Art History Art and Architecture in the Medieval Kingdom of Hungary
by
Zsombor Jékely
  • LAST MODIFIED: 15 January 2019
  • DOI: 10.1093/obo/9780199920105-0136

Introduction

The Kingdom of Hungary was established in 1000 with the coronation of Stephen as the first king of the realm. In 1102, King Coloman of the House of Árpád assumed the throne, bringing Croatia under the rule of Hungarian kings in a personal union. The Árpádian dynasty continued to rule Hungary until 1301, after which the Neapolitan Angevins rose to power. Following the reign of King Sigismund of Luxemburg (1387–1437), the first Habsburg ruler of Hungary, Albert, ascended the throne. The second half of the 15th century saw the golden age of King Matthias Corvinus, which was followed by a period of Jagiellonian rule. The end of the medieval kingdom was marked by the Battle of Mohacs in 1526, when the advancing Ottoman army defeated the Hungarians, killing young King Louis II as well. The Ottoman conquest resulted in the disintegration of the kingdom into three parts (Royal Hungary, the Ottoman territory, and the Principality of Transylvania). It was only reunited at the end of the 17th century under Habsburg rule. This history explains why the study of art in medieval Hungary is complicated. First of all, major sites in the center of the kingdom, in towns such as Esztergom, Buda, Visegrád, and Szekesfehervar, were destroyed. In the more peripheral areas of the kingdom, especially in Transylvania and the former Upper Hungary (present-day Slovakia), the artistic heritage of the Middle Ages has survived to a greater degree—however, Hungary lost these areas in the 1920 Trianon Peace Treaty. The territory of the medieval kingdom is now located in eight countries in addition to Hungary: Austria, Slovakia, Poland, Ukraine, Romania, Serbia, Croatia, and Slovenia. The study of medieval art in this region has often been carried out within the framework of individual modern states. This presents a historiographical and linguistic challenge and makes it quite difficult to survey the entire scholarship on the topic. For an accurate picture of medieval art in the Kingdom of Hungary, the overall geographical framework of research needs to cover the entire historic territory of the medieval kingdom. The present article looks at medieval art from the entire territory of the historic Kingdom of Hungary. The present overview concentrates on recent art historical scholarship, with a strong focus on publications in more accessible Western languages. Thanks to a renewed interest in medieval Hungary in the late 20th and early 21st centuries—which can be measured by the number of exhibitions, international conferences, monographs, and study collections published by Western publishing houses—a large body of scholarship is now available on most topics in the field of medieval art in Hungary. The early Renaissance art that played a major role at the court of King Matthias and his direct successors is not treated in the article, as that topic is the subject of a separate article.

History and General Overviews

The most useful overview of the history of medieval Hungary is Engel 2001. Kristó 2000 and Engel, et al. 2008 provide a two-volume, multiauthor survey of Hungarian medieval history in French. These overviews are now supplemented by a new study collection of medieval economic history (Laszlovszky, et al. 2018). Fügedi 1986 provides a more in-depth analysis of the aristocracy and the role of castles. For a survey of Hungarian cultural history, Kósa 1999 is a good starting point, while Kőszeghy 2003–2014 provides a more detailed, encyclopedic treatment. Well-illustrated overviews of Hungarian history and artistic achievements are provided in Zombori, et al. 2001 and in Marosi 2009.

  • Engel, Pál. The Realm of St Stephen: A History of Medieval Hungary, 895–1526. London: I. B. Tauris, 2001.

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    This book remains the most useful and accessible overview of the history of medieval Hungary. Written by one of the leading historians of his generation—an expert on the period of the Hungarian Angevins and King Sigismund—the book discusses Hungarian history in the context of European connections, outlining the economic, political, and intellectual development of the country. The book was also published in Hungarian.

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  • Engel, Pál, Gyula Kristó, and András Kubinyi. Histoire de la Hongrie médiévale. Vol. 2, Des Angevins aux Habsbourgs. Rennes, France: Presses Universitaires de Rennes, 2008.

    DOI: 10.4000/books.pur.4122Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    The second volume of a two-volume overview that provides a chronological overview from the Hungarian conquest to the fall of the medieval Kingdom of Hungary.

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  • Fügedi, Erik. Castle and Society in Medieval Hungary (1000–1437). Budapest: Akadémiai Kiadó, 1986.

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    Fügedi’s study focuses on the role of castles as centers of estates and symbols of power. His findings are essential for understanding the political and economic background of aristocratic patronage.

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  • Kósa, László, ed. A Cultural History of Hungary, from the Beginnings to the Eighteenth Century. Budapest: Corvina-Osiris, 1999.

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    Concise overview of cultural and intellectual history of Hungary—the translation of a multiauthor Hungarian volume, which was intended as a university textbook.

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  • Kőszeghy, Péter, ed. Magyar Művelődéstörténeti Lexikon. 14 vols. Lexicon of Hungarian Cultural History. Budapest: Balassi, 2003–2014.

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    One of the great ventures of recent Hungarian humanistic scholarship was the creation a fourteen-volume encyclopedia of Hungarian cultural history of the Middle Ages and the Early Modern period (covering developments until the year 1800). The articles encompass history, philosophy, literary history, art history, and other related fields. The entries are well illustrated, and each of them comes with a concise bibliography. Starting from 2016, the entire material of the encyclopedia is also available online.

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  • Kristó, Gyula. Histoire de la Hongrie médiévale. Vol. 1, Le temps des Arpads. Rennes, France: Presses Universitaires de Rennes, 2000.

    DOI: 10.4000/books.pur.8783Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    First of a two-volume overview of the history of medieval Hungary was written by some of Hungary’s most notable historians. Available online.

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  • Laszlovszky, József, Balázs Nagy, Péter Szabó, and András Vadas, eds. The Economy of Medieval Hungary. Leiden, The Netherlands, and Boston: Brill, 2018.

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    This new collection of studies provides an overview of economic history in the medieval Kingdom of Hungary. Available online for purchase.

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  • Marosi, Ernő, ed. On the Stage of Europe: The Millennial Contribution of Hungary to the Idea of European Community. Budapest: Balassi Kiadó, 2009.

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    The book provides a selection of defining artworks from Hungary, with expert descriptions by scholars of the Art History Institute of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences (medieval entries were largely written by Ernő Marosi). Also published in German.

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  • Zombori, István, Pál Cséfalvay, and Maria A. de Angelis, eds. A Thousand Years of Christianity in Hungary: Hungariae Christianae Millennium. Budapest: Hungarian Catholic Episcopal Conference, 2001.

