all' antica architecture
A building and stone-cutting technique which evolved in Florence is attributed to Brunelleschi. Sections called ornaments (door- and window-frames, elements proportioning walls, e.g. pilasters, engaged columns, cornices) in Renaissance architectural descriptions were separated from the wall-face as if picture-frames and were carved from stones or marble. The surface was polished.
A work of art which represents some abstract quality or idea, either by means of a single figure (personification) or by grouping objects and figures together. Renaissance allegories make frequent allusions both to both Greek and Roman legends and literature, and also to the wealth of Christian allegorical stories and symbols developed during the Middle Ages.
A picture or sculpture that stands on or is set up behind an altar. The term reredos is used for an ornamental screen or partition, not directly attached to the altar table but affixed to the wall behind it. A diptych is an altarpiece consisting of two panels, a triptych one of three panels, and a polyptych one of four or more panels.

From the 14th to 16th century, the altarpiece was one of the most important commissions in European art; it was through the altarpiece that some of the most decisive developments in painting and sculpture came about.
Apostle (Gk. apostolos, "messenger")
one of the twelve disciples of Jesus, chosen personally by him from amongst his large crowd of followers in order to continue his work and preach the gospels.
A semicircular projection, roofed with a half-dome, at the east end of a church behind the altar. Smaller subsidiary apses may be found around the choir or transepts. Also known as an exedra. The adjective is apsidal.
A mountainous area of Greece. In Greek and Roman literature, a place where a contented life of rural simplicity is lived; an earthly paradise peopled by shepherds.
Art Nouveau
An international style at the turn of the century present in fine arts, industrial design and architecture. Its name varied from country to country (Jugendstil, Art Nouveau, Style 1900, etc.). It is characteristic of plainness, decorative composition, flexible contours and stylised floral ornaments. The role of local folk-art traditions is significant mainly in Central and Eastern European countries (e.g. Russia).

Its major representatives include Henry de Toulouse-Lautrec, Edward Munch, Gustav Klimt, Alfons Mucha and Hungarian artists such as József Rippl-Rónai, János Vaszary, Lajos Gulácsy and the Gödöllő art school.
A symbolic object which is conventionally used to identify a particular person, usually a saint. In the case of martyrs, it is usually the nature of their martyrdom.
A rail supported by a row of small posts or open-work panels.
Baroque (Port. barocco, "an irregular pearl or stone")
The period in art history from about 1600 to about 1750. In this sense the term covers a wide range of styles and artists. In painting and sculpture there were three main forms of Baroque: (1) sumptuous display, a style associated with the Catholic Counter Reformation and the absolutist courts of Europe (Bernini, Rubens); (2) dramatic realism (Caravaggio); and (3) everyday realism, a development seen in particular in Holland (Rembrandt, Uermeer). In architecture, there was an emphasis on expressiveness and grandeur, achieved through scale, the dramatic use of light and shadow, and increasingly elaborate decoration. In a more limited sense the term Baroque often refers to the first of these categories.

The development of the Baroque reflects the period's religious tensions (Catholic versus Protestant); a new and more expansive world view based on science and exploration; and the growth of absolutist monarchies.
barrel vault
A ceiling that is like a continuous circular arch or tunnel, contrasted with vaults that are supported on ribs or a series of arches. Also tunnel vault.
a church building, usually facing east, with a tall main nave and two or four side aisles of lesser height. There may also be a transept between the nave and the choir, which is reserved for the clergy. Originally, the basilica was an ancient Greek administrative building, and the Romans used this form for markets and law courts; it then became a place of assembly for the early Christians, and thus a church.
Strictly speaking, a small three-dimensional sketch in wax or clay made by a sculptor in preparation for a larger and more finished work. By extension, a rapid sketch in oil, made as a study for a larger picture.
A book of daily prayers and readings used by priest and monks.
An alloy of copper (usually about 90 per cent) and tin, often also containing small amounts of other metals such as lead or zinc. Since antiquity it has been the metal most commonly used in cast sculpture because of its strength, durability, and the fact that it is easily workable - both hot and cold - by a variety of processes. It is easier to cast than copper because it has a lower melting-point, and its great tensile strength makes possible the protrusion of unsupported parts - an advantage over marble sculpture. The colour of bronze is affected by the proportion of tin or other metals present, varying from silverish to a rich, coppery red, and its surface beauty can be enhanced when it acquires a patina.
Byzantine art
The art of the Byzantine Empire, which had its capital in Constantinople (Byzantium), from the 5th century to the fall of Constantinople to the Turks in 1453. Based largely on Roman and Greek art, Byzantine art also absorbed a wide of influences, notable from Syria and Egypt. Byzantine art was essentially a spiritual and religious art, its forms highly stylized, hieratic and unchanging (central images were thought to derive from original portraits). It also served to glorify the emperor. Among its most distinctive products were icons, mosaics, manuscript illuminations, and work in precious metals. The strong influence of the Byzantine style on medieval Italian painting can be seen in the works of Cimabue, Duccio, and Giotto.
