheim, whose decision probably underlay the fact that whereas the first two volumes (Vienna, 1646 and 1649) published, with only 18 exceptions, the portraits of Austrian or imperial aristocrats, the third one contained exclusively those of noblemen from the territories subjected to the Crown of Saint Stephen. This latter, “Hungarian” volume differed from the two previous ones not only with regard to the persons portraited, but also in that the full-page family coat-of-arms of Puchheim gave place to the copper engraved picture of the Hungarian Crown there.
The Wideman literature has so far regarded the volume's representation of the Crown as the exact copy of the copper engraving which was prepared by Wolfgang Kilian in 1613 at Augsburgban for the book of Péter Révay on the Holy Crown. Yet a thorough examination of the two engravings has yielded a different result: it is not a copy which was published in the volume of Wideman in 1652 but the Kilian engraving itself pressed from the original plate. The reuse of the copper plate has hitherto escaped the attention basically for two reasons. Firstly, the representation of the Crown at Wideman is already closer to reality, reproducing correctly the number of its hangers; secondly, the engraving which appeared in 1652 is not signed. The two things are probably related: it may have been a consequence of the alteration made in the representation of the Crown that the name of Révay, the inventor, and that of Kilian, the engraver, were removed in the course of the reworking. Yet the identity of the copper plate is still proved by the visible remnants of the removed details on the Crown's representation in the Wideman volume.
Consequently, the question emerges of how and where was the copper plate, prepared by Wolfgang Kilian at Augsburg forty years before, found, and by whom and why was it transferred to Wideman to Vienna to be published in the Icones? The plate, which returned to the author, Péter Révay in 1613, was consequently inherited by his grandson, judge royal Ferenc Nádasdy, who cared for the intellectual heritage of his grandfather. When the goods of the judge royal, who was tried and executed for high treason in 1671, were listed at Pottendorf, two plates representing the Hungarian Crown were inventoried, one of them with the abbreviated name of Augsburg attached. This was probably the plate prepared by Kilian in 1613, whereas the other apparently the one made for the Crown' representation in the second edition of the book which was published at the expenses of Nádasdy in 1652.
All that could so far be found out on the relationship between Ferenc Nádasdy and the portrait series published by Wideman is that the Hungarian-related representations of the two volumes (1646, 1652) were at least partially engraved by Wideman on the basis of the portrait gallery of Nádasdy which represented his contemporaries. Yet the reuse of the original Kilian plate, which can be proved to have been owned by Nádasdy, raises the further possibility that the hitherto unknown initiator and intellectual director of the third, exclusively Hungarian volume may have been (perhaps together with others) Ferenc Nádasdy himself, a hypothesis that is underpinned by the recently reconstructed relationship between Nádasdy and Puchheim. It was probably Nádasdy who ordered Wideman to modify the copper plate borrowed for the volume, and to alter the engraving of the Crown according to exact information. The source of the correction of the representation may have been Nádasdy himself, who participated to the coronation of Ferdinand IV as Master of the Hungarian Royal Court in 1647, and was thus offered the possibility of a thorough examination of the otherwise invisible Crown and could consequently give a detailed description of it to Wideman.
It was not by pure chance that the volume containing the portraits of 100 Hungarians was headed by the engraving from the book of Révay on the Holy Crown, for the latter's conceptofthecrownfocussed precisely upon the idea of the “nation of estates”. The same concept was expressed by the iconography of Wideman's Icones by collecting the representatives of the nation of estates behind Révay's representation of the Crown. The volume of portraits can thus be regarded as an example of the intensification of the national identity of the estates in the 17th century.
The work of Wideman which was published in 1652 influenced the consequent development of portrait painting in the 17th century in several regards. Painted noble portrait galleries were made in series by the adoption of the so-called Wideman type, and later even a demand emerged to supplement the painted versions with the portraits of further persons. The two most renowned series of small-scale oil paintings (one of them with 136 portraits) belonged to the Csáky family, and were in all probability prepared in the last quarter of the 17th century upon the order of judge royal István Csáky, renowned for his literary activities.