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    This volume was prepared in connection with an exhibition held at the Vatican Museums, to commemorate the 1000th anniversary of the conversion of Hungarians to Christianity. A series of studies detail Hungarian ecclesiastical history and the development of religious art in Hungary. Concise entries describe and illustrate some of the key monuments of Hungarian medieval art.

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Historiography, Bibliographies

The writing of art history in Hungary began with the study of medieval monuments, such as the church of Saint Elisabeth in Kassa/Kosice. The early period is discussed in Marosi 1983, while the interrelated history of monument protection (and the study of historic monuments) is detailed in the collective volume Bardoly and Haris 1996. Some important figures and topics of Hungarian art history writing are discussed in a Central European context in Born 2004. The role of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences is very important from a historiographical point of view, as discussed by the studies in Szabó and Majoros 1992. Boskovits 1965 and Szakács and Banyó 2001 provide help in finding publications and image resources, respectively, while Szakács 2005 provides an overview of recent research on Romanesque architecture.

  • Bardoly, István, and Andrea Haris, eds. A magyar műemlékvédelem korszakai: Tanulmányok. Művészettörténet—műemlékvédelem 9. Budapest: Országos Műemlékvédelmi Hivatal, 1996.

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    A chronological collection of studies about the history of monument protection in Hungary, from mid-19th-century beginnings until the late 20th century. Most research and major restorations before the period of World War II largely focused on medieval monuments. Available online.

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  • Born, Robert, ed. Die Kunsthistoriographien Ostmitteleuropa und der nationale Diskurs. Proceedings of an international conference held in Berlin, 2001. Berlin: Mann, 2004.

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    This volume of conference proceedings focuses on national debates about Central European art, especially on the historiography of the 19th and early 20th centuries. Several studies deal with the research of Hungarian medieval art: Ivan Gerát writes on the interpretations of the Legend of Saint Ladislas, Ernő Marosi on the Romanesque reliefs at Pecs, Evelin Wetter on filigree enamel.

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  • Boskovits, Miklós, ed. L’art du gothique et de la renaissance (1300–1500): Bibliographie raisonnée des ouvrages publiées en Hongrie. Budapest: Bureau Central de Propagande des Musées Hongrois, 1965.

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    The only attempt in Hungary to build a systematic bibliography of art historical writings about a specific period. Previous bibliographies attempted to survey all art historical writings, while later bibliographies only published the results of individual years. Boskovits surveys works published in Hungary on Gothic and Renaissance art—naturally including a lot of non-Hungarian material as well. It is a good starting point for surveying older publications on any topic from the period covered.

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  • Marosi, Ernő, ed. Die ungarische Kunstgeschichte und die Wiener Schule 1846–1930. Vienna: Collegium Hungaricum, 1983.

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    This small study volume and exhibition catalogue focuses on the origins of Hungarian art history writing in the second half of the 19th century, especially on connections with Vienna University and the Vienna School of Art History. The first study—which focuses on the founders of Hungarian art history—is also available in an English translation: Ernő Marosi, “The Origins of Art History in Hungary,” translated by Matthew Rampley, Journal of Art Historiography 8 (June 2013); available online.

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  • Szabó, Júlia, and Valéria Majoros, eds. A Magyar Tudományos Akadémia és a művészetek a XIX. században—The Hungarian Academy of Sciences and the Fine Arts in the Nineteenth Century. Budapest: MTA Művészettörténeti Kutatóintézet, 1992.

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    Collection of studies and catalogue entries about the 19th century history of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences and its relation to the arts. Work of the Archaeological Committee—which first surveyed medieval monuments in Hungary—is discussed. Available online.

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  • Szakács, Béla Zsolt. “The Research on Romanesque Architecture in Hungary: A Critical Overview of the Last Twenty Years.” Arte Medievale, New Series 4.2 (2005): 31–44.

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    Just what the title says: this article provides an overview of recent research on the Romanesque period in Hungary, especially on architecture.

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  • Szakács, Béla Zsolt, and Péter Banyó, eds. Guide to Visual Resources of Medieval East-Central Europe. Central European University Medievalia 2. Budapest: Department of Medieval Studies, Central European University, 2001.

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    An overview of image archives and other research tools for art historians in the Central European countries. Surveys photo archives in Hungary as well.

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Museums, Online Catalogues

While the bulk of medieval artworks is naturally still on-site, museums have built up significant collections since the late 19th century. Before World War I, most medieval artworks streamed into the capital, Budapest. Most of these are now in the Hungarian National Gallery. Artworks from the diocese of Esztergom have been collected by Archbishop János Simor in the Christian Museum, which he had established in 1975. The medieval holdings of these two museums are made accessible in Mojzer 1984 and Cséfalvay 1993, as well as the new online catalogue of the Christian Museum (see Collection of Medieval Works from Hungary and the German and Austrian Territories). The largest collection of medieval artworks from Upper Hungary is in the Slovak National Gallery (Bratislava), which is accessible in the Web Umenia online catalogue. Additional catalogues of these collections are listed in another section (see Panel Painting, Altarpieces). The Hungarian National Museum collects archaeological material, stone carvings, and decorative art from the Middle Ages (Pintér 2004), while a similar collection for the territory of Budapest is at the Budapest History Museum (Buzinkay and Havassy 1995).

  • Buzinkay, Géza, and Péter Havassy, eds. The Budapest History Museum. Budapest: Corvina, 1995.

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    Introduction to the municipal museum of Budapest, which oversees excavations in the territory of the city. The main building of the museum is housed in the former Royal Palace, so the museum is also responsible for remains of the medieval royal palace, which was excavated in the decades after World War II.

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  • Cséfalvay, Pál, ed. Christian Museum, Esztergom. Budapest: Corvina, 1993.

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    Catalogue of Hungarian and European paintings in the Christian Museum of Esztergom. The Hungarian material mainly comes from Upper Hungary, especially from the Benedictine abbey of Garamszentbenedek (Hronský Beňadik).

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  • Mojzer, Miklós, ed. Hungarian National Gallery: The Old Collections. Budapest: Corvina, 1984.

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    Illustrated overview and catalogue of the Medieval, Renaissance, and Baroque holdings of the Hungarian National Gallery, which includes many key works of these periods. The book was published shortly after the new exhibition of Late Medieval winged altarpieces was opened in the new home of the National Gallery, the former Royal Palace.

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  • Pintér, János, ed. Two Hundred Years’ History of the Hungarian National Museum and Its Collections. Budapest: Hungarian National Museum, 2004.