(Lat. Ordo Fratrum Beatae Mariae Virginis de Monte Carmelo) "Brothers of Our Blessed Lady of Mount Carmel", a Roman Catholic order of contemplative mendicant friars. Founded in Palestine in the 12th century, the Carmelites were originally hermits. In the 13th century the order was refounded as an order resembling the Dominicans and Franciscans. An order of Carmelite sisters was founded in the 15th century; in the 16th century reforms introduced by St. Teresa of Ávila led to the creation of the Barefoot (Discalced) Carmelites.
cathedral (cathedra, seat or throne)
The principal church of a province or diocese, where the throne of the bishop is placed. For reasons lost to time and tradition, a cathedral always faces west - toward the setting sun. The altar is placed at the east end. The main body, or nave, of the cathedral is usually divided into one main and two side aisles. These lead up to the north and south transepts, or arms of the cross, the shape in which a cathedral is usually formed.
central perspective
a scientific and mathematical method of three-dimensional representation developed by Filippo Brunelleschi (1376 -1446) at the beginning of the 15th century. Relative to the observer, all the converging lines lead toward a single vanishing point at the centre of the composition. An illusion of depth is created on two-dimensional picture surfaces by precise foreshortening and proportioning of the objects, landscapes, buildings and figures that are being depicted, in accordance with their distance from the observer.
Christus Patiens and Christus Triumphans
are the names given to the two main types of the very large painted crucifixes which normally stood on the rood-screens of medieval churches. Very few still exist in their original positions, most of the surviving examples having been cut down in size and transferred to chapels or sacristies. The Christus Patiens (Suffering Christ) represents Christ as dead on the cross, whereas the Triumphans type represents Him with open eyes and outstretched arms standing on (rather than hangign from) the Cross. The dramatic emphasis of the Patiens type is certainly to be connected with the influence of St Francis of Assisi.
Copperplate engraving
A method of printing using a copper plate into which a design has been cut by a sharp instrument such as a burin; an engraving produced in this way. Invented in south west Germany during the 1430s, the process is the second oldest graphic art after woodcut. In German art it was developed in particular by Schongauer and Dürer, and in Italian art by Pollaiuolo and Mantegna.
in medieval art a picture, often an altarpiece, consisting of two folding wings without a fixed central area.
A Roman Catholic order of mendicant friars founded by St. Dominic in 1216 to spread the faith through preaching and teaching. The Dominicans were one of the most influential religious orders in the later Middle Ages, their intellectual authority being established by such figures as Albertus Magnus and St.Thomas Aquinas. The Dominicans played the leading role in the Inquisition.
a patron who commissioned a work of art for a church. Donors sometimes had their portraits included in the work they were donating as a sign of piety.
Pictures or tables with reliefs and inscriptions erected in honour of the deceased in churches or sepulchral chapels.
As opposed to objectivity of naturalism and realism which respected reality, expressionism represented the subjectivity of expressions. Expressionist artists projected their into motifs of the world: they changed or even distorted images according to their emotional intentions. Emotional charges appeared in dramatic colours and strong contrasts, as in romanticism. While romanticism was a typical style of the 19th century, expressionism was present all through the 20th century, it flourished as an art school in the early 20th century. Expressionism influenced the styles of Mednyászky, Csontváry, Koszta, Tornyai, Vaszary, Ziffer, Tihanyi, Berény, Pór, Kernstock, Orbán, Nemes Lampérth, Máttis Teutsch and Perlrott during their lives.
A Roman Catholic order of mendicant friars founded by St. Francis of Assisi (given papal approval in 1223). Committed to charitable and missionary work, they stressed the veneration of the Holy Virgin, a fact that was highly significant in the development of images of the Madonna in Italian art. In time the absolute poverty of the early Franciscans gave way to a far more relaxed view of property and wealth, and the Franciscans became some of the most important patrons of art in the early Renaissance.
Wall painting technique in which pigments are applied to wet (fresh) plaster (intonaco). The pigments bind with the drying plaster to form a very durable image. Only a small area can be painted in a day, and these areas, drying to a slightly different tint, can in time be seen. Small amounts of retouching and detail work could be carried out on the dry plaster, a technique known as a secco fresco.
in classical Rome, a person's invisible tutelary god. In art from the classical period onwards, the low-ranking god was depicted as a winged, usually childish figure.
genre painting
The depiction of scenes from everyday life. Elements of everyday life had long had a role in religious works; pictures in which such elements were the subject of a painting developed in the 16th century with such artists as Pieter Bruegel. Then Carracci and Caravaggio developed genre painting in Italy, but it was in Holland in the 17th century that it became an independent form with its own major achievements, Vermeer being one of its finest exponents.
Gödöllő, artist colony of
Together with his family, Aladár Körösfői-Kriesch spent several summers in Diód, Transylvania. He was particularly impressed by folk-art of the country and the Tolstoyan character of their landlord. After the death of his first child in 1899, he never returned to Diód but Ego sum vita, veritas et vita (1903), a picture in the memory of his dead child, portrayed members of the art school there. Körösfői-Kriesch moved to Gödöllő not far from Budapest in 1901 where he was followed by more and more artists, including Sándor Nagy, his brother-in-law, and they worked as industrial designers, painters and graphic artists. They established a textile school (Puppet Show, around 1907). From that time onwards they regularly worked as field-workers (Cemetery in Magyarvalkó, 1908), and published their collections in several volumes some years later (Hungarian Folk Art). Motifs collected in Transylvania reappeared in their works besides historical (Klára Zách I-II, 1911) and biblical (Ave Myriam, 1904) themes containing symbolic motifs, they presented episodes of Hungarian-Hun legends and folk-tales (Székely Folk-Tales, 1912). They returned to craftsmanship (Ruskin, Moris) with their art and the way peasants lived (Tolstoy). They were in contact with artists like Walter Crane and Akseli Gallén-Kallela who visited Hungary. They attempted to reform life-styles, eating habits and clothing. When World War I broke out, the art school stopped working, and after the death of Körösfői in 1920, it broke up.
