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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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