The importance and initial influence of the Wideman engravings mainly manifested itself in the transformation which took place in the iconography of the Hungarian noble portraits. The change of identity which resulted in the disappearance from the middle of the 17th century of Western European wear from the Hungarian female portraits, and in the representation of aristocratic women in Hungarian costume, is to be accounted for by the appearance of the Icones and the emergence of a united “nation of estates”. The reason was surely not a change of fashion, but the intention of representing themselves on the portraits as members of the Hungarian noble society, which, as a phenomenon, is most conspicuous in the representations of the female members of families loyal to the Habsburg court. The exclusiveness of Hungarian wear on the female portraits will wane together with the 17th century and with Ottoman rule in Hungary, and so will several other elements of traditional courtly culture.
The next phase in the transformation of the representation of the Hungarian aristocracy was connected to the Mausoleum, a series of representations of Hunno-Hungarian leaders and Hungarian kings, which was published in 1664 at Nuremberg, and sponsored by Nádasdy. On the basis of some characteristic examples it can safely be stated that the serial production of noble ancestral portrait galleries began in the decade following the appearance of the Mausoleum engravings, and was conspicuously accompanied by an effort to root the past of the individual families through these portrait galleries in the very beginnings of Hungarian history. It was then that the portrait series began to be completed with the representations of ancestors beyond one generation, for which the composition of the Mausoleum engravings was frequently put to use.
Since it is from the portrait series of the most important aristocratic families that the earliest adaptations of the Mausoleum engravings are known, the logical question arises of whether Ferenc Nádasdy himself ordered family portraits to be made on the model of the Mausoleum. The answer is no. Yet he turned with conspicuous attention towards portrait painting, his library catalogue containing six different volumes of engraved portraits, an outstanding number in this period. Likewise unique was his drive to create a portrait gallery by having his contemporaries eternalised in painting, thus establishing the virtual Hungarian royal court with the portraits of all the persons who held one of the chief offices in the period between 1645 and 1655. The beginning of his gallery of contemporaries was not unrelated to the ascending course of his public and political career, which began with his appointment as Master of the Hungarian Royal Court and his parallel accession to the chief office-holders (1646). His appointment as secret court councillor (1662) and royal lieutenant (1667), on the other hand, prompted him to give expression to his ever closer attachment to the imperial aristocracy in terms of portrait representation. Accordingly, Nádasdy, as he rose higher in the court hierarchy, and aimed at a closer integration into the Vienna elite, imitated the lifestyle of the court aristocracy and adopted their forms of representation. It was thus only natural that the artistic setting of his castle at Pottendorf in Lower Austria was characterised by the elements of imperial representation. Before all, by those series of imperial portraits of which three are listed by the castle inventory. Among the two series comntaining the portraits of Habsburg rulers, one was modelled upon the engravings of Francesco Terzio (Imagines Gentis Austriae), whereas the third was an adaptation of the popular series which followed Tizian's portraits of the Roman emperors or, to be correct, the engravings which Aegidius Sadeler made of them. The occasions which emphasised the social position of the judge royal, and offered the possibility of a close connection with the court, likewise prove that Nádasdy pursued a “two-way” personal representation, staging himself simultaneously as a member of two elites: an aristocrat of the Habsburg court and a leading office-holder of the Hungarian Kingdom. This accounts for the fact that he did not surround himself with representations of his family past embedded in national history. The message of his portrait representation spoke about himself, and reflected his real or desired status within his own social circle.
