Showing posts with label books. Show all posts
Showing posts with label books. Show all posts

Saturday, November 18, 2017

First volume of the Handbook of the History of Art in East-Central Europe appears

The first volume of a very ambitious project of the Leibniz Institute for the Hiistory and Culture of Eastern Europe (GWZO) in Leipzig has finally appeared. The project aims to publish a new series of a Handbook on the History of Art in East Central Europe in 9 volumes. The series will provide an overview of art in the territories between the Baltic, the Black and the Adriatic Seas from the Early Middle Ages up to the present day. The Handbook series represents the first attempt to discuss the history of art of this entire region in a complex matter and in a European framework. Each volume in the series will contain about 650 pages, with essays and about 300 catalog entries,  as well as plenty of illustrations. 

The first volume, which is out now, focuses on the period of the early Middle Ages, from the time of the disintegration of the Roman Empire to the establishment of the new, Christian kingdoms of Bohemia, Poland, Hungary and Croatia. The time around the turn of the first millennium is commonly seen as marking the beginning of art history in Eastern Central Europe. New kingdoms and the adoption of Christianity gave rise to new impulses to architecture and the arts. Volume one of the handbook series examines the prerequisites of and precursors to this epochal change, including Late-Antiquity and early Medieval churches in the eastern Adriatic, golden treasures from the Migration Period, jewelry of the Great Moravian Empire, and everyday culture of the Slavic peoples.


The following two volumes in the series will also focus on the Middle Ages, dealing with Romanesque and Early Gothic art, then High and Late Gothic - with volume 4 dedicated to Late Gothic and Renaissance art. Look out for them in the coming years! To get a better idea of the entire series, have a look at this flyer.



Christian Lübke (Hrsg.), Matthias Hardt (Hrsg.): Handbuch zur Geschichte der Kunst in Ostmitteleuropa 1. Vom spätantiken Erbe zu den Anfängen der Romanik, 400–1000.
Berlin-München, Deutscher Kunstverlag, 2017.
652 pages, 600 illustrations, 21 x 27,5 cm, € 98.00





Finally, a word about the object on the cover of volume one. It is a detail of one bull's head bowls from the Treasure of Nagyszentmiklós (Sânnicolau Mare, Romania), uncovered in 1799 and now preserved at the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna. Widely believed to be connected to the Avar Khaganate and dating from the 8th century, the treasure looms large in Hungarian national consciousness, as for a long time it was believed to be of Hungarian origin from the time of the Magyar conquest. A quick look at the popularity of the bull's head bowl as an architectural decorative motif around 1900 can illustrate this - see this article in Art Nouveau Magazine.


Bowl from the Nagyszentmiklós Treasure, Vienna, KHM

Thursday, October 20, 2016

New Books on Medieval Buda

In this post, I would like to announce three new books which contain a lot of information about the history of art in Buda, the medieval capital of Hungary (part of modern-day Budapest). Each of the books has a different focus, and neither of them can be considered a survey of the art of medieval Buda - but together they definitely provide significantly more up-to-date information than earlier publications. Previously, the most accessible English-language overview of medieval Buda was László Gerevich's The Art of Buda and Pest in the Middle Ages, published in 1971, while somewhat more recent information in German was provided by the exhibition catalogue of the Budapest History Museum and the Braunschweigisches Landesmuseum from 1991 (titled Budapest im Mittelalter). Now all of a sudden we have three new books which can be consulted by anyone interested in the art of Buda and its environs.


The first book will likely become the standard volume on the subject, given its well-known publisher and the wide circulation made possible through them. The book is titled Medieval Buda in Context, and it was published in Brill's Companion to European History series. Edited by Balázs Nagy, Martyn Rady, Katalin Szende and András Vadas, the book was published in the middle of 2016. Here is a description by the publisher: 

"Medieval Buda in Context discusses the character and development of Buda and its surroundings between the thirteenth and the sixteenth centuries, particularly its role as a royal center and capital city of the medieval Kingdom of Hungary. The twenty-one articles written by Hungarian and international scholars draw on a variety of primary sources: texts, both legal and literary; archaeological discoveries; architectural history; art history; and other studies of material culture. The essays also place Buda in the political, social, cultural and economic context of other contemporary central and eastern European cities. By bringing together the results of research undertaken in recent decades for an English-language readership, this volume offers new insights into urban history and the culture of Europe as a whole."


Although the book has a historical focus, it contains a number of very important art historical studies as well. There are essays about the medieval topography of Buda and its ecclesiastical institutions, and on the role of Buda as a power center in the late Middle Ages. For art historians, Szilárd Papp's study on the statues commissioned by King Sigismund and the essay by Valery Rees on Buda as a center of Renaissance are perhaps the most important.

You can take a peek at the book in Google Books or, in fact, you can go straight to the full online version, if you have access.

