Hungary culture and traditions

Hungary Arts

The Hungarians found in the Danube basin an already remarkable artistic culture brought there by the Huns, the Avars, the Scythians, the Lombards. The Hungarians themselves brought with them an industrial art of a Persian-Sassanid mold, of which they were found adorned with metal and goldsmiths in the tombs. But the greatest artistic legacy came from Pannonia and Roman Dacia. St. Stephen, first king of the Hungarians, by introducing his people into the Roman-Christian faith and culture, also determined the direction of Hungarian art. From that time Hungary followed the successive styles of Western art, adapting them to its own taste, spiritual and material needs and becoming more than once the intermediary for neighboring countries. After all, Christianity’s it was already irradiated especially in Pannonia before the arrival of the Hungarians, and many artistic monuments bear witness to it, such as the frescoed cubicles of Pécs (Cinquechiese) of the century. IV.

St Stephen himself had a series of churches built, traces of which still remain in Székesfehérvár (Alba Regia) and in Transylvania in Gyulafehérvár (Alba Iulia).

In the Romanesque age, although some barbarian motifs also passed into the decorative repertoire, the influence of classical art was strongly imposed, especially in sculpture. In ancient Pannonia a special architecture was formed under classical, Lombard and southern French impulses, characterized by a Lombard plan, compact masses, portals to decorated archivolts. Its center was the ancient capital of Esztergom (Strigonia), where King Béla III had it done in the last decades of the century. XI the grandiose portal of the cathedral founded by Santo Stefano in 1010, and to re-embellish the palace by building the palatine chapel. The Romanesque architecture of the capital had a large influence throughout the country and especially in the Transdanubian part. His style takes place in the abbey churches of Sopronhorpács, Türje,

Gothic architecture was transplanted to Hungary at the beginning of the century. XIII directly from France, largely by the Cistercian and Premonstratensian monks. It is also known that the French architect Villard de Honnecourt stayed there towards the middle of the century. XIII in Hungary. The most beautiful Gothic church, the Cathedral of St. Elizabeth of Kassa (Košice) was built according to the plan of the church of Saint-Yved de Braisne; but its construction, which lasted until the century. XV, is completely original, like that of other Gothic churches, such as the church of Zsámbék (13th century) with still Romanesque towers, the church of the Virgin Mary, also known as that of King Matthias in Buda (13th century), that of the Benedictines of Sopron (XIV century), the so-called “Black Church” of Brassó (Braşov; XV century). The Gothic castle of Vajdahunyad (Hunedoara, in Transylvania) built in the first half of the century is of French type. XV, by John of Hunyad, father of King Matthias Corvinus. The fortified churches of Transylvania (Buza, Fogaras [Făgăraş], Muzsna [Mojna], etc.), from the 14th-16th centuries, of Gothic construction, mostly in the Saxon regions, should be noted; while in the Hungarian ones Western types predominate and, in the Romanian ones, wooden churches, on a Byzantine-central plan. For Hungary culture and traditions, please check

Italian elements also infiltrated Gothic architecture (chapel of S. Michele, Kassa, 13th century, Tata castle) which are even more evident in 14th century painting. The Italian penetration was favored by the Angevins of Naples reigning then in Hungary. The Palatine chapel of Esztergom was frescoed at the end of the century. XIV by the Florentine Niccolò di Tommaso. Other Italian frescos are found in Veszprém in the Gisella chapel (13th century), in Százd (Sazdice), in Gerény (Hořany), in Lőcse (Levoča), in Szepesdaróc (Dravce), etc. (XIV century); in some cases the Italian element came through the miniature. We still note the frescoes by Giovanni Aquila from the same period (Velemér, Tótlak, Turnicse [Turnisšče]). The first panel paintings (Madonna of Mariazell in Styria; diptych by Bát [Batovce], Esztergom, Christian Museum). In the fifteenth century large altarpieces spread, in a rich Gothic architectural frame, with polychrome carvings in the central part and with painted doors. The cathedral of Nagyvárad (Oradea Mare) had 27 and that of Kassa 18. Kassa was the most important center of this production, of which the most magnificent example is the high altar of its cathedral (1474). Kassa artists also worked in Austria, Vienna, and Poland. The first painter of these altars, known for his name and for his works, is Tommaso di Kolozsvár (Cluj), who in his panels painted in 1427 (Esztergom, Museo Cristiano) combines the trends of the new realistic painting by Gentile da Fabriano and of late German Gothic painting. The Fabriano master had also had a Hungarian among the boys, a certain Michele, different from that Michele Pannonio who lived and worked in Ferrara in the second half of the fifteenth century, of which the only signed work is in the Budapest museum. The style of Hungarian painting of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries was formed under the impulse of these two currents, with an ever greater prevalence of Italian influence, as attested by, among many other works, the Visitation of Csegöld (Christian Museum of Esztergom, circa 1460), the altar of the Visitation of the cathedral of Kassa (1516), with strong Umbrian accents. A significant representative of the new realism around 1440-50 is the second master of Csegöld (Christian Museum of Esztergom) of which we also find works in the galleries of Vienna and Basel. Hungarian painting of this period reaches its peak with the master MS whose large altarpiece from 1506 (Esztergom Christian Museum; Budapest, Museum of Fine Arts; Hontszentantal, [Sväty Antol], parish church) approaches in style to the so-called Danube school.

Hungary culture and traditions