From a late 16th century Four Elements series two, the depictions of Air and Water, can be found in the Hungarian National Gallery. Another element is identified by the author in a painting of a female head at the Múzeum Červený Kameň. The picture is badly damaged, the original inscription is missing. On the basis of the ochre and red colours it can be taken for the allegory of Fire: the figure is holding a pair of tongs between two fingers. The picture in the Múzeum Červený Kameň is registered as a work by someone in the circle of Matthias Gundelach. When it turned out that the painting belonged to the Budapest series (whose style is alien to Gundelach), this attribution had to be discarded. The Budapest allegories are now put up in the exhibition as works created by someone close to Bartholomäus Spranger, but in the present paper they are defined as works by Spranger himself. It is first of all the depiction of Air that can be easily tied to the authentic works of the Prague painter (Venus, Ceres and Bacchus, c. 1590, Graz, Joanneum; Christ Appearing to Mary Magdalene, 1591, Bucharest, Muzeul de Arte), while the rendering of Water is closest to the allegorical female figures in the lower part of his picture The Triumph of Knowledge (Vienna, Kunsthistorisches Museum). The pictures were probably painted in the early 1590s, which dating may be confirmed by the lack of any trace of J. Heintz's and H. von Aachen's influence. Art historians ascribe the change in Spranger's style to the influence of these two painters which began to be felt in the first half of the 1590s. This altered style is characterized by a metallic modelling, powerful contours and strong light-and-shade effects. The painting in the Múzeum Červený Kameň came to the museum from Alsó-Korompa (Dolná Krupa), from the country house formerly belonging to the Brunszvik, later to the Chotek families. This provenance is also a clue to the Budapest paintings. Chief justice Count József Brunszvik's collection was in Buda in the early 19th century, and about half of its items were transferred to Alsó-Korompa after his death. In the detailed inventory taken on that occasion no trace of the series or its parts can be found, which means that they did not originate from the Brunszvik collection. As the country house went over to the Chotek family through the marriage of József Brunszvik's daughter, it is not impossible that the Four Elements series had once been possessed by that family.
In 1983 the Hungarian National Gallery purchased a canvas tapestry painted in tempera as Ferenc Rákóczi II's itinerant tapestry. Originally it belonged to a series of seven pieces and was still in the Zboró (Zborov) castle of the Rákóczi family as late as around 1870. Another piece found its way into the Hungarian National Museum. What shed light on the iconography of the series was the identification of the engraving serving as precursor: the depictions visualize quotations from Horace's poems after the engravings of Otto van Veen's Emblemata Horatiana, a book of emblems (Antwerp, 1607). The tapestry in the Hungarian National Gallery shows Diogenes with the hedonist philosopher Aristippus in dispute. In the other tapestry there are two pictures: the allegory of “material sobriety” and a parable of wise understanding and tractability illustrated with the story of the mythological twins Amphion and Zethus. The prototypes suggest that the series was made sometime in the 17th century, using the 1607 or 1612 Antwerp edition. As no copy of the publication can be traced in 17th-century Hungary, the cycle was probably not painted in Hungary, or in Central Europe. Since the tapestry cannot be found in any inventory of Prince Rákóczi's property, it was probably later imported, presumably in the 18th century – when the castle of Zboró was at the hands of the later owners Count Aspremont and Erdődy families.
The composition of the St Martin episode in the St Martin Church of Szombathely – formerly on display at the Hungarian National Gallery – originates in an engraving by Adriaen Collaert made after Jan van der Straet's (Giovanni Stradano) invention. Figure of Saint Martin in the painting dated to around 1653 is perhaps a crypto portrait of a person with initials “M(artinus) A” written on the dog's collar. Around him Hungarian noblemen are depicted. The coat of arms in the picture – maybe of the client who ordered it – is so far unidentified.
Sárvár castle was the property of the Nádasdy family from the early 16th century until 1670. Its current pentagonal shape was formed during the time of judge royal Ferenc III Nádasdy, one of the leading art patrons of the 17th century. Its early 17th century state is documented by three inventories (1630, 1646, 1650), and the layout of the interior, the functions and furnishings of the rooms can be reconstructed from the inventory dated 1669. The paper suggests some new dates of construction, explicates the stucco and fresco ornamentation program and on the basis of the furnishing inquiries into the role and function of the castle turned residence during Ferenc Nádasdy's time.
Comparing the inventories of various dates, one finds that Nádasdy first had wing A reconstructed before 1646. Research puts to the mid-17th century the rest of the constructions: building of the C wing and chapel, linkage of gate tower and wing A. Archival sources put the reconstruction to 1650–51. The stateroom was created at that time on the ceiling of which Hans Rudolf Miller painted in 1653 a fresco series of town sieges during the 15-year war. The stuccowork by Andrea Bertinalli framing the frescoes is dated by the paper also to 1653, a different date from what research earlier suggested. The conception of the ceiling decoration was completed before Nádasdy left in early June 1653 for the coronation of Ferdinand IV in Regensburg. Thus the iconography of the frescoes is independent of the thematically similar battle-scene cycle (possibly in oil) seen on the way in Günzburg near Ulm, about which Pál Esterházy travelling with Nádasdy wrote in his diary. Nádasdy had the opportunity to see in Günzburg the now extinct 16 full-length portraits ordered by the previous owner of the castle Karl von Burgau upon the model of the Spanischer Saal in Ambras around 1600. That may have inspired him to have the 20 full-length portraits painted mentioned by the inventory of 1669 in one of the salons of Sárvár.
