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Abstract

The sculptural rendering of loose folds of clothing was part of the classical legacy, which was a salient characteristic of Bernini's figural sculpture. The expressive potential of non-figural drapes was an innovation which has seldom received adequate attention. At first sight the evocative dynamism of such independent draperies carved in marble may seem like a sort of Abstract Expressionism avant la lettre but Bernini employed the effect as a “Symbolic Form” in Ernst Cassirer's famous definition, a concrete object communicating an intelligible meaning.

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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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Johann Nepomuk Schöpf (1733–1798) Magyarországon Nagyvárad, Pécel, Buják

Johann Nepomuk Schöpf (1733–1798) in Hungary. Nagyvárad/Oradea, Pécel, Buják

Művészettörténeti Értesítő
Author:
János Jernyei Kiss

In the billiard room of the Ráday mansion in Pécel fragments of wall painting were discovered in 1954. They claim attention not only on account of their good artistic quality but also because when the coat of paint peeled off from the ceiling, the sinopia of the fresco applied with red and black colours – a truly rare sight – was revealed. The artist of the frescoes was Johann Nepomuk Schöpf, whom the writer Ferenc Kazinczy also saw working in Pécel, as his travel diary reveals. The Prague-born artist was the scion of a family of artists and first worked in his father Johann Adam’s fresco painting workshop, but autonomous works of his are already known from the 1760s. In the early ‘70s he was in Vienna from where he came to Hungary to paint altar pictures for the cathedral in Temesvár, before he received a commission from Bishop Ádám Patachich to decorate the cathedral and episcopal palace of Nagyvárad (1773–1776). Particularly the latter shows kindred traits to the decoration of the billiard room in Pécel. Both include neo-classical late baroque illusory architecture and in the sumptuous ensembles of a kaleidoscope of forms so typical of Schöpf the artist paired diverse materials and colours to produce highly unique, bizarre and unrealistic compositions. A chancellery document of 1782 claims that Schöpf also visited Buják. The central altar picture of St Martin in the parish church is to be attributed to him on the basis of stylistic features and motifs.

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Josef Adam Mölk magyarországi műveiről

About the Works of Josef Adam Mölk in Hungary

Művészettörténeti Értesítő
Author:
Zsuzsanna Boda

Abstract

The ceiling sketch painted in bright colours in a punctiliously detailed manner against a rich architectural background has been associated with Josef Adam Mölk by researches of recent years. After studies at the Vienna Academy, and some 15 years' work in Bavaria and Tyrol, the painter took on executing frescoes and altarpieces in Styria from 1764, and worked in Lower Austria for the last twelve years of his life. During his long and prolific life he executed his designs with the help of his workshop associates.

During his years in Styria there was a single occasion when he worked outside the province: in the monastic church of pilgrimage at Maria Langegg in Lower Austria in 1773. He signed a contract to paint the ceiling frescoes and altarpieces for the Servite church of the Birth of Mary in December 1772. From among the scenes of the life of Mary, her birth is seen in the presbytery; the mentioned oil sketch for this cupola fresco is kept at the Hungarian National Gallery. Mölk's fresco painting was fundamentally influenced by the Italian architect and painter Andrea Pozzo's pseudo cupola painting and artistic theory, which is also confirmed by this sketch. Its “protagonist” is the spectacular architecture. Minutely decorated, diverse architectonic elements, daringly foreshortened domes characterize the major works of this period in the churches of Rein (1766), Weizberg (1771), Pernegg (1775), the latter also containing a somewhat simplified version of the Birth of Mary composition of Maria Langegg.

Mölk's only known work in Hungary is the Assumption ceiling fresco in the chancel of the Benedictine church of Zalaapáti from 1781. It is presumed that Martin Johann Schmidt who painted the altarpiece for the church contacted Mölk for the commission.

An early piece by the painter is kept at the Hungarian National Museum. It is probably in connection with his appointment as court painter. The historical allegory dated 1755 is a fine example of Mölk's minutely elaborated and detailed painting style.

