Hungary Arts and Architecture from 11th to 19th Century

By | January 11, 2022

According to top-mba-universities, the Magyars found in the Pannonian territory an artistic culture brought there by Huns, Avars, Scythians, Lombards, and introduced elements of Persian-Sassanid origin, as shown by various goldsmiths found in the tombs. With Stephen I the Saint began the western direction of the art of the Hungary 3rd-4th century there were examples of early Christian art of Latin mold (floor mosaic of the basilica of S. Quirino in Szombathely in Savaria, from the end of the 3rd century, similar to that of the basilica of Aquileia ; cemetery of Sagván, Tricciana ; funerary chapels near the cathedral of Pécs, 4th century).

From the 11th to the 15th century

In the Romanesque age, due to classical, Lombard and southern French influences, an original architecture developed, the center of which was Esztergom (portal of the cathedral founded in 1010 by Stephen I the Saint; palatine chapel in the Royal Palace) and which became established in churches abbey of Sopronhorpács, Türje, Lébény, Ják. Romanesque sculpture, which has definite contacts with the art of southwestern France (reliefs and statues, lower church of the cathedral of Pécs, and Benedictine abbey of Somogyvár) has its highest expressions in the sculptures of the church of Ják. The most interesting examples of Romanesque painting are the frescoes in the church of Feldbrő (11th century) and the Byzantine decoration of the chapel of Gisella in Veszprém (13th century), while the Bible of the Benedictine monastery of Csatár is the most distinguished example in the field of Hungarian Romanesque miniature. Gothic architecture was imported from France in the mid 13th century; however, it was originally modified: churches of Kassa (Košice) and Zsámbék, 13th century; Brassó (Brașov), 15th century. Of great interest is the Synagogue of Sopron (14th century). A particular wooden architecture flourished in Transylvania (➔ Romania). There are some large castles of French type, of which the main one is that of Vajdahunyad (Hunedoara; 15th century) built by Giovanni Hunyadi. The sculptures in the Franciscan chapter room in Sopron are of French taste, while the decoration of the Buda palace and the church of Our Lady (late 14th century) reflects the influence of Parler’s workshop: the St. George of M. and G. Kolorsvári (1373, Prague, Castello), one of the greatest works of European Gothic sculpture, reveals Italian influences. Of great interest are the wooden sculpture and the characteristic triptych altars, such as those with the Nativity of Bártpa and of St. James in Lócse. Italian elements, already present in architecture and sculpture, became predominant in painting in the 14th century, when the Angevins of Naples, ruling in the Hungary, called many Italian artists there (chapel of the Royal Palace of Esztergom, frescoed by Niccolò di Thomas; etc.). In the goldsmith’s art the French influence is evident, while, due to the contacts with Venice, in the 14th century. the filigree enamel is perfected, which will become a typical feature of Hungarian production. Of Austro-Germanic influence are the large altarpieces with doors, richly carved and painted, widespread in the 15th century. and whose center of production was Kassa (altarpiece of the main altar of the cathedral, 1474). However, in the sec. 15th and 16th the Italian influence continued to be very wide in all fields, from goldsmithing (Calvary by Mattia Corvino, with base in enamels by an Italian and Italian author, and Calvary proper, an important French enamel of the late 14th century), to the miniature (the so-called Corvine, the volumes of the famous library of Mattia, richly illuminated part in Italy part in Buda), to the architecture: of the palace of Buda, rebuilt by Mattia Corvino, who called numerous Italian artists there, destroyed by the Turks, the few remains allow us to understand the vast plan of the Florentine Chimenti by Leonardo Shirt, known from ancient descriptions; the ruins of the other great palace built for Matthias Corvinus on the Danube in Visegrád are important. Noteworthy are the red marble fountains by an Italian sculptor from 1480-85.

From the 16th to the 19th century

Cardinal Ippolito d’Este, who rebuilt the Bishop’s Palace and the cathedral of Esztergom, was among the proponents of the Italian-inspired Renaissance: many artists went to the Hungary and many works were commissioned in Italy after the death of Mattia, when the center was greater than this. movement was Esztergom (chapel of T. Bakócz, 1507; also important is the Lázói chapel in Synlatehérvár, from 1512). The Renaissance style, elaborated by local artists, survived until the introduction of the Viennese Baroque in the 18th century. The Turkish domination partially arrested the artistic development in the central territories; while in the western and northern ones, under the dominion of the Habsburgs, relations with Austrian art were established, and indirectly those with Italy continued. Still many Italian artists were active in the Hungary in the sec. Milan, P. Ferabosco etc.; the Carlone; later the Bibbiena etc.). In the eighteenth century the appearance of the major cities was transformed according to the Viennese Baroque models (Buda, Eger etc.), thanks to the work of various Austrian masters. Meanwhile some Hungarian artists were working in foreign courts (G. Bogdány, G. Kupeczky, A. Mányoky). In the 19th century. the Italian influence was again sensitive: the neoclassical architect M. Pollák resented G. Piermarini ; F. Fesel is the most distinguished representative of a national style in which medieval and Islamic elements are mixed. For the sculpture, we must remember J. Ferenczy, the first neoclassical sculptor, a pupil of B. Thorvaldsen. Throughout the first half of the nineteenth century, painting remained faithful to the academic tradition of Vienna; but with N. Barabás the artists began to resume the journey of Italy. Later the Italian N. Marastoni founded the first Academy of painting in Hungary (1846). In the second half of the century the influence of the Munich school was strong. The major artist of this period is M. Munkácsy. With P. Sighnei Mersche, impressionism penetrated Hungary. Towards 1900, the Nagybánya School, inspired by the principles of Impressionism, separated from Munich, while E. Lechner in architecture tried to refer to a style inspired by national popular traditions.

Hungary Arts