Gothic, which may well have originated with Alberti as a derogatory term and which certainly corresponds to Vasari's 'maniera tedesca' ('German style'), is properly the descriptive term for an artistic style which achieved its first full flowering in the Ile de France and the surrounding areas in the period between c. 1200 and c. 1270, and which then spread throughout northern Europe. It is characterized by the hitherto unprecedented integration of the arts of sculpture, painting, stained glass and architecture which is epitomized in the great cathedrals of Chartres, Amiens, and Reims or in the Sainte Chapelle in Paris. In all the arts the predominantly planar forms of the Romanesque are replaced by an emphasis on line. There is a transcendental quality, whether in the soaring forms of the pointed arches or in the new stress on the humanity of Christ, which similarly distinguishes it from the preceding Romanesque style.
Gouache is opaque watercolour, known also as poster paint and designer's colour. It is thinned with water for applying, with sable- and hog-hair brushes, to white or tinted paper and card and, occasionally, to silk. Honey, starch, or acrylic is sometimes added to retard its quick-drying property. Liquid glue is preferred as a thinner by painters wishing to retain the tonality of colours (which otherwise dry slightly lighter in key) and to prevent thick paint from flaking. Gouache paints have the advantages that they dry out almost immediately to a mat finish and, if required, without visible brush marks. These qualities, with the capacities to be washed thinly or applied in thick impasto and a wide colour range that now includes fluorescent and metallic pigments, make the medium particularly suited to preparatory studies for oil and acrylic paintings. It is the medium that produces the suede finish and crisp lines characteristic of many Indian and Islamic miniatures, and it has been used in Western screen and fan decoration and by modern artists such as Rouault, Klee, Dubuffet, and Morris Graves.
Great Hungarian Plain, painters of
Painters of the school of the Great Hungarian Plain never had a school like those of Szolnok or Nagybánya. János Tornyai and József Koszta retired to their farms where they worked hard on their own to find the best way of expression. The style which resulted in the early 20th century was a particularly Hungarian one which could not be mistaken with any other: it was, in fact, a highly expressive variant of realism. Koszta, who initially kept in touch with the schools of Szolnok and Nagybánya, painted plein-air pictures under the influence of Károly Ferenczy in 1902 (On the Hill) which united traditions as represented by Pál Szinyei Merse and Mihály Munkácsy. In his later pictures, full of contrasts, tense rhythm and very much down-to-earth, he carried on with the style of Munkácsy (Before Storm). The art of János Tornyai showing life in the country relied on Munkácsy's style: Tornyai even asked for the master's advice in Paris. Tornyai painted motifs of the endless plain under the vast sky with the taciturn resoluteness of Hungarian peasants. His pictures are utterly simple constats of a desolute landscape, of hopelessness and poverty. István Nagy from Transylvania joined the artists of the Plain during a decisive period of his life, and his condense expression and compositions had a major impact on later painters in Hódmezővásárhely. There are still painters in Hódmezővásárhely and Szolnok working on the revival of traditions of previous times.
Greek cross
A cross with four arms of equal length.
Gresham Group
In the early 1930s, artists returning to traditions of the Nagybánya school frequented Gresham Café where the name was later taken from. Members of the Gresham Circle belonged to different generation, e.g. Róbert Berény used to be a member of the Eights but then he chose a more decorative style (Woman Playing the Violoncello, 1928). After an expressionist period, Aurél Bernáth returned to a painting dominated by view with the picture Riviera (1926-27), a landmark in his art. Besides self-portraits (Self-Portrait in Yellow Coat, 1930), he applied the motif of windows to create a link between interiors and nature (Morning, 1927). After settling down in Zebegény, István Szőnyi developed a style of his own following neo-classicism of the 1920s: he portrayed people and everyday life in villages (Funeral in Zebegény, 1928). The first artistic period of József Egry was connected to Lake Balaton. His pictures were dominated by atmospheric effects but pictures with changing light became lighter and lighter (Badacsony, around 1930) where figures of biblical and religious events appeared (St. Christopher by Lake Balaton, 1927).
the study of the meaning of emblems and coats of arms, with the rules governing their use.
philosophical movement which started in Italy in the mid-14th century, and which drew on antiquity to make man the focal point. In humanism, the formative spiritual attitude of the Renaissance, the emancipation of man from God took place. It went hand in hand with a search for new insights into the spiritual and scientific workings of this world. The humanists paid particular attention to the rediscovery and nurture of the Greek and Latin languages and literature. To this day the term denotes the supposedly ideal combination of education based on classical erudition and humanity based on observation of reality.
a small, portable painting in the Orthodox Church. The form and colours are strictly idealized and unnatural. The cultic worship of icons was a result of traditionally prescribed patterns of representation in terms of theme and form, for it was believed that icons depicted the original appearances of Christ, Mary and the saints.
