The paper is connected to the Budapest exhibition in 2011 of Károly Markó (1793–1860), who was born in Hungary but earned a fame as a landscapist in Italy. In the exhibition catalogue Sabine Grabner wrote an article with the title Károly Markó's Viennese Connections, and published two, so-far unknown Markó paintings of 1831 from the central Bohemian country house of Červena Lhota: Landscape with figures in a boat and Landscape with figures strolling in the park. The present paper highlights the identification of the themes of the two paintings. Both were painted of the landscape garden of the Esterházy mansion in Kismarton/Eisenstadt, exactly its two most characteristic views: one shows the lateral view of the garden facade of the mansion and its surroundings, the other features the Leopoldine temple with the pond in front of it. The landscape garden and its edifices were commissioned by Prince Nicolaus Esterházy II (1765–1833), a fabulously rich Hungarian aristocrat and art collector from the Paris-based architect Charles Moreau who studied in Rome. The Leopoldine temple was modelled on the Sybilla temple in Tivoli (the marble statue of Esterházy's daughter Leopoldine was made by Canova for the temple).
Contemporaries and posterity reckon with Markó as the painter of “ideal landscapes with Biblical or mythological figures” and later “Italian landscapes with peasants”. The two paintings of the Kismarton landscape garden are atypical because they present real garden segments, contemporary architecture and genre figures dressed in the fashionable garments of the painter's time. They are unparalleled in the whole Markó oeuvre.
The paper compares the depicted garden sections and buildings with the venues today on the one hand, and with depictions approximately contemporaneous with Markó's works. The latter comparison provides ground to determine how much of the real sight is reflected in the pictures and how much is the pictorial trope drawn from a long-standing tradition by a painter of ideal landscapes.
The paper also touches on the question of the client. It is found that the two pictures were not created for Prince Nicolaus Esterházy who had the mansion and the garden around it built in Eisenstadt, but for a Vienna banker, Markó's main sponsor baron Johann Jakob Geymüller (1760–1834) and his wife. It was from the Geymüller family's Bohemian country house at Kamenica nad Lipou/ Kamnitz that the two painting came to Červena Lhota, and they probably belonged to the multitude of Markó paintings the couple ordered directly from the painter. (In the Austrian mansion of the family at Hollenburg there were still 14 Markó paintings in the early 20th century.) This is also a good example of the shift of art patronage in the early 19th century from the old artistocracy to new art-supporting layers.
The paper explores the history of columned rotundas in European landscape gardens with emphasis on three such edifices built in Hungary in the first half of the 19th century. The theme is the temple type called peripteros in architecture history which comprises a colonnade set in a circle around a pagan shrine, modeled on the Temple of Vesta surviving in Tivoli near Rome from the 1st century BC. It appeared in the art of the early modern times as a garden edifice, first in England in the first decades of the 18th century. The need for its modern-time use arose when man turned to the legacy and nature concept of antiquity to support his political, cultural, moral and artistic revival. With its architectural forms and role in the scenery the Temple of Vesta was already an iconic building of antiquity for artists and visitors to Italy well before it was transferred to landscape gardens where it was reborn in the form of a modern artistic phenomenon, incorporated in grand landscape compositions. Garden history registers some 15–20 surviving rotundas of the kind in European landscape gardens. The paper addresses itself to the history, owners, analogies of the rotundas in Stowe, Stourhead, Downhill (GB), Ermenonville, Méréville (F), Kassel (D), Pavlovsk (RUS), Puŀawy, Arkadia (PL), Veltrusy (CZ) and three Hungarian round temples: Hőgyész, Kismarton/Eisenstadt and Alcsút. It looks at their function, interior decoration, implications of the statues as well as their relation to antiquity and to the garden art creations of their own age.
Since the architectural form of the rotunda alone was capable of suggesting a connection with antiquity and at the same time represented modernity, the shaping of the specimens are compared to the Tivoli model. In this comparison the interior decoration and its implications might appear secondary. However, its significance lies in the fact that the designation and decoration of a rotunda became an important means for the adaptation of the building, representing the personality and personal affinities of the builder, the expectations of a country or community. When the rotundas with their statues and embellishments depicted political, philosophical programs, they reflected upon the present of the given country and anticipated a future image. For example, Stowe in England symbolizes liberal democracy, Ermenonville in France suggests the importance of science for humanity. In the two Polish rotundas at Puŀawy and Arkadia the enumeration of the relics of Polish and universal culture serves to preserve the unity and memory Poland cut up into three parts. These rotundas carry unusually strong emotional contents, which also characterizes the other colonnaded round temples, including the “Temples of Friendship”(Veltrusy, Pavlovsk, Kassel).
Where is the place of the Hungarian rotundas on this spectrum? The first was built by Count Antal Apponyi (1751–1817) at Hőgyész in Southern Hungary, in the garden of his country house (fig. 12). As a leading statesman of the Hungarian Kingdom, he spent a lot of time in his Vienna palace; steeped in music, he was the president of the Vienna Musikverein; also a free mason, he was one of the nominators of Joseph Haydn for his admission to the Vienna lodge. In his garden designed by Viennese masters he had a rotunda surrounded — unusually — by eight columns. The temple was to house the same-size replica of the Medici Venus in marble, made according to family tradition by Giuseppe Ceracchi of Rome, an Italian sculptor favored by European courts. For some time in the 1780s he worked in Vienna and was a member of the same masonic lodge as Apponyi. Later the sculptor became a Jacobin and was guillotined in Paris.