Contemporaneous with the reconstruction is the staircase beneath the tower, mentioned in an order to stucco artist Andrea Bartinalli in February 1657 in which Nádasdy ordered the plasterwork for the ceiling of the upstairs rooms of wings E and D and the corridor of wing E, as well as a dual coat of arms above the mantelpiece in a room in the E wing. The order reveals that the stucco of three rooms in wing D had been started and Bertinalli was to finish it. Payment reveals that Bertinalli had completed the bulk of the work by the end of 1657. It probably included the ceiling stucco of the corner room in wing D, the only one still extant today. The plaster decoration frames frescoes the themes of which are from Ovid's Metamorphoses. Ingeborg Schemper-Sparholz traced their engraved prototypes to Antonio Tempesta, but this could only be verified for the Narcissus scene. The Perseus and Andromeda story adopts Chrispijn de Passe's work via a mediating print, the models for the rest of the scenes are unknown. The joint interpretation of the fresco themes and the so-far unstudied iconography of the plasterwork could provide the key to the program of the entire ceiling. The stucco putti hold attributes of natural plenitude, fertility, while the Ovid scenes are about accepted love (Perseus and Andromeda, Jupiter and Callisto) or the rejection of love (Narcissus, Venus sends Amor to kindle desire in Pluto for Proserpina who rejects love). The ceiling decoration is the apology of love and female fertility in the corner room that was one of the rooms of the female suite after the mid-century reconstruction of the castle.
Practically nothing is known of the one-time art works in the castle. The inventories reflect numeric data, which reveal that by increasing the number of art works Nádasdy wished to create a representative image in the Sárvár rooms after the rebuilding. The definite functions and furnishing of the different wings are revealed by the May 1669 inventory taken a few months after the death of the count's wife Anna Júlia Esterházy. It shows therefore the state of the interior as it had evolved during one and a half decades' use after the reconstruction. The composition of the furnishing reveals that the described rooms did not serve for actual residence. Apart from the monotony and impersonal character of the description of the furniture the most conspicuous things are the absent objects, particularly in comparison with the description of the actual residence of the family, the castle of Pottendorf. This comparison reveals that in Sárvár pieces of storing furniture, first of all those for keeping clothes and textiles, are missing in Sárvár. There are only two cupboards but they are empty. There is no furniture to hold books, while in Pottendorf there was a Bibliotheca. In Sárvár, except for Nádasdy's bedroom and one of the women's rooms, the beds are not installed, and apart from Nádasdy's suite there are no curtains, draperies, and there is no mirror.
The inventory confirms the earlier research findings: Sárvár did not function as a residence, since before 1650 the family lived in Deutschkreuz, then in Seibersdorf in Lower Austria and from 1660 in Pottendorf. There are not many data about Nádasdy's stay in Sárvár in his itinerary either, which throws new light on the representative modernization of the castle and the need to create a new residence. Concerning functions, it is illumining to compare Sárvár with Deutschkreuz where the family is documented to have spent lengthier periods regularly in the second half of the 1650s with frequent guests. That is probably why around 1657 a two-level “Saalgebäude” of several rooms was built in Deutschkreuz. It must also be attributable to function that the Sárvár castle was representatively impersonal, “Prunkappartement”-like. There are few data to suggest what role the castle was assigned in the 1650s, but they tend to reveal that after the reconstruction and furnishing with art works Sárvár was to be the venue of ceremonial hospitality as the occasional protocol venue of Nádasdy's official matters in Hungary.