The second book has an archaeological and art historical focus, but it treats a geographically wider region: the central part of the medieval Kingdom of Hungary. Titled In medio regni Hungariae. Archaeological, art historical, and historical researches 'in the middle of the kingdom', the book was edited by Elek Benkő and Krisztina Orosz and published by the Institute of Archaeology of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences (Budapest, 2015). The book is not in English - the bulk of the text is in Hungarian, but a long English summary of each study is included in the book. These extensive English summaries and the large number of high-quality illustrations make the book accessible even to those who do not speak Hungarian. The 764 page book contains on overview of current research about royal centers in medieval Hungary, including Esztergom, Székesfehérvár, Visegrád and of course Buda. Studies in the book are organized according to themes: thus after introductory studies by Ernő Marosi, Pál Lővei and others, material is arranged into units on ecclesiastical centers and residences, then on other castles and material remains. Given the nature of the surviving material - as well as the publisher of the book - it is no surprise that the book has a strong archaeological focus. The table of contents can be downloaded here. A review by József Laszlovszky was published in the Winter 2015 issue of Hungarian Archaeology (direct link to pdf).

Cover of the Hungarian edition

The third book is the English edition of an exhibition catalogue already discussed on this blog. It is dedicated to a comparative overview of the history and art of Budapest and Kraków in the Middle Ages. (On Common Path. Budapest and Kraków in the Middle Ages. Ed.: Judit Benda - Virág Kiss - Grazyna-Nurek Lihonczak - Károly Magyar, Budapest History Museum, Budapest, 2016.). The studies and catalogue entries in the book survey the parallel histories of Buda and Kraków from the period of their foundations to the high points of their development in the late Middle Ages.

The exhibition, shown earlier this year in Budapest, will be put on view in Kraków next year.







If you are interested in the history of Buda Castle, you should also have a look at the online database of architectural and municipal history of Buda Castle, created by the Budapest History Museum and the Research Centre for the Humanities of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences. This well-illustrated site gives an overview of the history and monuments of the settlement on top of the castle hill, and is available in English as well.
Figure of a man with a chaperon, from the royal palace of Buda (Budapest History Museum)

Saturday, December 03, 2011

Library of Medieval and Renaissance art in Transylvania

Rather than being a proper post, this is more like a collection of links - links to full-length books on medieval and Renaissance art in Transylvania. New databases, especially the Transylvanian Hungarian database maintained by transindex.ro and the newly opened Transylvanian Digital Database of the Transylvanian Museum Society, have made a number of old and new publications available, which - together with other resources - provide a good overview of art historical research in Transylvania. As most of these publications are in Hungarian, the following links will be mainly of use to my Hungarian readers - but others may find something useful as well (as some publications are in English or German). The focus of these publications is architecture, but a few other things are also available online. I'd be glad to add more resources to these - let me know if you've spotted something relevant!


I. Historical overview

History of Transylvania, ed. by László Makkai and András Mócsy, General Editor: Béla Köpeczi
Volume I. - From the Beginnings to 1606. English edition from 2001.

István Lázár: Transylvania - A Short History. 1997


II. Period of Hungarian Conquest

Gyula László: A honfoglaló magyarok művészete Erdélyben. Kolozsvár, 1943.
Art of the Hungarians at the Conquest period in Transylvania


III. Romanesque architecture

Géza Entz: Erdély építészete a 11-13. században. Kolozsvár, 1994.
Monograph and database on architecture in Transylvania in the 11-13th centuries.

Géza Entz: A gyulafehérvári székesegyház. Budapest, 1958
Monograph on the cathedral of Gyulafehérvár (Alba Iulia).
Monograph on archaeological research at Gyulafehérvár.



IV. Gothic architecture
Géza Entz: Erdély építészete a 14–16. században. Kolozsvár, 1996.
Monograph and database on architecture in Transylvania in the 14-16th centuries.

Database of medieval churches in Transylvania.

Victor Roth: Beiträge zur Kunstgeschichte Siebenbürgens, 1914

Edit Grandpierre: A kolozsvári Szent Mihály templom története és építészete. Kolozsvár, 1936.
Study on St. Michael's church in Kolozsvár (Cluj).

Géza Entz: Dési református templom (link 2). Kolozsvár, 1942.
The church of Dés (Dej).

Géza Entz: Szolnok-Doboka középkori műemlékei (link 2). Kolozsvár, 1943.
Medieval monuments in Szolnok-Doboka county.

Géza Entz: A középkori székely művészet kérdései (link 2). Kolozsvár, 1943.
Study on medieval art in the Szekler territories. 

József K. Sebestyén: A középkori nyugati műveltség legkeletibb határai (link 2). Kolozsvár, 1929.
Study on medieval art in the Szekler territories. 

József Köpeczi Sebestyén: A brassai fekete templom Mátyás-kori címerei. Kolozsvár, 1927.
Coat of arms at the Black Church of Brassó (Brasov).

László Dávid: A középkori Udvarhelyszék művészeti emlékei. Bukarest, 1981.
Monograph on medieval monuments of Udvarhely county.

András Sófalvi: Székelyföld középkori várai. In: Castrum 3, 2006.
Study on medieval castles in the Szekler territories.