The systematic study and identification of the subject-matter and symbolism of art works, as opposed to their style; the set of symbolic forms on which a given work is based. Originally, the study and identification of classical portraits. Renaissance art drew heavily on two iconographical traditions: Christianity, and ancient Greek and Roman art, thought and literature.
ideal landscape
Masters of ideal landscape do not attempt to portray landscape accurately. Although artists observed elements of the landscape, they, however, united details taken from various locations in order to co-ordinate individual elements to best match messages. The ideal landscape which was intended to express a unity of atmosphere and perfect visual harmony was subordinated to academic laws to be respected by all artists. Thus, three areas of space had to be created, motifs on the left and the right, and motifs attracting the eye to the back had to be considered, too. There was a shadowy, less accented foreground which followed the main theme, a strongly lit central plain where scenes taken over from mythology, the Bible and history represented the content of the landscape with staffage-figures to indicate scale. The idyllic, moral or bucolic message is stressed by ruins from ancient times, splendid buildings of the artist's fantasy, huge trees or rocks to emphasise the distance between the idyllic world and the age of the viewer. The third plain with rich foliage lost in infinity and a grandiose canopy of the heavens is a lofty background to effective compositions. The most significant representative of Hungarian landscape painting was Károly Markó, Sen.
The decoration of manuscripts, one of the most common forms of medieval art; because of its monastic origins, usually of religious texts. The practice extends from heavy decorations of initial letters and inter-woven margin patterns (as in Celtic examples) to miniatures and and full-page illuminations, often of a formal and grandiose kind (as in Byzantine manuscripts). Rich colors are a common feature, in particular a luxirious use of gold and silver. Illuminations survived the advent of printing for some time and only died out with the rise of printed illustration in the 16 century.
Impressionism attempted to catch and reflect momentary impressions with great accuracy. Changes of natural light appeared in richness of colours and delicacy never witnessed before. Contours of objects are blurred and plasticity turns out to be insignificant as a result of delicate touch and a mixture of colours. Impressionism which appeared in France around the 1870s had several local variants, leading to the development of neo-impressionism.
international Gothic, soft style
European art was characteristic of a rare uniformity for 60-70 years around 1400. Art historians have still not been able to come to an agreement on an appropriate name for it. The term "art around 1400" suits the style best which, because of its prevalence is referred to as international Gothic. The terms court style, soft style, beautiful style, trecento rococo and lyrical style, etc. are also used in art literature.

Elements of style which were generally wide-spread, did not belong to any particular country and were characteristic of art in courts. In the second half of the 14th century, models appeared in court art in the circle of French-Flemish artists serving at French courts and Bohemian regions of the Emperor's Court which determined works of art all over Europe at the end of the century. Human figures, landscapes and spaces in a realistic approach were accompanied by a peculiar quality of dreams, decorative dynamism and deep emotional charge. It is called as a soft style on the basis of lyrical expressions and drapes: it is more than a simple system of formal motifs, it denominates a kind of behaviour. Artists of the period were engaged in learning the human soul until their attention was attracted to the world (e.g. Donatallo, Masaccio and Jan van Eyck).
The Society of Jesus, a Roman Catholic teaching order founded by St. Ignatius Loyola in 1534. The express purpose of the Jesuits was to fight heresy within the Church (they played a leading role in the Counter Reformation), and to spread the faith through missionary work in the many parts of the world recently discovered by Western explorers and colonists.
Kecskemét, artist colony of
After neos had first appeared, conflicts between artists of the Nagybánya school holding different views became stronger and stronger. Of the generation which founded the art school, it was Béla Iványi Grünwald who followed changes in styles and supported the young generation appearing in 1906 (Landscape of Nagybánya with Gutin, 1906). When conflicts became deeper, he accepted the invitation of the town Kecskemét to establish an art school there with artists of the younger generation and his pupils (Vilmos Perlrott-Csaba, Géza Bornemisza). They moved to Kecskemét in 1911-12 where several major avant-garde artists and pupils of the Art Academy worked, too (Béla Uitz, Lajos Kassák, János Kmetty: Kecskemét, 1912).
Legenda Aurea
Lat. "golden legend", a collection of saints' legends, published in Latin in the 13th century by the Dominican Jacobus da Voragine, Archbishop of Genoa. These were particularly important as a source for Christian art from the Middle Ages onwards.
In architecture, a semicircular space, such as that over a door or window or in a vaulted roof, that may contain a window, painting or sculptural decoration.
Madonna of Misericord (Madonna of Mercy)
A depiction of the Madonna in which she spreads her cloak over those around her. The cloak motif derived originally from secular (legal) practice: children were legitimized and adopted by the father taking them under his cloak. Similarly, high-ranking persons, especially women, could offer victims of persecution the protection of their cloaks and ask for mercy for them. This noblewoman's right of protection was subsequently transferred to the Virgin.