Next to the late renaissance castle at Sopronkeresztúr (Deutschkreutz, A) there was a two-level 17th century baroque garden palace used as a granary from the early 20th century and eventually pulled down in 1952. It was ordered by the owner of the castle Lord Chief Justice Count Ferenc Nádasdy who was executed for high treason in 1671. The castle and the estate was purchased by Pál Esterházy in 1676; he asked Matthias Greischer to draw up two views of the palace, on the basis of which Esterházy was believed by research to have been the builder of the palace for a long time. The exact size of the palace (70×12 m) and its position in relation to the castle are known from the survey drawing made by József Könyöki in 1883. He was the first to give a brief written description of the palace interior: a large hall upstairs and a few rooms downstairs. In 1929 Dagobert Frey mentioned a large hall in the middle of the palace rising two levels high, with two staircases and two large rooms at both ends. An earlier unpublished order dated 11 August 1659 to stucco artist Andrea Bertinalli reveals that there were at least 12 rooms on the two levels of the building, as Nádasdy ordered the stucco decoration of so many rooms to be designed by Bertinalli (appendix 1). As payments and food supplies registered on the order reveal, plastering went on mainly between the summer of 1662 and December 1663. The surveying and planning probably took place sometime in February 1659 before the contract was signed, for documents of the Keresztúr estate suggest the presence of stucco artists presumably including Bertinalli in those days. That means the building must have been completed by the early 1659; spring data suggest that the glazing of the windows was being done. The presumed date of the beginning of the construction — 1656 — is also based on economic records: in February and March 1656 “Fundator” visited Keresztúr on several occasions. A description of September 1670 touching on stucco pieces and artistic wall paintings and mentioning two galleries for musicians at the two ends of the hall gives us an idea how much had been achieved (appendix 2). It means that the building was inaugurated for use still in Nádasdy's lifetime, although this document claims it was still unfinished, with missing doors and windows mentioned.
In his monograph of the architecture of the period Petr Fidler (1990) dates the garden palace to the early 1650s and attributes it to Filiberto Lucchese. Beside the analogies he lists let me mention the free-standing Festsaal of the Kirchschlag castle built before 1658 on account of the similar crowning frieze to that of the Keresztúr building and the same time of construction. Yet another consideration is that the builder of the Hofhaus in Kirchschlag not far from the Nádasdy estates, Johann Christoph Puchheim, was in connection with Nádasdy in several areas, which might have had a role in choosing a model and an architect.
The Keresztúr castle kept its function as Nebenresidenz and a venue of socializing even after the Nádasdy family's permanent residence had been moved to the Seibersdorf castle near Vienna in 1650. The importance of Keresztúr and the still unfinished garden palace began to decline when from 1660 the central residence of the Nádasdy family became Pottendorf in Lower Austria, a far larger place than Seibersdorf.
The Keresztúr palace is labeled Saalgebäude in special literature, meaning a building housing a single large hall. Sources, however, suggest that it was rather a palazzo in villa surrounded with a garden, with rows of rooms both upstairs and downstairs. In its proportions and façade design it was similar to palaces around Vienna. The innovative architectural concept without analogies in the relics from that-time Hungary is more likely to be attributed to the experimenting spirit of Lucchese, who had debuted as designer of Viennese palaces around that time, than to the expectations of Nádasdy as the client.
An oil painting on a copper plate in an ornate brownstained wooden frame with carved rosettes and meanders from around 1700 cropped up in the art trade. It shows a young woman in decorative garments reminiscent of Maria Theresa’s portraits. She is wearing a diadem studded with gems and pearls, and holds a palm branch in her right hand with a bracelet of pearls on her wrist. Her charming but self-assured smile evokes a legend. There is a sword stuck into her above her heart – the attribute of her martyrdom. She holds her golden mantle interwoven with blood red in her left hand. As the iconographic marks reveal, the picture represents St Justina of Padua.
In the Martyrologium Romanum of great source value compiled by the historian cardinal of the Apostolic Library, Baronius in 1631 during Pope Urban VIII the feast day of St Justina is October 7. In it he notes that Venantius Fortunatus (540-600), the excellent early Christian poet also eulogized her. In Missale Romanum ordered by Saint pope Pius V in 1570 there is one martyred virgin saint from Antioch by this name with the feast day of 26 September, for October 7 was the commemoration day of the victory over the enormous Ottoman army at Lepanto from that year on by the name of S. Maria de Victoria, the Victorious Virgin.