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Maulbertsch és a tragikus festészet. A pápai plébániatemplom Szent István vértanú történetét ábrázoló mennyezetképei

Maulbertsch and Tragic Painting. Ceiling Frescoes of the Legend of St Stephen Martyr in the Pápa Parish Church

Művészettörténeti Értesítő
Author:
János Jernyei Kiss

Abstract

Special literature ascribes a distinguished role to the Pápa cycle in both the late phase of Franz Anton Maulbertsch's oeuvre and in the history of late baroque ceiling painting. Its specific features are interpreted by the authors as manifestations of unfolding neo-classicism and the Enlightenment. The St Stephen cycle is, however, a series of history pictures set into the medium of fresco painting, and accordingly, the mode of rendering adapts to the classic, centuries-old tradition of history painting and is not necessarily the outcome of a period style. The utterances of the client, bishop of Eger Károly Eszterházy and Maulbertsch are to be interpreted as reflections upon the rules of this genre. The demand for dramatic unity is already discernible in the formulation of the scheme and recurs repeatedly in their correspondence. The narrative unfolding in the ceiling paintings in Pápa can be taken for a painted tragedy of a complex plot based on Aristotle's notions of change of fate (peripeteia) and recognition (anagnorisis), the precedents of which are not to be sought in ceiling painting but much rather in the history of pictures of a classical approach produced in the early modern age. Maulbertsch's most frequently quoted words are from a letter he attached to a sketch of the ceiling painting depicting the ordination of St Stephen and his fellows deacons: He says he preserved the sanctity [heiligkeit], the quiet order [stille ordnung], the characteristic clothing [das Kenliche in der Kleidung], and the effictive meaning of the history [Wirckhsame bedeittung der Historie]. Style historical research tends to relate this passage to neo-classicism and to the categories of Ramdohr and Winckelmann. In fact, Maulbertsch was not speaking of the entire cycle here but only of the fresco of the first vault section, outlining the specificities of its rendering inhering in the peculiar theme and the place of the picture within the cycle.

Eszterházy asked the painter to adhere to the rules of costume of history painting, which meant the harmony of clothing, setting and accessories: the apostles are all clad in long-sleeved gowns, ample cloaks and have halos, while the deacons wear alb and stole. Maulbertsch did not apply the rest of the notions to reflect up the esthetic norms of a new style but used them to define the mode of representation chosen for the conveyance of the scene, and this mode was sharply different from that of the subsequent pictures. The rendering of the ceremony of ordination implies sanctity and quiet order, and the dignity and significance of this story are enhanced by the chosen artistic tools.

In the second ceiling picture of St Stephen's dispute, most of the congregation gathered in the temple receive the heard words with passionate outrage. Some of the types and formulae were taken from the conventions of the representation of the theme; the composition is closely related to the ceiling fresco in the parish church of Kirchdorf painted by Johann Baptist Enderle. Maulbertsch's absorbtion in the academic practice of the expression des passions and the classic elaboration of similar themes is clearly manifest here. The poor condition of the surface allows only some vague idea of the original pageantry of colours of the whirl of brightly dressed people and draperies in the impressive illusionistic space.

The next scene, the arrest of the saint, takes place in the same venue and is shown from the same vantage point as the previous scene of preaching. However, Maulbertsch wanted to avoid the banality of repeating the secondary figures, with which he managed to increase the expressive force of the pictorial sequence, creating a dramatic turmoil that had swept all off their places except the protagonist. In terms of classical rhetoric, the style of the three ceiling frescoes corresponds to Quintilian's second category, the sublime and vehement mode of representation (genus sublime, genus vehemens) aimed to move the recipient. The major instrument of emotional influencing is the contrast between the painterly characterization of the crowd and the protagonist, the former becoming the vehicle of pathos, the latter of ethos: the crowd is increasingly overcome by pathos, while the main character is vested by the painter with external signs of the ethos of sanctity more and more clearly: from the humbly kneeling deacon he first becomes a faith-inspired preacher and finally a chosen one initiated in the celestial secrets. The contrasting of these two qualities turn the narrative unfolding in the three frescoes tragic in the Aristotelian sense: Stephen's life on earth meets with a cruel end the monstrosity of which is conveyed by increasingly more vehement pathetic pictures to the viewer. Maulbertsch planned to include the high altar picture into this context but there is no knowing of his solution as the bishop turned down his sketch and had the high altar painted by Hubert Maurer.

The vision of heaven has a crucial role in the cycle, for the celestial sphere, the promise of salvation ensures in the plot the reversal of fortune, the auspicious denouement. The earthly events stir the recipients' emotions but the involvement of justice in afterlife calms them and thus perfect catharsis can happen. The change of fate in the third fresco is related to the moment of recognition. Through the great masters of the 16–17th centuries, pathos theory and the conception of peripeteia became the fundamental, even commonplace pictorial narrative method of history painting and Tridentine religious art of the early modern age. With the Pápa ceiling frescoes Maulbertsch gave evidence of his broad pictorial culture by choosing from among these visual panels and formulas with a keen eye and shaping them to his own liking.

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curves of various binders with the pigment Bianco di San Giovanni. This is a pigment of natural mineral origin from limestone (calcium carbonate) deposits and was used at that time for fresco painting. The name of the natural mineral is portlandite. In

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