The office for the feast of the Dedicatio Ecclesiæ was used and transmitted mainly in the same form in the great majority of medieval liturgical codices. Within this general uniformity, however, the arrangement of the antiphons for the first Vespers varies from tradition to tradition. The present article examines the repertory of the Dedicatio in medieval Hungarian manuscripts, comparing it to the offices found both in other Middle European and in West Frankish sources. This comparative analysis made clear, that although the vesper antiphons in question were already included in the Codex Albensis (the earliest extant office manuscript from 12th-century Hungary) and can be found in almost all manuscripts from the medieval Hungarian archdiocese of Esztergom (Strigonium), they were rarely used in other Central European areas. These items may originate from the Rhineland, from within the region of Liège (Lüttich), what is confirmed by their occurrence in a 14th-century antiphoner from Aachen and in the Breviarium Præmonstratense. Furthermore, the five antiphons were probably not composed as a coherent sequence of chants. Although occasionally we come accross the individual pieces in sources of different time and place, their organization into cycles may be the result of later and secondary local initiations. The cycle might have been transferred to Hungary during the 11th century where it remained unchanged until the end of the Middle Ages.
As local traditions of the Catholic Church were suppressed in the 17th century, so Esztergom, the ecclesiastical centre of Hungary was deprived of its medieval rite and associated style of Gregorian chant. The place and function of the earlier repertory were assumed by a quite new type of chant, created from earlier curial melodies according to the humanist aesthetics of a new era. This revised repertory was transmitted by post-Tridentine printed chant books emanating from Italian, French and Dutch printers, which became prevalent all over Europe, including Hungary. The editions of the new
that have emerged from various Hungarian libraries constitute material hitherto unknown to musical reception research. This study marks an initial attempt to summarize the early findings of a new examination of the sources and answer several questions: Which editions were ordered by which ecclesiastical institutions? How and in what quantities were the editions available? What types of liturgical chant books have survived in Hungarian collections? How can the editions be grouped chronologically? What do the possessor’s notes reveal? How do musical variants in the editions relate to each other?
After the Turkish domination three monastic orders, the Jesuits, the Franciscans, and the order of the Hermits of St. Paul took major part at reconstruction, re-Catholicizing, and education in Hungary. Since the Paulines, as the sole order founded in Hungary, used the liturgy of Esztergom from the beginning of the 14th century, researches on 17–18th century music of the order focused mainly on mediaeval relics: survival of plain chant and the so-called Hungarian notation. Information about the musical life and the music of Paulines can be combined from two types of sources: from inventories, diaries,
of dissolved monasteries, and from musical manuscripts (choir-books, organ-books) written and used by Pauline monks. The song repertoire (hymns) of the Baroque and early Classic era had been regarded of lesser value by Hungarian musicologists although Hungarian translations of some of the songs and their concordance with Franciscan manuscripts suggest a widespread use. Hungarian folksongs and melodies rooted in the folk tradition were not foreign to the Pauline practice: P. Gábor Koncz closed his songbook with Christmas carols which were in wide use in Hungarian folk tradition. Some polyphonic pieces also belong to the accurate and authentic picture of Pauline tradition of the 17–18th century. This polyphony requires no professional singers, it is a very simple, folk-like homophony in pastoral manner appropriate to education at schools.
We first come across flies painted to demonstrate the skilled craftsmanship of the artist in the works of Giovanni dei Grassi and the Limbourg brothers. The first such example I know of in a panel painting is in the painting of the Death of the Virgin, from the circle of the Master of the Albert altar (Esztergom, Christian Museum). Inspired by Pliny's anecdotes, painting apprentices in Francesco Squarcione's workshop in Padua in the 1460s, especially Giorgio Schiavone, painted trompe l'oeil flies to trick their fellow artists. Among others, humour, the romantic desire to revive antiquity, and the Aristotelian paradox that the ugly in art becomes beautiful also played a role. It was in this environment that Filarete's anecdote in which Giotto fools Cimabue with a painted fly was first concocted. The anecdote is told in the context of the paragone. Trompe l'oeil flies and the glorification of painting are similarly joined in Derick Baegert's painting of St Luke. The fly seen in Dürer's Feast of the Rosegarlands is related both to Dürer's self-portrait in the same painting and to the Opus quinque dierum. Anecdotes about flies so true-to-life as to deceive the viewer to this day survive in newer and newer versions, although the essence of these tales remains the same: the flies demonstrate the artist's humour and his ability to imitate nature.
