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Abstract

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.

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Az oszlopos körtemplom és az angolkert — az antikvitás vágyképe és aktualitása

Kerttörténet és művészettörténet

Colonnaded Rotunda and Landscape Garden — Ideal and Topical Aspects of Antiquity. Garden History and Art History

Művészettörténeti Értesítő
Author:
Géza Galavics

Abstract

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).

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The wooden structure of Manchu residential buildings is often a system of beam and column structures, which are also seen in official offices and aristocratic residences. It is also the most intact type of structure at the moment. The beam and column

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