Man of Sorrows
A depiction of Christ during his Passion, bound, marked by flagellation, and crowned with thorns.
collective term for books or other documents written by hand; in a specific sense, the hand-written medieval book, the Codex manuscriptus, often ornamented with decorative borders, illuminated initials and miniatures, and containing works of ancient philosophy or scholarly, ecclesiastical, and literary texts. Manuscripts were usually produced on commission. At first the scriptoria (writing rooms) of monasteries transcribed the contents of famous manuscripts and made copies. Monastic communities in the Netherlands and northern Germany began producing manuscripts around 1383/84. Flanders, Burgundy, and in particular Paris became major centres for the mass production of breviaries (prayer books) and Books of Hours.
MIÉNK (Magyar Impresszionisták és Naturalisták Köre - Hungarian Society of Impressionists and Naturalists) was founded in Budapest in 1908. Almost one half of its artists came from the Nagybánya art school representing a variety of styles and generations. Their leaders were Pál Szinyei Merse, József Rippl-Rónai and Károly Ferenczy. Works of MIÉNK artists were first exhibited in Nemzeti Szalon in 1908. After the second exhibition in 1909, works were exhibited in Kolozsvár, Nagyvárad and Arad in Transylvania where mainly works of Lajos Gulácsy and Rippl-Rónai met with success. Members of the Eights were not present in the third and last exhibition in 1910, they had already separated from MIÉNK by then.
Term originally applied to the art of manuscript illumination but later used of paintings, usually portraits, executed on a very small scale. The earliest miniaturists (16th century) continued to use the materials of the illuminators, painting in gouache on vellum or card.
Minorites (also called Friars Minor and Observants)
In the Roman Catholic Church, a branch of the Franciscan order. The order came into existence in the 14th century as a reform movement wanting to return to the poverty and simple piety of St. Francis himself.
Műcsarnok (Palace of Art)
The exhibition hall of the Hungarian National Society of Fine Arts was founded in Budapest in 1861. It was opened at 69 Andrássy út (now Art Academy) in 1877. Initially, the Society did its utmost to establish modern art life, but the trend which it represented had proved to be conservative by the 1880s and, as a consequence of its monopolistic situation, leadership in art life was concentrated in the hands of a few artists officially acknowledged. As an alternative society and exhibition hall, Nemzeti Szalon was opened in 1894 but the hegemony of the Society which moved into a new building in Hősök tere in 1896 was broken by the Nagybánya art school in 1896. The art associated with Mücsarnok was characteristic of historical and genre-pictures fashionable at the time.
Nagybánya, artist colony of
The idea of an art school of Nagybánya came from the private academy of Simon Hollósy who, together with his pupils and some friends, had been dreaming of modernising Hungarian art: they wished to join new trends. Travelling to Nagybánya in spring 1896, they were impressed with pictures of Szinyei Merse at the Millennium Exhibition. Arriving in the mining town of Transylvania beautifully situated, they gradually developed a style inspired by plein-air. However different personalities they had, identical training, working together and similar ideas developed a team spirit finally. The Nagybánya experiences made their styles uniform in a particular respect. It was Károly Ferenczy, the most mature and consequent of all, who had the most important role, and who was in close friendship with Béla Iványi Grünwald. He was a follower of "neos", a movement of young artists travelling from Paris to Nagybánya after 1906. He moved to the art school of Kecskemét after 1909 to which he felt attracted. István Réti was the theoretician of the Nagybánya school. Oszkár Glatz, István Csók and Tivadar Zemplényi joined them for periods of time. After the death of Károly Ferenczy, János Thorma and István Réti became leaders of the group. Of the younger generation András Mikola, Sándor Ziffer, Tibor Bornemisza and painters of the group "Eights" joined Nagybánya temporarily or life-long. Works of artists of the Nagybánya school gave a solid foundation for the developing new Hungarian art: artists losing touch with the Nagybánya school developed its style in different directions. The art of the Nagybánya school influenced 20th century Hungarian art in a peculiar way.
Naturalism attempts to portray visible reality with absolute accuracy. It does not select between important and unimportant elements of reality: each detail is considered to be equally important. For naturalist painters from the 19th century onwards, any detail, however simple, was suitable for portrayal. They give up clichés of iconography and compositions which were obligatory for ideal landscapes. In order to accurately portray the optical vision of nature, artists analysed what they saw, contributing to the development of plein-air and impressionism, too. Refined naturalism became wide-spread from the 1880s including the art of Károly Ferenczy, Béla Iványi Grünwald and István Csók.
Nemzeti Szalon (National Salon)
As some artists opposed the art represented by the conservative Mücsarnok, the Society of Hungarian Artists and Patrons was founded. A number of significant exhibitions were arranged in Nemzeti Szalon, the exhibition hall of the Society: it was Károly Ferenczy whose works were first displayed there in 1903 (Paintress, 1903) and where MIÉNK exhibitions were later organised. In 1907 the Nemzeti Szalon moved into Kioszk, a building reconstructed in Art Nouveau style in Erzsébet tér where the Society had its headquarters until its dissolution in 1949. The building was demolished in 1960.