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    History of Hungary’s oldest national museum (established in 1802), with an overview of its collections, which include very significant medieval holdings in several departments.

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  • Sarkadi Nagy, Emese. Collection of Medieval Works from Hungary and the German and Austrian Territories.

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    An online summary catalogue of the most famous parts of the Esztergom collection, containing among others the altarpiece from Garamszentbenedek, painted by Thomas of Coloswar in 1427, or four panels depicting scenes from the Passion and painted by the enigmatic Master MS in 1506. Already in the middle of the 19th century, both János Simor and Arnold Ipolyi recognized the significance of these medieval works of art, most of which were not in use any more at the time.

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  • Sarkadi Nagy, Emese. Műhelytitkok—Workshop Secrets: A Unique Guide to the Christian Museum’s Collection of Medieval Works from Hungary and the German and Austrian Territories. Esztergom, Hungary: Christian Museum, 2018.

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    Catalogue of key works from the Hungarian and Central European collection of the Christian Museum of Esztergom. The thematic chapters provide new insights into medieval workshop practice as well as into the history of collecting medieval art. Illustrated with all-new photographs of the objects. The volume is a companion publication of the new online catalogue of the Christian Museum (Collection of Medieval Works from Hungary and the German and Austrian Territories).

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  • Web Umenia.

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    Outside of modern Hungary, the Slovak National Gallery has the most important collection of medieval sculpture, painting, and decorative arts. This online catalogue includes most of the highlights of the collection and provides some thematic overviews as well.

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Chronological Overviews of Hungarian Medieval Art

No recent monograph exists that would treat the entire history of medieval art in Hungary, but the multiauthor volume published in Rome in 2018 was published with the aim of providing such an overview (Barral I Altet, et al. 2018). Beke, et al. 2010 provides no systematic treatment, but is a good selection of recent scholarship on Hungarian medieval art. In survey books of Hungarian art, medieval art is usually discussed in detail: Galavics, et al. 2001 is a university textbook published in Hungarian, while Bellák, et al. 2012 is also available in an English translation. Năstăsoiu 2010 is a useful overview of medieval art in Transylvania, while Nägler 1991 focuses only on the artistic heritage of Transylvanian Saxons. Jakšić, et al. 2012 provides a brief overview of medieval art in Croatia, published in connection with an exhibition in Paris. In addition to these overviews, handbooks and exhibition catalogues focusing on different historical periods are presented in other sections of this article – see Antecedents, Árpád Period, and the Later Middle Ages.

  • Barral i Altet, Xavier, Pál Lővei, Vinni Lucherini, and Imre Takács, eds. The Art of Medieval Hungary. Roma: Viella, 2018.

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    A structured collection of studies on medieval art and architecture of Hungary. The book represents the first attempt in English to systematically survey medieval art of the Kingdom of Hungary. In addition to longer studies dedicated to various topics ranging from Romanesque architecture to Late Gothic altarpieces, the book also contains shorter essays on key artworks and monuments, as well as on museums and collections holding Hungarian medieval art.

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  • Beke, László, Anna Jávor, Pál Lővei, Imre Takács, and Lívia Varga, eds. Bonum ut pulchrum: Essays in Art History in Honour of Ernő Marosi on His Seventieth Birthday. Budapest: MTA Art History Research Institute, 2010.

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    This Festschrift, written by a team of international scholars, focuses almost entirely on the history of medieval art in Hungary. Apart from a few studies in French and German, the entire volume is in English—taken together, the collection provides a much-needed overview of current questions in the focus of Hungarian art historical research.

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  • Bellák, Gábor, János Jernyei Kiss, Árpád Mikó, Katalin Keserü, and Béla Zsolt Szakács. A Thousand Years of Art in Hungary. Budapest: Corvina, 2012.

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    A well-illustrated, textbook-like overview of the history of Hungarian art. The chapters on the medieval period were written by Béla Zsolt Szakács.

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  • Galavics, Géza, Ernő Marosi, Árpád Mikó, and Tünde Wehli. Magyar művészet a kezdetektől 1800-ig. Budapest: Corvina, 2001.

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    Survey of Hungarian art from the beginning to 1800, intended as a university textbook, with black-and-white illustrations and a core bibliography.

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  • Jakšić, Nikola, Élisabeth Taburet-Delahaye, Michel Huynh, and Rozana Vojvoda. “Et ils s’émerveillèrent”: L’art médiéval en Croatie. Paris: Réunion des Musées Nationaux, 2012.

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    Catalogue of an exhibition held at the Musée de Cluny–Musée national du Moyen Age, Paris, providing a brief overview of medieval art in Croatia. In addition to the historic territory of the Kingdom of Croatia proper, the volume also discusses objects from the territory of historic Hungary, such as Zagreb and the region of Slavonia.

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  • Nägler, Thomas, ed. Katalog zur Ausstellung 800 Jahre Kirche der Deutschen in Siebenbürgen. Thaur, Austria: Wort und Welt, 1991.

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    A brief overview, prepared in the format of an exhibition catalogue, of the artistic heritage of Transylvanian Saxons. In addition to architecture, the book also deals with sculpture, painting, and decorative arts.

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  • Năstăsoiu, Dragoş Gheorge. Gothic Art in Romania. Bucharest, Romania: NOI Media Print, 2010.

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    Illustrated overview of Gothic art in Romania, naturally focusing largely on Transylvania, which formed the eastern part of the Kingdom of Hungary.

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Antecedents

The western and eastern regions of the Kingdom of Hungary were part of the Roman Empire: Transdanubia (western Hungary) was the province of Pannonia and Transylvania was preceded by Dacia Province. In these areas, some early Christian monuments can be found—especially in the Pannonian town of Sopiane (Pecs). An early Christian necropolis was excavated there in the area around the later, medieval cathedral, which contains several painted burial chambers. These 3rd-century painted chambers are among the most important such monuments outside of Italy. The monuments are discussed in Fülep and Gáth 1977 and Hudák and Nagy 2009. After the fall of the Roman Empire, the territory of later Hungary was occupied by various people. From the perspective of Christian art, the 9th century is the most important, when western parts of Hungary were incorporated into the Carolingian Empire. This corresponded with the collapse of the Avar Khaganate, which controlled the Carpathian basin since the late 6th century. This period of transformations in Central Europe is the topic of the handbook Lübke and Hardt 2017, while Hungarian developments are presented in more detail in the exhibition catalogue Tóth, et al. 2016. The Nagyszentmiklós treasure is the most important group of objects associated with the Avars and is the subject of the detailed monograph Bálint 2010 and the more popular exhibition catalogue Kovács 2002. Archaeological remains of the Carolingian Empire (western Hungary) are the subject of Szőke 2014, while the tangible heritage of the Hungarian conquest period is discussed in a companion volume, also published by the Hungarian National Museum (Révész 2014). The same material received its most detailed treatment to date in Bollók 2015.

