Hungary Arts

By | October 10, 2021

Romanized in the period from the Flavians to Marcus Aurelius, in the sec. I and II Hungary was enriched with numerous cities such as Sabaria (Szombathely), Scarbantia (Sopron), Valcum (Fenékpuszta), Sopianae (Pécs). Among the major documents of the time are the frescoes and mosaic floors of the governor’s villa in Obuda and the statues of the capitolium of Scarbantia. Under the Huns metalworking reached a very high level (bronze cauldrons from Pécsüszög) in the polychrome style of Pontic origin, obtained with precious stones. The Avars introduced a typical oriental style with elements of Central Asia and Iran, as can be seen from the metal objects that have arrived. Their cultural influence was maintained until the end of the century. IX, when the country was occupied by the Magyars. After the conversion of the Magyars to Christianity (11th century), the Romanesque style developed in Hungary, of western derivation, but with survivals of indigenous and oriental traditions. The first great Romanesque church can be considered the basilica of Zalavár, of Lombard type, a model for many others built in the century. XI, later destroyed or transformed (Esztergom, Fehérvár, Somogyvár). Even the sculpture, of a decorative type, appears linked to Western modules, especially French (Pécs, Somogyvár), although there are examples of still barbaric influence. Little has been preserved of the painting of the century. XI (frescoes of the lower church of Feldebrö), while interesting examples of the miniature (Bible of the monastery of Csatár, 11th century), of textile art and goldsmithing (St. Stephen’s crown) have survived. The Romanesque lasted until the middle of the century. XIII, with intense building activity mainly due to the work of the monastic orders. The influence of style is remarkable Cistercian (churches of Bélapátfalva, Pannonhalma etc.), while in some monastic churches the two towers on the facade and the internal loggia (Westwerk) typical of Western Europe appear, as in the church of Ják (1256), the greatest example of this type, where even decorative sculpture and painting reach high levels. After the devastation of the Tartar invasion (1241), the second half of the century. XIII saw the introduction of the Gothic style in Hungary, initially characterized by rather simple forms, especially in Buda (Royal Palace, church of the Virgin or Matyas, enlarged in the late Gothic style by Mattia Corvinus) and in the neighboring centers.

Far greater artistic activity in the century. XIV, especially during the reign of the Angevins, who introduced the Italian influence. Buda, which has now become the main center of the country, experienced a notable development, but interesting constructions also arose in other cities (citadel of Visegrád, castle of Diósgyör); there is no shortage of examples of Hallenkirchen of German derivation. In the field of sculpture, the polychrome wooden sculpture, the decorations of the Church of the Virgin in Buda, the funeral monuments and the equestrian statues (San Giorgio, in the Prague castle, 1373, the work of the brothers Martino and Giorgio Kolozsvári), of marked Italian influence. This is also noticeable in mural painting, very common in Hungarian Gothic (chapel of the royal palace of Esztergom, by Niccolò di Tommaso).

According to globalsciencellc, a complete fusion of the early Renaissance Italian with German-derived Gothic is the evocative altar of Thomas of Kolozsvár in Garamszentbenedekt. The greatest painter of the late Gothic is considered to be the one who signs himself MS (works in Budapest and at the Christian Museum of Esztergom). The art of miniature and goldsmithing was also very flourishing; a true masterpiece of the filigree enamel technique is the bust of King Ladislaus in Györ. During the century. XV, alongside Gothic persistence (churches of Kolozsvár, Nyírbátor, etc.), Renaissance modes were affirmed, particularly during the reign of Mattia Corvino (1458-90), who invited numerous Italian artists to his court, such as Masolino and Filippino Lippi. At that time the architectural production was very vast, with the reconstruction of the Buda Palace, under the direction of Chimenti di L.icie, and of the Visegrad Palace (of both of which very little has survived). Among the masterpieces of Renaissance sculpture can be remembered, in addition to the sepulchral monuments, the various Renaissance style monuments erected by Bishop Ippolito d’Este in the archbishop’s palace and in the cathedral of Esztergom. In painting, despite the persistence of the Gothic ways (frescoes in private palaces and villas), the Italian influence imported by Masolino he continued with various artists of Tuscan and Lombard origin. The period 1490-1526, characterized by the prevailing Esztergom cultural center, saw the continuation of the Renaissance ways. The major monument of the time is the chapel of the bishop of Esztergom T. Bakócz, inspired by the ways of Giuliano da Sangallo. The almost continuous state of war that followed the fall of a large part of Hungary under Turkish rule caused a period of substantial stagnation in the arts. In architecture the major achievements are fortification works, of the Italian type (square plan with corner towers), among which those of Sárospatak and Nagybiccse can be remembered. Modest production in the visual arts sector. In the regions subject to the Habsburgs and in Transylvania, the Renaissance style survived for a long time.