Besides avant-garde, neo-classicist trends became stronger during the early 1920s. Pictures of a young generation after World War I showed nudes in peace, or heroic self-portraits and monumental landscapes. Human figures carried a spiritual message in pictures of Erzsébet Korb (Declaration), figures of idyllic Arcadia appeared in those of Károly Patkó (Bathing Women) while figures of István Szőnyi were flesh and blood people (Waterside Scene). Drawings and some other pictures reflect the influence of expressionism and cubism definitely, e.g. drawings of Vilmos Aba-Novák where figures are cut into pieces by geometric lines of light (Light). In addition to nudes, self-portraits are particularly stressed, and "role-playing" portrayals are highly characteristic (István Szőnyi: On Hilltop). Landscapes are related to particular parts of the country: Aba-Novák and Patkó, accompanied by some others, used to work in Felsőbánya not far from Nagybánya in 1925, then in Igal in 1927. Szőnyi settled down in Zebegény by the Danube in 1924, from that year onwards his pictures showed more and more everyday events of country life. Representatives of the style developed in the next stage of their careers in different directions: Aba-Novák and Patkó were the first to join the Roman school, and Szőnyi the Grasham Society (post-Nagybánya painting). Many other young artists started their careers in neo-classicism. The motif of Arcadia or biblical themes are often present in early pictures of Gyula Derkovits (Last Supper), or in pastels of Dávid Jándi in expressive colours (Panorama of Florence) or compositions of Jenő Paizs Goebel (St.Sebestian).
Artists of the second generation of the Nagybánya art school did not learn in Munich but in Paris where they joined the most recent art trends. Most of them were influenced by Fauves, some were pupils of Matisse (e.g. Csaba Vilmos Perlrott, Géza Bornemissza), or others had joint exhibitions with him (Béla Czóbel, Sándor Ziffer) and took the style to Nagybánya with themselves where Béla Czóbel launched a revolution in 1903 with an exhibition of pictures which he had painted in Paris. Intensive colours in plain compositions are surrounded by strong contours with shapes simplified. The style "neo" (abbreviation of "neo-impressionism") was taken over to Kecskemét and Budapest, and gave rise to the first Hungarian avant-garde group in 1909 with artists of "neo" chiefly which, in its turn, was later known as "Searchers" who exhibited their works under the name "The Eight" (e.g. Béla Czóbel, Lajos Tihanyi).
Nyolcak (The Eight)
Eight members of MIÉNK who had left the Society in 1909 had their first exhibition as Searchers the same year. By the second exhibition in 1911, they had changed their name to The Eight. Members included Károly Kernstok, Róbert Berény, Bertalan Pór, Lajos Tihanyi, Béla Czóbel, Ödön Márffy and Dezső Orbán. At the third exhibition which turned out to be their last, works of four artists, Berény, Pór, Tihanyi and Orbán, were displayed.
oil paint
a painting medium in which pigments are mixed with drying oils, such as linseed, walnut, or poppy. Though oils had been used in the Middle Ages, it was not until the van Eyck brothers in the early 15th century that the medium became fully developed. It reached Italy during the 1460s and by the end of the century had largely replaced tempera. It was preferred for its brilliance of detail, its richness of colour, and its greater tonal range.
palmette, palmette style
The word comes from Italian "palm". It is a symmetrical ornamental motif imitating palm trees or palm leaves. Following Oriental patterns, it is an element of ancient architectural decoration frequently used either on its own or as friezes. It became the most popular basic motif of medieval ornaments. The so-called palmette style was a style following Byzantine examples whose contacts are not yet identified. Rich, lace-like decorations were applied on major parts of buildings, e.g. column-caps, cornices and abutments. In Hungarian architecture of the 11th century, it prevailed in rich versions of string course.
panel painting
Painting on wooden panels. Until the introduction of canvas in the 15th century, wooden panels were the standard support in painting.
pendant (Fr. "hanging, dependent")
One of a pair of related art works, or related elements within an art work.
Lat. [Maria Santissima della] Pietŕ, Most Holy Mary of Pity, a depiction of the Virgin Mary with the crucified body of Jesus across her lap. Developing in Germany in the 14th century, the Pietŕ became a familiar part of Renaissance religious imagery. One of the best-known examples is Michelangelo's "Pietŕ" (1497-1500) in St. Peter's, Rome.
plein-air painting
Plein-air painting liberated art from the artificial world of studios by reflecting light and colours as observed in nature. Light and shadow of open-air lighting and reflexes glittering urged artists work fast to register continuously changing colours of unique visions instead of stereotyped local colours, thus facilitating the development of impressionism. The most important representative of plein-air in Central Europe was Pál Szinyei Merse. In addition, mention must be made of Géza Mészöly, B. Spányi, painters of the art schools of Szolnok and Nagybánya, e.g. Károly Ferenczy, Béla Iványi Grünwald, Simon Hollósy, Oszkár Glatz, István Csók, István Réti, furthermore Tivadar Zemplényi and István Szőnyi.
A painting (usually an altarpiece) made up of a number of panels fastened together. Some polyptychs were very elaborate, the panels being housed in richly carved and decorated wooden frameworks.
Post-impressionism was not a uniform style, several styles of the late 19th century and the early 20th century can be classified as such. As opposed to impressionism, most of them respected composition and decorative lines, forms and colours. Synthetic approach and the trend to stylise suited messages similar to those of symbolism. Gaugain, van Gogh and Cézanne, great masters of post-impressionism, influenced new art schools and styles. Of Hungarian artists of the period, Csontváry is normally associated with post-impressionism, but the majority of József Rippl-Rónai's works were also influenced by post-impressionism. Some artists of the Nagybánya school got as far as post-impressionism.