  • Bálint, Csanád. Der Schatz von Nagyszentmiklós: Archäologische Studien zur frühmittelalterlichen Metallgefäßkunst des Orients, Byzanz und der Steppe. Varia archaeologica hungarica 16b. Budapest: Balassi Kiadó, 2010.

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    A detailed, monographic study of the Treasure of Nagyszentmiklós, providing a detailed analysis of its Avar origin. Also published in Hungarian.

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  • Bollók, Ádám. Ornamentika a 10. századi Kárpát-medencében: Formatörténeti tanulmányok a honfoglalás kori díszítőművészethez. Budapest: Magyar Tudományos Akadémia, Bölcsészettudományi Kutatóközpont Régészeti Intézet, 2015.

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    This is a detailed monograph on the origins and symbolism of decorative art among the Hungarian tribes of the Conquest period. The book is based on the author’s doctoral dissertation, and it also provides a detailed critical overview of previous theories concerning the ornaments of the era of the Hungarian conquest.

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  • Fülep, Ferenc, and Vera Gáth. Roman Cemeteries on the Territory of Pécs (Sopianae). Budapest: Akadémiai Kiadó, 1977.

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    Overview of the excavations on the territory of the early Christian necropolis of Sopiane (Pecs). The volume presents the most important surviving structures and their painted decoration.

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  • Hudák, Krisztina, and Levente Nagy. A Fine and Private Place: Discovering the Early Christian Cemetery of Sopianae/Pécs. Pecs, Hungary: Pécs/Sopianae Örökség, 2009.

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    Brief overview of the early Christian cemetery recovered at the center of Pecs (first edition was published in 2005, which was expanded a bit for the 2009 version).

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  • Kovács, Tibor, ed. The Gold of the Avars: The Nagyszentmiklós Treasure. Budapest: Hungarian National Museum, 2002.

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    Exhibition catalogue published by the Hungarian National Museum. The Treasure of Nagyszentmiklós, originating from the Avar period, was uncovered in 1799 and was transferred to Vienna where it remains in the collection of the Kunsthistorisches Museum.

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  • Lübke, Christian, and Matthias Hardt, eds. Handbuch zur Geschichte der Kunst in Ostmitteleuropa. Vol. 1, Vom spätantiken Erbe zu den Anfängen der Romanik, 400–1000. Berlin and Munich: Deutscher Kunstverlag, 2017.

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    The first volume of a new six-volume survey of the history of art in East-Central Europe, coordinated by the Leibniz Institute for the History and Culture of Eastern Europe (GWZO) in Leipzig. The first volume 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.

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  • Révész, László. The Era of the Hungarian Conquest. Budapest: Hungarian National Museum, 2014.

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    Made to accompany the second part of the same exhibition, this book presents the material culture of the Magyar tribes who arrived in the Carpathian basin in 895. Based on the analysis of cemeteries, the book presents the settlement patterns, hierarchy, and belief system of ancient Hungarians.

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  • Szőke, Béla Miklós. The Carolingian Age in the Carpathian Basin: Permanent Exhibition of the Hungarian National Museum. Budapest: Hungarian National Museum, 2014.

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    This book was made to accompany the new permanent exhibition of the Hungarian National Museum. It discusses the history and archaeological heritage of Hungary in the Carolingian period, particularly the site at Zalavár (Mosaburg), where an important ecclesiastical institution was established in the 9th century.

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  • Tóth, Endre, Tivadar Vida, and Imre Takács, eds. Saint Martin and Pannonia: Christianity on the Frontiers of the Roman World; Exhibition Catalogue; Abbey Museum, Pannonhalma, 3 June–18 September 2016; Iseum Savariense, Szombathely, 3 June–13 November 2016. Pannonhalma, Hungary: Pannonhalmi Főapátság, 2016.

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    Study volume and exhibition catalogue of a two-venue exhibition that focused on early Christianity in the territory of Hungary. In addition to surveying the Early Christian heritage of Pannonia Province, the book also discusses Christian objects from the period of the Great Migrations. A special focus is on the cult of Saint Martin, who was born in the Pannonian town of Savaria (Szombathely).

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Árpád Period

The beginnings of the new Christian kingdom of Hungary are presented in a Central European context in the exhibition catalogue and accompanying handbook Wieczorek and Hinz 2000. For the Romanesque period, the monumental overview Gerevich 1938 is still indispensable, while Marosi 2013 provides a more up-to-date (but rather summary) survey. For the beginnings of Gothic architecture in Hungary, Marosi 1984 remains the standard work. Takács 2018 provides a new overview of this era, focusing more strongly on the early 13th century. Development of the kingdom was severely disrupted by the Mongol invasion of 1241–1242, the period of which is treated in the exhibition catalogue Ritoók 2007.

  • Gerevich, Tibor. Magyarország románkori emlékei. Magyarország művészeti emlékei 1. Budapest: Műemlékek Országos Bizottsága, 1938.

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    The classic survey book of Romanesque art in Hungary, published shortly after the results of new excavations revealing the medieval royal castle of Esztergom. Gerevich himself was instrumental in realizing these exhibitions and was one of the key figures of the 1938 jubilee year dedicated to King Saint Stephen.

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  • Marosi, Ernő. Die Anfänge der Gotik in Ungarn: Esztergom in der Kunst des 12–13. Jahrhunderts. Budapest: Akadémiai Kiadó, 1984.

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    This monumental study by Ernő Marosi focuses on the role of Esztergom in the development of Hungarian architecture and architectural sculpture around 1200. It studies the chief monuments of the former royal capital, Esztergom: the royal palace and its chapel as well as the cathedral of Saint Adalbert. It discusses the French connections of these monuments as well as the wider circle of their influence.

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  • Marosi, Ernő. A romanika Magyarországon. Budapest: Corvina, 2013.

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    A recent overview of Romanesque art in Hungary, published in a popular series on periods of Hungarian art history.

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  • Ritoók, Ágnes, ed. A tatárjárás (1241–42). Budapest: Magyar Nemzeti Múzeum, 2007.

