The reform of the Council of Trent made great influence on the liturgical development of all Europe. That was also the fact in Hungary: in 1630 the local synod of Nagyszombat accepted the introduction of the Tridentine rite into the Hungarian Church. Nevertheless some of dioceses - existed more independently - protested against this decision and insisted on the continuation of their own medieval traditions. Among these dioceses Zagreb was the greatest “Protestant”. The cathedral itself guarded his medieval tradition till 1788. Through this largely documented processional practise of Zagreb Cathedral (ten manuscripts and one printed processional from the 14th up to the 18th centuries) one can follow the particularities of a liturgy preserved isolated: the basically remained liturgical chants were influenced by some new practise, mainly simplifications but additions as well.
From the Calvinist church of Nyírbátor (dedicated to St George in the Middle Ages) the Hungarian National Museum purchased the monumental stalls of a total of 48 seats in 1933. The two parts – both defective – were set up along the northern and southern walls of the church. The dissembled elements of the first rows of the seats were stored in the sanctuary. From the two incomplete stall wings one complete set of choir-stalls was assembled by transferring the marquetry dorsal panels from the southern wing to the northern wing and the original two-row stalls was thus reconstructed. The northern choir-stalls are still part of the permanent historical exhibition of the National Museum, while the incomplete southern stalls are on display in the Báthory István Museum in Nyírbátor. Following the reconstruction work with attention in the Museum, Magda Oberschall Bárány wrote a monograph of the stalls (1938), describing their ideal state, without discussing the structural questions. Important points in the history of the stalls are still unknown. It is not known since when they had been in the Calvinist church, and a more puzzling question is what the function of such a monumental construction was in the parish church of a small country town. The first mention of the stalls dates from the early 18th century. They were repaired a few times over the 19th century at the end of which nascent art historiography also discovered them. The idea of transferring them to a museum was raised several times.
The inscription says the stalls were commission in 1511 by three Báthory brothers: István, György and András, all three actors in the political elite of the late medieval Hungarian kingdom. (Their father András I [†1497] was the brother of the voivode of Transylvania and lord chief justice István II [†1493] and of Miklós I, the humanist bishop of Vác [†1506].) Nearly all elements of the canopied stalls are covered with ornamental carvings, the dorsal panels of the back row being adorned with inlaid designs. The latter include ornamental compositions, allegorical scenes, and illusionistic depictions of half-open cabinets with books and ritual objects on the shelves. Among the marquetry designs are the panels with the Báthory coats of arms and the inscription about the origin of the stalls. On account of the all’antica motifs, the perspectivic trompe l’oeil compositions and the high quality of the whole work the choir-stalls of Nyírbátor are on a par with the finest Italian stalls of the period. They were probably made by Italian masters working in Buda. The – presumed – Hungarian specimens of the kind have perished; the only stalls whose stylistic elements are in kinship with the stalls at issue are the early 16th century stalls in Zagreb cathedral. There is written evidence that a set of the stalls in Zagreb cathedral (1507) was made by Johannes Nicze Florentinus, who also worked in Pest. Despite several attempts, so far no name can be associated with the stalls of Nyírbátor.
The substantial pre-1526 book connection of the Zagreb cathedral chapter (those marked MR are kept by Metropolitanska knjižnica, those indicated by a letter and Arabic number after a Roman numeral are in the Hrvatske akademija znanosti i umjetnosti) is a little explored source of Hungarian manuscript illumination. Adjusted to Orsolya Csomó’s musicological investigations I had a chance to study manuscripts with varying painted decoration. I was primarily interested in their age and place of creation, as well as their style. The Crucifixion image before the Canon of the Mass in the missal dedicated to Saints Cosmas and Damian (MR 13) dates the manuscript to the end of the 14th century. The exquisite Canon picture of the codex marked IV.C.59. seems to be a work produced in Zagreb and dates from the second-third decade of the 15th century. It has connections mainly in Austrian art. Another Zagreb missal (MR 62) was so-far dated by literature to the turn of the 13-14th centuries or the mid-15th century. The present paper reckons with the beginning of the period between 1425 and 1450 and emphasizes the south German, Austrian peculiarities of the Crucifixion image. Finally, a missal (III.D.23.) containing a Canon picture whose underdrawing is also unfinished displays the influence of Viennese works incorporating Prague elements as well from the years between 1430 and 1450.
The codices oriented toward the art of Central European, particularly neighbouring Lower Austrian, Styrian and Carinthian areas is followed by a discussion of the Salzburg Missal (Salzburg, Unversitätsbibliothek, III 23) of the Zagreb rite. After the iconographic analysis of the images in the codex possibly belonging to the late period of the Salzburg-Augsburg workshop associated with Johannes Bämler the paper enquires into the possible relation of archbishop of Salzburg Johannes Beckensloer to the manuscript. It is not impossible that the codex is a relic of the high priest’s attraction to liturgical codices, particularly missals. Nor can it be precluded that the manuscript was created upon Hungarian commission or as a present for the bishop of Zagreb. The study of these codices raised the question of the Austrian stylistic relations of certain missals in Pozsony (e.g.: Budapest, National Széchényi Library, Cod. lat. 222). Special literature usually links these manuscripts to Viennese or Pozsony-based illuminators and stresses the influence, sometimes personal involvement of Ulrich Schreier. The author wishes to withdraw from this circle – among other manuscripts – the Mss I 20 missal in the Esztergom Archiepiscopal Library which is thought to have been used in Pozsony. On the basis of some characteristic and rare border ornamental motifs its place is sought somewhere in the environment of the Zagreb Missal kept in Salzburg. It is well known that the illuminators employed by the Bämler worksop in Salzburg and/or Augsburg spread the motivic stock of the workshop wandering south and east of Salzburg. During the investigations an itinerant artist’s work was also found in the Hungarian heritage of the art discipline (Pannonhalma, Abbey Library, 120b A 12).
The paper ends with a few minor observations. The author agrees with the dating of missale notatum marked MR 70 by literature to the 13th century, but specifies the date as between 1280 and 1290 on the basis of the Crucifixion drawing echoing the Zackenstil. Finally, the paper discusses the inscription on folio 222vb of the MR 26 Zagreb missal in the chapter library. The note names the scribe and the client who ordered the manuscript. The liturgical book was ordered by provost Vitus and copied in 1453. The inscription reveals he was the son of Tamás Büssüi. He was the direct descendant of a branch of the Gutkeled clan, the Bacskai family once living in Zemplén, on the line of Miklós son of András who had settled in Slavonia. The text is accompanied by the provost’s coat of arms: a small triangular shield with three red wedges turning from left to right in a white field. The father of the provost assumed the name Büssüi [of Büssü] after his estate in Somogy. His son, however, chose their Bosho (Buchko, Bacska, Bocska) name reaching back to the Gutkeleds and was the first in the family to use their coat of arms.