An Italian word for the small strip of paintings which forms the lower edge or socle of a large altarpiece (pala). Such a polyptych consists of a principal, central panel with subsidiary side and/or top panels, and a predella: the predella usually has narrative scenes from the lives of the Saints who are represented in the panels above. Because of the small size of predelle - they are not usually more than 25-30 cm high, though often relatively very wide - they were frequently used for pictorial experiments that the painter did not wish to risk making in the larger panels.
Realism, as opposed to momentary events and the fugitive nature of appearances, emphasised relevant elements of reality. Elements of an occasional character are avoided to stress relevant connections, and messages are condensed. Reality as seen is portrayed without details and with controlled brushwork in large units of landscapes while the essence is also present. Realism, which still has a lot of followers, became wide-spread in the late 19th century. László Paál, Mihály Munkácsy, Pál Szinyei Merse, Géza Mészöly, László Mednyánszky, Lajos Deák Ébner, Sándor Bihari and Adolf Fényes, all of the Nagybánya art school, and József Koszta, Gyula Rudnay and János Tornyai, and some more artists, were influenced by realism at least during particular periods of their lives.
A French label given to an Italian cultural movement and to its repercussions elsewhere; also, on the assumption that chronological slices of human mass experience can usefully be described in terms of a dominant intellectual and creative manner, a historical period. For Italy the period is popularly accepted as running from the second generation of the 14th century to the second or third generation of the 16th century.
A style of design, painting, and architecture dominating the 18th century, often considered the last stage of the Baroque. Developing in the Paris townhouses of the French aristocracy at the turn of the 18th century, Rococo was elegant and ornately decorative, its mood lighthearted and witry. Louis XV furniture, richly decorated with organic forms, is a typical product. Leading exponents of the Rococo sryle included the French painter Antoine Watteau (1684-1721) and Jean-Honoré Fragonard (1732-1806), and the German architect Johann Balthasar Neumann (1687-1753). Rococo gave way to Neo-classicism.
Roman School
In 1928 the Hungarian state established a new scholarship for young artists in the Hungarian Academy in Rome: scholarship holders stayed and worked in Italy for a year or two. The scholarship system established by Tibor Gerevich, an art historian and also the curator of the project, was intended for young Hungarian artists to meet recent Italian art instead of French or German in order to create a new art style. Artists of the first years were influenced by various experiences. Tempera technique rediscovered by Károly Patkó resulted in previously dark tones fading into light ones and more colourful pictures, subject matters were taken from everyday life. The real change is best demonstrated in "Promenade Concert" by Vilmos Aba-Novák. Landscapes with Mediterranean structure are accompanied with expressive colours of monumental form (e.g. Károly Patkó: Cefalú). The other group of the Roman school was strongly influenced by periods of Italian style: archaic elements recalling trecento together with modern trends are present in these pictures. Paintings on religious subjects by Pál C. Molnár reflect the influence of art deco (Madonna), nudes of Jenő Medveczky strict archaism (Composition with Three Figures) and pictures of Béla Kontuly with portraits or groups showing the influence of Neue Sachlichkeit (Marriage in Cana). Several artists were commissioned to produce panel pictures or frescoes for churches (Vilmos Aba-Novák: Last Judgement, Jenő Medveczky: Resurrection of Christ).
romantic landscape painting
The most important feature of Hungarian romantic landscape painting is that it makes viewers feel involved. Hungarian landscape painters portrayed romantic details of Hungarian landscape, mountains (Miklós Barabás: Romanian Family Setting off to Market), waterfalls (Gusztáv Keleti: Landscape in the Tatra Mountains with Waterfall), Lake Balaton (Sándor Brodszky: Storm by Lake Balaton), the endless plain which expresses the desire for freedom (Károly Markó, Sen.: Hungarian Landscape with Sweep, The Hungarian Plain, Károly Lotz: Stud in Storm). Artists were interested in ruins of national history rather than those of ancient times (Károly Telepy: Diósgyőr, Antal Ligeti: Visegrád) and some certain landscapes. Thus, subject matters influence emotions of viewers. Although Hungarian painters were always pleased to go to Italy during the time of romanticism, their attraction was drawn to a new set of motifs, e.g. instead of generalisation, they turned to individual characters of subject matters (landscapes of Károly Telepy). The same applies to Hungarian artists travelling to the Orient in search of exotic motifs (Antal Ligeti: Oasis, Lebanon and Anti-Lebanon, or pictures of Károly Lajos Libay) who extended the world in their art in a way never witnessed before, thus opening new perspectives for painting.
sarcophagus, pl. sarcophagi
A coffin or tomb, made of stone, wood or terracotta, and sometimes (especially among the Greeks and Romans) carved with inscriptions and reliefs.
metal pencil made of copper, brass, or bronze with a silver tip fused to it. Silverpoint drawing must be done on a specially prepared surface. Silverpoint was already in use as a drawing instrument in the 14th century, and the delicate, light-gray lines produced by the silver tip, which were all identical in thickness, made it a particularly popular artistic tool throughout the course of the 15th century.
soft style
see international Gothic
Surrealism attempted to bring messages from the subconscious to the surface with unexpected association of ideas, thus it rejected artistic methods controlled by mind. One of its variants portrayed absurd visions with naturalistic accuracy, while the other version relied on abstract forms. It used to flourish in the early 20th century, but it still has followers. Of Hungarian artists, it was Lajos Gulácsy who was particularly influenced by it.