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    Exhibition catalogue about the period of the Mongol invasion of Hungary (1241–1242), with important art historical studies and catalogue items. The volume presents the destruction caused by the invasion, which seriously halted the development of the Kingdom.

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  • Takács, Imre. A francia gótika recepciója Magyarországon II: András korában. Budapest: Balassi Kiadó, 2018.

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    New monograph on the reception of French Gothic in Hungary in the decades around 1200, and during the reign of King Andrew II (1205–1235). The book focuses on architecture and architectural sculpture (Esztergom, Pilis, Pannonhalma) as well as on tomb sculpture and goldsmith works. Among other topics, it discusses the journey of Villard d’Honnecourt to Hungary, which took place around 1220.

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  • Wieczorek, Alfred, and Hans-Martin Hinz, eds. Europas Mitte um 1000, Beiträge zur Geschichte, Kunst und Archäologie + Katalog. Stuttgart: Theiss, 2000.

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    Study volume and catalogue of an exhibition that was jointly organized by Germany, Bohemia, Slovakia, Poland, and Hungary to commemorate the formation of the new Central European nations. The study volume focuses on the contacts between the new countries and the Holy Roman Empire, and on the emergence of Christianity in Central Europe.

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The Later Middle Ages

The 14th century was the era of the Angevin kings, which was followed by the fifty-year rule of King Sigismund (1387–1437). This period represented the expansion and flourishing of Gothic art in Hungary. The period of 14th- to 15th-century Gothic art received detailed treatment in the handbook Marosi 1987. The same period is the focus of the handbook in the series of the History of Fine Arts in Slovakia (Buran 2003), dealing exclusively with the territory known as Upper Hungary in the Middle Ages (Buran 2010 presents late medieval developments in this region). Both the Angevin period and the Sigismund period have been the subject of major international exhibitions recently, which treated their subjects in an international context (Massin le Goff 2001; Takács, et al. 2006). Marosi’s monograph provides a thematic discussion of some key topics of 14th- and 15th-century art (Marosi 1995). The period of King Matthias Corvinus (1458–1490) has been the focus of several exhibitions in recent decades; Farbaky, et al. 2008 is one example that gives a more balanced view of this period by including late Gothic works as well (not just the early Renaissance art that characterized the court). Fajt, et al. 2012 presents art from the period of the successors of Matthias, the Jagellonian kings, in a wider Central European context.

  • Buran, Dusan, ed. Gotika: Dejiny slovenského výtvarného umenia. Bratislava, Slovakia: Slovenská Národná Galéria, 2003.

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    The Gothic volume of the survey of the history of art in Slovakia was published on occasion of a major exhibition organized by the Slovak National Gallery in 2003. The thematic and chronological survey discusses architecture and the visual arts in former Upper Hungary from the 13th century all the way to the early 16th century. Instead of an exhibition catalogue format, the catalogue entries focus on the most significant works from the period.

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  • Buran, Dušan, ed. D’or et de feu: L’art gothique en Slovaquie à la fin du Moyen Age. Paris: Réunion des Musées Nationaux, 2010.

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    Catalogue of an exhibition held at the Musée de Cluny–Musée national du Moyen Age, Paris. It concentrates on late medieval sculpture and painting from the territory of Slovakia (former Upper Hungary).

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  • Fajt, Jiři, Markus Hörsch, and Susanne Jaeger, eds. Europa Jagellonica, 1386–1572: Art and Culture in Central Europe under the Jagiellonian Dynasty; Exhibition Guide; Kutná Hora, May 20–September 30, 2012, GASK. Kutná Hora, Czech Republic: Galerie Středočeského Kraje, 2012.

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    A series of major exhibitions were dedicated to the Jagiellonian dynasty in Kutná Hora, Warsaw, and Potsdam in 2012. A large exhibition catalogue was not published, but exhibition guides in Czech, Polish, German, and English versions were printed to accompany each of the exhibitions at each venue. Hungarian late Gothic objects are featured in a wider Central European context.

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  • Farbaky, Péter, Enikő Spekner, Katalin Szende, and András Végh, eds. Matthias Corvinus, the King: Tradition and Renewal in the Hungarian Royal Court 1458–1490. Budapest: Budapest History Museum, 2008.

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    Catalogue of the largest exhibition of the 2008 commemorative year about King Matthias Corvinus. Studies focus on royal patronage, especially on artistic commissions in Buda; on the portraits of the king; and on the most important artists in royal service. In addition to early Renaissance art, which is the usual focus of similar exhibition catalogues, this volume also treats late Gothic art at the time of King Matthias.

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  • Marosi, Ernő. Kép és hasonmás: Művészet és valóság a 14–15. századi Magyarországon. (Művészettörténeti füzetek 23). Budapest: Akadémiai Kiadó, 1995.

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    A series of studies together forming a monograph about the language and function of the arts in 14th- and 15th-century Hungary. Topics discussed include the Illuminated Chronicle, the depictions of King Saint Ladislas, and the statue of Saint George by the brothers Martin and Georg of Kolozsvár, among others. Available online.

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  • Marosi, Ernő, ed. Magyarországi művészet 1300–1470 körül. 2 vols. A magyarországi művészet története. Budapest: Akadémiai Kiadó, 1987.

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    When it comes pre-19th-century periods, only these volumes have appeared from the envisioned eight-volume survey of Hungarian art. The book focuses on the Angevin period and reign of King Sigismund, as well as the first part of the reign of King Matthias—thus on the great flourishing of Gothic art in the Kingdom of Hungary. The first volume provides a thematic overview and a detailed chronological survey (with extensive bibliography) – available online, while the second volume supplies the images – available online.

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  • Massin le Goff, Guy, ed. L’Europe des Anjou: Aventure des princes angévins du XIIIe au XVe siècle. Paris: Somogy Éditions d’Art, 2001.

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    Catalogue of an international exhibition that presented the various European dominions of the Angevin dynasty. The sections on Hungary provide a good overview of court art of the period.

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  • Takács, Imre, Zsombor Jékely, Szilárd Papp, and Györgyi Poszler, eds. Sigismundus Rex et Imperator: Kunst und Kultur zur Zeit Sigismunds von Luxemburg, 1387–1437. Mainz, Germany: Zabern, 2006.

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    The catalogue of this major international exhibition—shown in Budapest and in Luxembourg—is the most up-to-date overview of art in the reign of King Sigismund. All areas of court art are surveyed, including royal portraits and seals, monuments associated with Sigismund’s Order of the Dragon, and artistic commissions in his residences. The last section provides an overview of the arts in the Kingdom of Hungary at his time. The volume was also published in Hungarian and French editions.