The other, far better known rotunda (fig. 13) was ordered by Prince Miklós Esterházy (1764–1833) to be built in the landscape garden (1803—1822) of his mansion in Kismarton (today Eisenstadt, Austria). The large-scale garden and its edifices were planned by the prince's architect from Paris, Charles Moreau. The character of the building has similarities with the rotunda of Méréville in both the shape of the building and the sculptural ornamentation of the interior. Besides, both rotundas were preceded by a painter's picture as a source of inspiration to have a rotunda in a natural setting. In Méréville Hubert Robert, in Eisenstadt Albert Christoph Dies painted a picture in oil (1807, fig. 11). A few years earlier Dies made a series of engravings of picturesque Italian landscapes including the Temple of Vesta in Tivoli (1793, fig. 10). Although the rotunda in Eisenstadt was first to have been dedicated to Neptun, then to Venus, eventually the prince had the magnificent statue of his daughter Leopoldina Esterházy by Antonio Canova inspired by statues of classical antiquity (1805–1819, fig. 17) placed in the temple.
The third Hungarian rotunda perished long ago, its memory revived by this paper alone. It was ordered to be built by Archduke Joseph of Habsburg (the brother of Emperor Francis I), the palatine of Hungary. His seat was in the royal castle of Buda, and he had a duly famous landscape garden on Margaret Island in the Danube. In the centre of his rural estates, Alcsút, he had a representative country house erected in a former wasteland and with the help of his court gardener Anton Trost a magnificent landscape garden was created around the house. At the tallest point he had first a monopteros (fig. 21) and later in the first half of the 1840s a peripteros erected (fig. 18) in which he collected the stone relics of a Roman military camp found in the neighborhood and excavated upon his order. Similarly to their European counterparts, the rotundas in Hőgyész, Eisenstadt and Alcsút manifest the changing concept of nature and the attraction to antiquity as a reliable point of reference. The owners chose for their landscape gardens a building type reminding one of ancient Rome while in the interiors all three manifested their personal relations to antiquity through different cultural orientations. That lent the architectural form and spiritual function of the colonnaded rotundas their exceptional harmony — for a short time.
In a relatively short time, this harmony began to crumble. Not that the decisions to choose these art works or architectural forms were mistaken: this building type was an up-to-date representative of European landscape gardens all over Central Europe at that time. The world changed around them concerning their function; nearly in the same decades as their construction, new communal forms and spaces of encountering arts, including the art of antiquity had appeared all over Europe: the museum. It emerged as an urban phenomenon, as part of the urban culture, accessible to all, a promoter or means of social integration. The art works — however valuable — collected by private art patronage and displayed in aristocratic residences were gradually obscured and left out of publicity, affecting their subsequent fate. Leopoldina Esterházy's statue disappeared from view for a long time, and for some sixty years now it has been in the Eisenstadt mansion instead of the peripteros. The replica of the Venus de' Medici once at Hőgyész was given to a Budapest museum by the Apponyi family over a century ago (figs. 15, 16) and the round temple was converted into their sepulchral chapel. The rotunda at Alcsút was pulled down in the second half of the 19th century, the Roman relics in the estate of palatine Joseph were transferred to the Hungarian National Museum (fig. 19). Few of the European peripteroi kept their original interior decoration, and those that did relied on the active participation of the official historic garden protection.
The art historical significance of the colonnaded round temples lies in their dual function in a decisive art form of the age, landscape architecture: they were pronounced elements of space articulation on the one hand and the representatives of the owners' attitude to antiquity and modernity. That lent them their appeal in and outside England, their adoption and transfer to the continent symbolizing a wide European horizon and the affirmation of the cultural community. The visual power of the formal order of a peripteros still emanates exceptional harmony and solemnity. This even comes through from the garden and landscape photos of visitors to landscape gardens, from the background elements of newly-wed couples or, for that matter, from the rotunda appearing at a dramaturgical culminating point in a new film adaptation of Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice (2005, featuring Keira Knightley).
The study is focused on an oil sketch by Maulbertsch (St. Stephen offering his crown to the Blessed Virgin, Hungarian National Gallery, Budapest) and comes to the statement that it was made as a preparatory painting for the High Altar image in the village church in Écs (near to Győr) between 1772–74 as Maulbertsch and his workshop were working on the frescoes and altars of Győr Cathedral. Its commissioner was one of the Győr canons, Christoph Schogg, as a Provost of Pápóc, Patron of the Parish Church in Écs. He belonged to the same circle as Canon János Szily, main organizer of the Baroque decoration of Győr Cathedral (and lifelong patron of Maulbertsch), and Canon Gabriel Schmidt, who commissioned the two lead-relief retables by J.G. Molinarolo. The retable of Écs and the side altar retables of Győr Cathedral have the same artistic character, and therefore they are treated together from the viewpoint of the circle of the patrons, of iconography and of the practice of Maulbertsch's workshop as well. The Author helds the sketch for St. Stephen's altar as a work by the hands of Maulbertsch himself, while the retable in Écs and the side retables in Győr Cathedral were made in his workshop. They represent various qualities and artistic methods as well: an authentich oil sketch, re-use of a preparatory drawing made for another place, the use of a painted model (Vincenzo Damini, Vienna) or of a print (Carlo Maratta). Maulberts's own paraphrase inspired by an old retable of Győr Cathedral (The Stoning of St. Stephen by Benjamin Block 1659) shows that not only he influenced the art of regions of his activity, but he also received influences of works he met on places where he worked.
The time of Reformation was important for the spread of humanistic portraits in Hungary. The poetical interpretation of these portraits in classical terms also belonged to humanistic culture. The artist of the portrait of Zacharias Mossóczy (1577), which was recently identified in a unique print of the Albertina in Vienna, was Martino Rota, a very influential painter in the Prague circle of Emperor Rudolph II. He was also active in the service of Hungarian patron's. His portrait engraving corresponds to the topoi of author's representation.