The chapel of the Franciscan Church of Our Lady of the Annunciation in Bratislava (Pozsony, Pressburg) was finished probably in autumn or at the end of the year 1709. In January 1710 there was a festive mass celebrated by the Esztergom Archbishop in the presence of the Palatine Prince Paul Esterházy, the Convent's guardian Ludovicus Kirkay and the noblemen who took part in the Hungarian Diet. Until recently, out of the known archive sources, only one donator of the Bratislava Loretto Chapel was concretely known – the already mentioned Palatine Paul Esterházy. However, last year an unknown source was identified, enlightening the background of the foundation of this sight. It is the Heraldic Codex from 1710 with an artistic design of extraordinary quality. The Codex, with 67 full-page paintings of coats of arms, originated in Bratislava on the initiative of the guardian of a Franciscan Convent, Ludovicus Kirkay. Its form reminds of the materials of religious fraternities. Loretto chapels were commonly founded by lay fraternity or as a devotional chapel after a plaque. This text tries to answer the question if there was such a religious organisation here and what the original intention of the project initiators was.
Antal Verancsics (1504-1573) was born in Sebenico (Šibenik) to a noble family and he got to Hungary through family relations: his uncle János Statileo (Statilić) was bishop of Gyulafehérvár. His political career started in the court of King John I (Szapolyai). In 1541 he followed the widow of the king, Izabella Jagiello to Transylvania and only changed over to the other king of Hungary, Ferdinand I’s court in 1549 where he filled high administrative positions. As a Habsburg envoy, he sojourned in the Ottoman Empire on two occasions and in 1568 he concluded the Treaty of Adrianople (Hadrianopolis, Edirne). On the zenith of his ecclesiastic career he became archbishop of Esztergom (1569) and eventually cardinal (1573). He went into historiography, too: he wrote some works and a considerable number of sources he collected survive. In his youth he wrote poems in Latin and Italian and was on good terms with painters and sculptors. Martino Rota, also born in Sebenico, was invited to Hungary by him. Several data confirm that he had a keen interest in portraits (he wrote an epigram on Dürer’s Melanchthon portrait); he ordered portraits of himself from Melchior Lorch, Martino Rota and Antonio Abondio. He organized that a Crakow painter should paint the portrait of John Sigismund elected King of Hungary, and his correspondence with his siblings about having a portrait of his father painted is known. Back from his first mission in Turkey, in 1558 he wrote an epigram on an enigmatic woodcut composition of a multitude of elements tailored to Sultan Suleyman I, and dedicated the emblem to Maximilian, crowned king of Bohemia and heir apparent to the Hungarian throne. This composition is included in the second edition of Johannes Sambucus’ Emblemata. Some tomes of his library featured – in line with the fashion of the age – supralibros, and as bishop of Eger, he had an ornate parchment codex, a Praefationale made (1563). The rather mediocre quality initials of the manuscript echo the humanist cult of letters which produced the most beautiful achievements of artistic calligraphy in the middle of the century. In one initial Verancsics himself appears, his tiny figure kneeling before Christ’s cross (fol. 42r). Verancsics was interested in the material relics of antiquity, too: in Transylvania he collected stone carvings, coins and Roman inscriptions. As bishop of Eger he perpetuated the restoration of the castle in a monumental inscription. Also attracted to sepulchral monuments, he had the tomb of one of his predecessors in the diocese damaged in the siege of 1552 restored. He wished to have his funerary monument in the St Nicholas church in Nagyszombat, one like his predecessor in the episcopacy of Esztergom Miklós Oláh had, with a portrait statue. It was eventually not made. Finally, an overview of the sources that can provide clues as to the artistic interests of Antal Verancsics reveals that most of the sources are in the – unpublished – collection of letter and the book of poems he compiled. His intellectual self-portrait also includes his attraction to the arts.