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Archaeology and Architecture

The most important royal centers of the Kingdom of Hungary were all largely destroyed during the wars against the Ottoman Empire. As a result, the former artistic culture of the Hungarian royal court can only be pieced together from archaeological excavations and objects scattered far and wide in Europe. The survival of medieval architecture from the territory of the medieval kingdom is uneven: the southern and central regions of the kingdom were largely destroyed during the wars with the Ottoman Empire. Therefore, archaeology plays a major role in understanding medieval architecture in these areas. Benkő and Kovács 2010 presents the most important results of the archaeology of the medieval and early modern period. Elsewhere, medieval buildings survived in larger percentage. The only survey book of Hungarian architectural history in English is Wiebenson and Sisa 1998. Dercsényi 1975 provides an overview of Romanesque architecture in Hungary and in the same series, Entz 1976 presents Gothic architecture. More specialized studies include Valter 1985, which focuses on Romanesque architecture in western Hungary, or Papp 2005, which discusses Late Gothic architecture in the circle of the court of King Matthias. Among recent monographs, Juckes 2011 (cited under Monographic Works) is the most important, as it treats one of the most important Gothic edifices in medieval Hungary, the church of Saint Elizabeth in Kassa (Kosice).

  • Benkő, Elek, and Gyöngyi Kovács, eds. A középkor és a kora újkor régészete Magyarországon. 2 vols. Budapest: Magyar Tudományos Akadémia Régészeti Intézete, 2010.

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    Overall, forty-one authors provide an overview of recent archaeological investigations of medieval and early modern sites in Hungary, with a strong focus on the research of architectural remains. The book is in Hungarian, but with English summaries.

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  • Dercsényi, Dezső. Romanesque Architecture in Hungary. Budapest: Corvina-Helikon, 1975.

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    Illustrated survey of Romanesque architecture in the Kingdom of Hungary. Also published in German and Hungarian.

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  • Entz, Géza. Gotische Baukunst in Ungarn. Budapest: Corvina-Helikon, 1976.

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    Illustrated survey of Gothic architecture in the Kingdom of Hungary. Also published in Hungarian.

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  • Papp, Szilárd. A királyi udvar építkezései Magyarországon 1480–1515. Budapest: Balassi Kiadó, 2005.

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    Usually, the Early Renaissance art at the court of Matthias receives most attention from the period of King Matthias, but the monograph of Papp provides a detailed examination of Late Gothic architecture under royal patronage, which was just as significant and more widespread. The book surveys the most important constructions—including the royal palace of Buda—initiated by the court of Matthias.

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  • Valter, Ilona. Romanische Sakralbauten Westpannoniens. Eisenstadt, Austria: Roetzer, 1985.

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    Study of Romanesque architecture in the western region of Hungary, focusing primarily on brick constructions from the 13th century.

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  • Wiebenson, Dora, and József Sisa, eds. The Architecture of Historic Hungary. Cambridge, MA: Massachusetts Institute of Technology Press, 1998.

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    Survey book of Hungarian architecture, from the early Middle Ages to the 20th century. The medieval chapters were written by Pál Lővei and Péter Farbaky.

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Medium Regni—Architecture at the Center of the Kingdom

The medieval Kingdom of Hungary—the Medium Regni—had several towns in the center of the kingdom, which served as administrative and symbolic centers of the kingdom. Esztergom, the early capital, was also the seat of Hungary’s foremost archbishop. Szekesfehervar was the other spiritual center of the kingdom, thanks to the collegiate church established by Saint Stephen there. After the Mongol invasion, Buda emerged as the new capital of the kingdom, while Visegrád became a second royal residence. However, these centrally located towns became part of the Ottoman Empire for 150 years. As a result, the most important medieval sites of Hungary only survived as ruins, their remains recovered during various archaeological campaigns. Sites in the central region have been recently surveyed in Benkő and Orosz 2015. The more popular overview Altmann, et al. 1999 remains useful. A somewhat broader survey, which includes all of Transdanubia, was carried out in the framework of an exhibition (Mikó and Takács 1994). Of the individual centers, Buda (and its sister city, Pest) received the most attention: the overview Gerevich 1971 and the exhibition catalogue Biegel 1991 are still useful, although readers should now consult the much more up-to-date study collection Nagy, et al. 2016. Medieval Szekesfehervar lacks a modern monograph—the studies from 2011 in Acta Historiae Artium provide a good overview of new research. For Visegrád, following Laszlovszky 1995, Buzás and Laszlovszky 2013 now provides a modern overview in English of the most important building there, the royal palace.

  • Altmann, Julianna, Piroska Biczo, Gergely Buzas, et al. Medium Regni: Medieval Hungarian Royal Seats. Budapest: Nap Kiadó, 1999.

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    This is a well-illustrated introduction to the medieval royal seats in Hungary, including Esztergom, Szekesfehervar, Óbuda, Visegrád, and Buda.

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  • Benkő, Elek, and Krisztina Orosz, eds. In medio regni Hungariae: Régészeti, művészettörténeti és történeti kutatások “az ország közepén”—Archaeological, Art Historical, and Historical Researches “in the Middle of the Kingdom.” Budapest: Magyar Tudományos Akadémia, Bölcsészettudományi Kutatóközpont Régészeti Intézet, 2015.

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    The study collection treats the central part of the medieval Kingdom of Hungary. It contains current research on royal centers in medieval Hungary, including Esztergom, Szekesfehervar, Visegrád, and 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, residences, castles, and material remains. The bulk of the text is in Hungarian, but a long English summary is included in the book.

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  • Biczó, Piroska. “Das königliche Marienstift zu Székesfehérvár im Lichte der neueren Grabungen.” Acta Historiae Artium 52 (2011): 5–29.

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    The royal priory of the Virgin Mary at Szekesfehervar was one of the most important churches of medieval Hungary: the site of coronations as well as royal burials. New excavations have brought to light several important finds from the church. An up-to-date monograph on the church is still lacking (the last such volume was published in 1943) – this study, as well as others by Klára Mentényi and Pál Lővei in the same volume, provide the most accessible overview of the results of new research.

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  • Biegel, Gerd, ed. Budapest im Mittelalter. Braunschweig, Germany: Braunschweigisches Landesmuseum, 1991.

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    Exhibition catalogue prepared by the Budapest History Museum, providing an overview of archeological finds from the territory of modern Budapest. The book presents a large number of new finds as well.