In the diocese of Padua, in Venice and in the order of St Benedict St Justina as shown in this picture has been venerated from the Middle Ages. They selected her as their patron saint, minted their coins with her portrait. The grand church of the saint is a Benedictine abbey.
Justina came from a high-class family. From her youth she professed her faith bravely and encouraged her fellow believers to do so. Emperor Maximilian arrived in Padua in 307 and had several Christians brought there to pass judgement on them. Hearing it, Justina donned a festive costume and rushed to the help of the captive Christians. When she was interrogated, not even the emperor could get her to denounce her faith and she was sentence to death.
Over her tomb the prefect of the city Oppilio had a commemorative chapel and later a church built in the early 5th century. Remains of the latter can still be seen in the huge Renaissance basilica built between 1502 and 1550. The high altar includes the corpse of St Justina and a large statue of her is also on the altar. In terms of art more important is the life-size figure of Justina in the sculptural group created by Donatello for the high altar of the St Anthony Basilica. It is presumable that the votive picture was brought home by a Hungarian student returning from his studies in Padua.
A recently purchased painting with the history of Esther before Ahasuerus can be identified as a pendant to Paul Trogers The child Moses before Pharaoh (Residenzgalerie, Salzburg). As the figure of Esther in the Budapest painting is evidently related to the Panitent Magdalen in a private collection in Trento from the Late 1720-s, even the datation of the Salzburg piece (1739/40) can be reconsidered. The ceiling sketch showing the Stoning of St. Stephen and St. John the Evangelist in the oil kettle can be identified on the base of a monogram as a work by Joseph Mages and identified as a preparatory sketch for his fresco in the nave of the parish church in Häder near to Augsburg. According to its provenance a retable painting with the Ascension of the Virgin which can be attributed to Joseph Ignaz Mildorfer could be made for a chapel in West Hungary. Its probably commissioners are the Dukes or the Counts Esterházy or the Town of Sopron. It shows a close relations mainly to the dome fresco in the castle chapel of Eszterháza (Fertőd, 1764), so it can be dated around 1765.
The paper reviews the historical development of the portrait in Hungary in light of the early data on artists and works, changes in social demand, the emergence of diverse portrait functions and the changes in portrait iconography over the 17th century. The author concludes from the sources (inventories, last wills) that until the end of the 17th century the portrait was not a valued property but a fairly insignificant element of furnishing, except in a few art collecting aristocrats’ homes. In the second half of the 16th century, the portrait was often the document of social contacts. The earliest known painted portraits from the mid-16th century show members of the Hungarian upper nobility who belonged to the “supranational” aristocracy of the Habsburg Empire via some family relationship. Of these, the author devotes separate attention to portraits of a member each of the Thurzó, Zrínyi, Pálffy families, and to the one-time collection of portraits that probably passed from the wife of Ferdinand I., Anne of Hungary, to the wife of Count Ferenc Blagay and served as the model for several depictions in the portrait-book of Hieronymus Beck. There is mention again of the portrait of the Lord Steward of the Hungarian king’s household, János Krusics attributed to Giuseppe Arcimboldo by the author in 2008. Data in the inventories of several aristocratic households reveal that large, full-length portraits were painted from the second third of the 17th century. They were also specified by the occasion they were painted for, e.g. depiction of the deceased (31 catafalque portraits or their mentions are known from the 17th century), engagement, donation. Family series and ancestors’ galleries began to be formed in the last third of the 17th century under the inspiration of two sets of engravings, Elias Widemann’s portraits of 100 Hungarian noblemen (Vienna, 1652) and the “Mausoleum” of Hunnish-Hungarian leaders and kings (Nuremberg, 1664) ordered by Lord Chief Justice Ferenc Nádasdy. Both had a great influence on the development of 17th century Hungarian portraiture, first of all in terms of iconography. Finally, the paper discusses the alternative portrait representations of Hungarian aristocrats integrated in the court elite through the interpretation of inventories in Ferenc Nádasdy’s residences, pointing out the “double representation” they demonstrate one the one hand, and analyzing court portraits ordered with the aim of winning some political position or court dignity, on the other hand.