Szentendre, artist colony of
The art school of Szentendre, a town by the Danube, was established in 1928. The prevailing style of the Szentendre school was that of the Roman school, but neo-classicist and naive styles (Jenő Paizs-Goebel: Golden Age) were also present whereas pictures of Jenő Barcsay showed towns and landscapes in a structural approach (Landscape with Hill, 1934). The art of Szentendre was present not only in works of the art school, and there were several painters of different generations in Szentendre who represented different styles. Béla Czóbel, a former member of the Eights, used to work in Szentendre in summer months who had by that time developed an unaffected style of his own (In the Studio, 1922). Works of Lajos Vajda were inspired by motifs, buildings and folk-art of towns and their neighbourhoods. Baroque facades of peasant houses (Houses in Szentendre with Crucifix, 1937), Serbian icons and self-portraits (Self-Portrait with Icon, 1936) appear in his delicate charcoal-drawings. The path taken by Vajda who died at young age was then taken by Dezső Korniss: grotesque pictures inspired by Hungarian folk-art were presented in geometric composition (Wedding of Crickets, 1948). Works of Imre Ámos were rooted in Jewish culture: religious symbols appeared in his pictures (Cabbalist, 1938) but the idyllic atmosphere was soon expelled by surrealistic visions anticipating the tragic fate of the artist (Dark Times, 1940). Szentendre remained after 1945 what it had always been: a town of artists. Lots of artists have worked there up till now, too, and museums have been opened to honour major artists (e.g. Barcsay, Czóbel and Vajda).
Szolnok, artist colony of
Visits of August von Pettenkofen, an Austrian painter, to Szolnok from 1851 onwards started the first, spontaneous period of the art school in Szolnok. Pettenkofen, who travelled extensively, represented a link between Paris and Central Europe. It was him who attracted the attention of Austrian and Hungarian painters to the style of Szolnok, free of conventions and full of emotions. Dusty landscapes of plains, humid along rivers, created a peculiar greyish tone for his small pictures which reflected the presence of sunshine and warm shadows. It rhymes with preparations of artists of the Nagybánya art school, i.e. with the artistic dilemma of naturalism, and also with approaches of Dutch artists of the Hague school. A more colourful portrayal appeared in Szolnok, too, to make compositions richer by reflecting light in plein-air style. Lajos Deák-Ébner who worked close to Mihály Munkácsy in Paris, and Gyula Aggházy became so enthusiastic about the experience of Pettenkofen in Szolnok that Deák-Ébner spent his summers in Szolnok from 1875 to 1887 and returned to Paris for the winter only, while Aggházy spent the year of 1876 in Szolnok. Their landscape studies of Szolnok around 1875-78, together with those of Pál Böhm who went to Szolnok only for a short time, were significant results of plein-air. The third period Szolnok belongs to the years 1899-1902 of official establishment with Adolf Fényes and Sándor Bihari, key figures of the time. Lajos Szlányi, Dániel Mihalik and Ferenc Olgyay were landscape painters, and Lajos Zombory became well-known as a painter of animals. Although they were all concerned with plein-air, they failed to develop a uniform style of the Szolnok art school, not included in their targets either. Their significance never reached those of the Nagybánya masters, whose art was more uniform and consequent.
A method of painting in which the pigments are mixed with an emulsion of water and egg yolks or whole eggs (sometimes glue or milk). Tempera was widely used in Italian art in the 14th and 15th centuries, both for panel painting and fresco, then being replaced by oil paint. Tempera colors are bright and translucent, though because the paint dried very quickly there is little time to blend them, graduated tones being created by adding lighter or darker dots or lines of color to an area of dried paint.
Unglazed fired clay. It is used for architectural features and ornaments, vessels, and sculptures.
A painting in three sections, usually an altarpiece, consisting of a central panel and two outer panels, or wings. In many medieval triptychs the two outer wings were hinged so that could be closed over the center panel. Early triptychs were often portable.
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A roof or ceiling whose structure is based on the arch. There are a wide range of forms, including the barrel (or tunnel) vault, formed by a continuous semi-circular arch; the groin vault, formed when two barrel vaults intersect; and the rib vault, consistong of a framework of diagonal ribs supporting interlocking arches. The development of the various forms was of great structural and aesthetic importance in the development of church architecture during the Middle Ages.
Of German origin, "not exposed to winds". Gothic decorative attic over doors and windows. Attics with tracery in the shape of isosceles triangles are decorated with crockets and cornices, and wooden towers are decorated with finials at the top.
Pigment ground in gum, usually gum arabic, and applied with brush and water to a painting surface, usually paper; the term also denotes a work of art executed in this medium. The pigment is ordinarily transparent but can be made opaque by mixing with a whiting and in this form is known as body colour, or gouache; it can also be mixed with casein, a phosphoprotein of milk.
German word, "Western work of art". Central space at the Western facade of medieval cathedrals vaulted on the ground floor, pompous on the floor above. It was intended to have a variety of functions, but it was associated with the emperor or aristocrats: it served as a chapel, gallery, treasury or a place where justice was administered.
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