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  • Buzás, Gergely, and József Laszlovszky, eds. The Medieval Royal Palace at Visegrád. Budapest: Archaeolingua, 2013.

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    This volume is the first comprehensive monograph on the archaeological investigations, objects, finds, reconstruction, and restoration of the Visegrád palace complex published in English. It offers a summary of excavations since 1934 and the interpretation of the palace in its European archaeological and art historical context. It also contains the functional analysis of the palace complex and the discussion of the interactions between the residence and the Franciscan friary.

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  • Gerevich, László. The Art of Buda and Pest in the Middle Ages. Budapest: Akadémiai Kiadó, 1971.

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    The classic overview in English of medieval art in the capital of the kingdom (Buda) and its twin city, Pest—also including the earliest settlement, Óbuda. New archeological research has made Gerevich’s research outdated at some parts, but the book is still useful.

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  • Laszlovszky, József, ed. Medieval Visegrád: Royal Castle, Palace, Town and Franciscan Friary. Dissertationes Pannonicae 3.4. Budapest: Institute of Archaeology, 1995.

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    Visegrád stands out among the medieval sites of Hungary, and the royal palace complex can be regarded as one of the most important monuments for the artistic and architectural production of the royal court during the period of the late Middle Ages. This study collection gives an overview of the medieval sites of Visegrád and provides the first description of the 15th-century Franciscan friary, newly excavated at the time.

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  • Mikó, Árpád, and Imre Takács, eds. Pannonia Regia (Művészet a Dunántúlon 1000–1541): Kunst und Architektur in Pannonien 1000–1541. Budapest: Hungarian National Gallery, 1994.

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    Although this exhibition catalogue included monuments from the central parts of the Kingdom—the Medium Regni—its focus was wider: the large region of western Hungary, Transdanubia. The catalogue surveys medieval art in this region from 11th-century beginnings up to the end of the Middle Ages. Available online.

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  • Nagy, Balázs, Martin Rady, Katalin Szende, and András Vadas, eds. Medieval Buda in Context. Brill Companions to European History 10. Leiden, The Netherlands, and Boston: Brill, 2016.

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    Although the book has a historical focus, it contains several 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. Available online.

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Architecture in Other Regions of Hungary

Transylvania is one region of the medieval Kingdom of Hungary that preserves a very large percentage of its medieval heritage. Research of these monuments—some of them in a precarious state—has been very intensive in more recent decades. A solid foundation for this research is provided in Entz 1994 and Entz 1996, which catalogue all known monuments from the region, collecting the most important medieval sources referring to them as well. A more detailed catalogue of Saxon (German) churches in Transylvania is provided in Fabini 1999, which is also supplemented by a study volume (Fabini 2013). Some other regions of the medieval Kingdom of Hungary have received a lot of attention recently thanks to research projects. Kollár 2000 is an attempt to reconstruct the lost medieval architectural landscape of the Hungarian Great Plains, while other books edited by Tibor Kollár collect studies about the southern region of the kingdom (from the western border region all the way to southern Transylvania: Kollár 2010) and the northeastern area of the kingdom (Kollár 2011, Kollár 2013, Kollár 2014).

  • Entz, Géza. Erdély építészete a 1113. században. Cluj Napoca, Romania: Erdélyi Múzeum Egyesület, 1994.

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    Detailed study and a full catalogue of Romaneque and Early Gothic architecture in Transylvania, originally published as an article: Géza Entz, “Die Baukunst Transsilvaniens im 11–13. Jahrhundert,” Acta Historiae Artium 14 (1968): 3–48, 127–175. Available online.

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  • Entz, Géza. Erdély építészete a 1416. században. Cluj Napoca, Romania: Erdélyi Múzeum Egyesület, 1996.

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    This volume continues the study and catalogue of Entz 1994, providing an overview of Gothic architecture in Transylvania from the 14th to the early 16th century. The catalogue is a systematic survey of medieval churches and castles known from the territory. Available online.

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  • Fabini, Hermann. Atlas der siebenbürgisch-sächsischen Kirchenburger und Dorfkirchen. 2 vols. Sibiu, Romania: Monumenta Verlag, 1999.

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    Catalogue of all the churches in Transylvania on the territories of the Transylvanian Saxons. These German inhabitants of Transylvania were settled in the early 13th century, and their communities have enjoyed relative autonomy all through the Middle Ages and later. The architectural heritage of the Saxons is among the most important contiguous group of monuments from the entire kingdom.

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  • Fabini, Hermann. Sakrale Baukunst in siebenbürgisch-sächsischen Städten. Sibiu, Romania: Monumenta Verlag, 2013.

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    This is a companion volume to Fabini 1999, Volumes 1–2, which provides a study of church architecture of the Transylvanian Saxons.

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  • Kollár, Tibor, ed. A középkori Dél-Alföld és Szer. Szeged, Hungary: Csongrád Megyei Levéltár, 2000.

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    A study collection dedicated to the remains of medieval architecture from the southern part of the Hungarian Great Plain. The chief monument in focus is the former Benedictine abbey of Szer (now Pusztaszer).

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  • Kollár, Tibor, ed. Építészet a középkori Dél-Magyarországon: Tanulmányok. Budapest: Teleki László Alapítvány, 2010.

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    Study collection dedicated to medieval architecture in the southern part of the Kingdom of Hungary. Geographically, it encompasses territories ranging from Slovenia all the way to southern Transylvania in Romania (including sites in present-day Croatia and Serbia). These southern counties of the Hungarian kingdom flourished during the Middle Ages but got largely devastated during the wars of 150 years of Ottoman rule. Nevertheless, there is still an enormous amount of surviving material, much of it quite unknown for modern research.

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  • Kollár, Tibor, ed. Középkori egyházi építészet Szatmárban: Középkori templomok útja Szabolcs-Szatmár-Bereg és Szatmár megyékben. Nyíregyháza, Hungary: Szabolcs-Szatmár-Bereg Megyei Önkormányzat, 2011.

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    Study volume of medieval church architecture in the historic county of Szatmár, now located on both sides of the border between Hungary and Romania. The volume was also published in Romanian and is available in pdf format online.

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  • Kollár, Tibor, ed. Középkori templomok a Tiszától a Kárpátokig: Középkori templomok útja Szabolcsban, Beregben és Kárpátalján. Nyíregyháza, Hungary: Szabolcs-Szatmár-Bereg Megyei Önkormányzat, 2013.