Even in the century. XVII the artistic activity remained, on the whole, limited, even though it experienced a certain greater dynamism in the second half of the century. Baroque in architecture, sober, of Roman derivation, it was introduced by the Jesuits (church of Györ, model for many other religious buildings). In the field of painting, the personalities of J. Bogdany, author of still lifes, and A. Mányoki, portraitist, emerge. In the sec. XVIII, which experienced a notable architectural revival, the Baroque influence remained prevalent, but it diversified, as the Italian-style ways were joined by others of German derivation. In particular, the production of Br. Hillebrandt, active in the reconstruction of Buda and Pest, is vast. In religious architecture, M. Witwer, C. Hamon, J. Fellner and M. Hefele stood out in particular, while numerous civil constructions were also built (villas, palaces, colleges), among which the Villa Esterházy in Fertöd (1764-66) is particularly important. The greatest sculptor of the century. XVIII can be considered GR Donner, of Austrian origin, to whom various local artists referred. G. Hebenstreit and JA Krauss are also worthy of mention. In painting, after a period of clear Italian influence, Austrian taste prevailed, especially with the intense work of decorator by F. Maulbertsch. In the sec. XIX Hungarian art was substantially inserted in the wider European context. The architectural production of neoclassical taste is very large, especially in Budapest; among the major exponents may be remembered MJ Pollack, J. Páckh, G. Hild. M. Ybl, of Neo-Renaissance style, is responsible for numerous buildings in Budapest, including the Opera House. Also worthy of mention is the activity of O. Lechner, who tried to start a Hungarian national architecture. Overall, the sculpture is modest, the greatest exponent of which was the classicist J. Ferenczy. While the purist type of painting , begun by K. Marko, persisted throughout the century, dominating in the academies with N. Than and S. Liezen-Mayer, much more lively was that of romantic inspiration, linked to France and often inspired by motifs patriotic, as in V. Madarász and M. Zichy. Also noteworthy is the work of M. Munkácsy (inspired by the realism of Courbet), by P. Szinyei-Merse and L. Mednyánszky. At the beginning of the century. XX various groups were born, such as the national school of Nagybánya and the group of Eight, of Cézannian inspiration. Beginning in the 1920s, architecture has undergone the net influence of rationalist currents, to which it has constantly adhered, without however manifestations of particular originality. In the field of sculpture, after a predominance of motifs of French derivation, the prevalence of themes related to socialist realism was recorded, especially in the decoration of public works. Even for painting, avant-garde currents did not develop in Hungary, as most of the artists remained tied to the realist ways of the Nagybánya school and, in more recent years, to the Soviet realist taste. The greatest contemporary Hungarian painter, L. Moholy-Nagy, and V. Vasarely did not work at home. One of the landmarks of Hungarian art remains the Liget gallery in the municipal park of Budapest, home to solo and group exhibitions, while the main association of young artists in the capital (Studio), while not welcoming big names, carries on the Hungarian artistic tradition thanks to its own rather dynamic and vital exhibition space.

Hungary Arts