Author: Péter Rostás PhD 1
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  • 1 Museum Kiscell (Budapest History Museum), Budapest, Hungary
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The restoration of the Castle Esterházy in Eszterháza and the reproductions of its Interiors in Budapest and Vienna at the End of the 19th Century. The restoration of the Castle in Eszterháza was made between 1891–1896/1897 by the Viennese Company Friedrich Otto Schmidt. In course of the restoration work were furniture and wall revetments of the 18th century restored, complemented by modern pieces and also copies of the original luxury Esterházy-furniture were made. The reputation of the Company went established by the restoration of Fertod castle in the whole Austrian-Hungarian Monarchy. In the 1896 Millenary Exhibition of Budapest the copy of a suite of rooms of the castle was on show. This was later not accepted by the Budapest Museum of Applied Arts in his permanent exhibition because Director Jeno Radisics has considered the Rococo style of the castle as a break with the organic evolution of Hungarian art and was also opposed by principles to the substitution of historical objects by copies.

The Schmidt Company has exhibited 1898 in the Assembly Room of the Winter Exhibition of the Österreichisches Museum für Kunst und Industrie a so-called exact copy of the Apollo-Room of Eszterháza, really a series of copies of French Rococo luxury furniture. As a program of exact copy, this interior can be considered as a radical break with the former practice of Historicism. By this change a crisis was caused in the relationship of the Director Arthur von Scala to the Kunstgewerbeverein in Vienna and by the survival of Historicism also to the circle of the Secession.

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