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    Study volume of medieval church architecture in the historic counties of Szabolcs and Bereg, as well in the northeastern corner of the medieval Kingdom of Hungary, now located in the Ukraine. The volume presents the results of new surveys and research of historic buildings in the region and was also published in a Ukrainian edition. It is available for download in pdf format online.

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  • Kollár, Tibor, ed. Középkori templomok útja. Vol. 3, Művészet és vallás a Felső-Tisza-vidéken. Oradea, Romania: Királyhágomelleki Református Egyházkerület, 2014.

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    Together with Kollár 2011 and Kollár 2013, this book is the third in a three-volume set, providing research articles and overviews of medieval architecture in Northeastern Hungary (including areas now located in Romania and in the Ukraine). Results of new investigations of medieval architecture structures are presented, along with studies on newly uncovered wall paintings. The full volumes is available in pdf format online.

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Architecture of the Religious Orders

The small book Romhányi 2000 is the most recent attempt to list and identify all monastic and mendicant churches in Hungary. The Benedictine order played an important role in the conversion of Hungarian to Christianity. The medieval churches of the order and their artistic production were surveyed in Takács 2001. Cistercian monasteries were catalogued in Hervay 1984. For the Franciscans and Dominicans, the study collection Haris 1994 is the best starting point. The architecture of the only successful medieval monastic order established in Hungary, the Order of Saint Paul the First Hermit (the Paulines), is the subject of Guzsik 2003.

  • Guzsik, Tamás. A pálos rend építészete a középkori Magyarországon. Budapest: Mikes Kiadó, 2003.

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    The Pauline order (Order of Saint Paul the First Hermit) was established in Hungary in the 13th century and became very popular during the next two centuries. The book is the first survey of the architectural remains of Pauline monasteries in Hungary.

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  • Haris, Andrea, ed. Koldulórendi építészet a középkori Magyarországon: Tanulmányok. Budapest: Országos Műemlékvédelmi Hivatal, 1994.

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    Study volume on medieval architecture of the mendicant orders—primarily the Franciscans and Dominicans—in Hungary. Available online.

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  • Hervay, Ferenc L. Repertorium historicum Ordinis Cisterciensis in Hungaria. Rome: Editions Cisterciensis, 1984.

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    Study and catalogue of the medieval Cistercian abbeys in medieval Hungary, with a full overview of relevant medieval sources about each of them.

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  • Romhányi, Beatrix. Kolostorok és társaskáptalanok a középkori Magyarországon: Katalógus. Budapest: Pytheas, 2000.

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    A simple catalogue of all monastic and mendicant institutions in the territory of the medieval Kingdom of Hungary. Based on the author’s doctoral dissertation, which also included a study part detailing all the various religious orders. The catalogue is also available in the form of an updated CD-ROM edition (2008).

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  • Takács, Imre, ed. Paradisum plantavit: Bencés monostorok a középkori Magyarországon—Benedictine Monasteries in Medieval Hungary. Pannonhalma, Hungary: Archabbey of Pannonhalma, 2001.

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    Catalogue of an art historical exhibition held at the Archabbey of Pannonhalma, which surveyed the medieval history and artistic heritage of the Benedictine order. The book also contains a detailed historical catalogue of all the Benedictine houses in Hungary, compiled by Ferenc Levente Hervay. The English text of the studies is included in the same volume.

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Monographic Works

Of the medieval cathedrals of Hungary, the one at Gyulafehérvár is the most important, as it survived largely intact. It is the subject of a classic monograph (Entz 1958), and more recently, of a collection of studies (Papp 2012). Of parish churches in town, the Church of Our Lady in Buda was the subject of a major exhibition and its catalogue (Farbaky, et al. 2015), while the parish churches of Szászsebes and Kassa were the subjects of monographs—Varga 1984 and Juckes 2011, respectively.

  • Entz, Géza. A gyulafehérvári székesegyház. Budapest: Akadémiai Kiadó, 1958.

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    Monograph on the seat of the bishopric of Transylvania, the most important medieval cathedral building in the Kingdom of Hungary—the only one that is still standing from the Árpádian period. A summary was published as Géza Entz, “La cathédrale de Gyulafehérvár,” Acta Historicae Artium 5 (1958): 1–40.

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  • Farbaky, Péter, Lilla Farbakyné Deklava, Balázs Mátéffy, Enikő Róka, and András Végh, eds. Mátyás-templom: A budavári Nagyboldogasszony-templom évszázadai (1246–2013). Budapest: Budapesti Történeti Múzeum, 2015.

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    This monumental catalogue accompanied an exhibition at the Budapest History Museum, dedicated to the history and art of the most important church in Buda, the Church of Our Lady (Matthias Church). Established after the Mongol invasion, the parish church was built in several phases and occupies a central role in the art of the capital. See also Péter Farbaky and Lilla Farbaky-Deklava, Matthias Church: The Church of Our Lady in Buda Castle through the Centuries; Exhibition Guide (Budapest: Budapest History Museum, 2015).

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  • Juckes, Tim. The Parish and Pilgrimage Church of St Elizabeth in Košice: Town, Court, and Architecture in Late Medieval Hungary. Architectura Medii Aevi 6. Turnhout, Belgium: Brepols, 2011.

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    Monograph on the church of Saint Elizabeth in Kassa (Kosice, or Kaschau, Slovakia), which is the most important surviving structure from the reign of King Sigismund. Juckes surveys the documentary evidence and the historiography of the church of Saint Elizabeth, before embarking on a new analysis of the building and its history.

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  • Papp, Szilárd, ed. A gyulafehérvári székesegyház főszentélye. Budapest: Teleki László Alapítvány, 2012.

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    Perhaps the most important among numerous publications arising from two decades of research and restoration on the cathedral of Gyulafehérvár, this study collection focuses on the sanctuary of the cathedral. Among other topics, it is discussed in detail that the entire 13th-century sanctuary was completely renewed in the 18th century.

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  • Varga, Lívia. A szászsebesi evangélikus templom középkori építéstörténete. Művészettörténeti Füzetek 16. Budapest: Akadémiai Kiadó, 1984.

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    Monograph on the parish church of the Transylvanian Saxon town of Szászsebes (Sebeș, or Mühlbach, Romania), the sanctuary of which is one of the most significant structures built in the late 14th century. Available online.

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Stone Carvings and Sculpture

From the first three centuries of Hungarian medieval art, mainly stone carvings survive: architectural sculpture from cathedrals, monasteries, and other buildings. Surviving fragments indicate the richness of such major churches as the collegiate church of Szekesfehervar or the cathedral of Pecs. Material from the Árpádian period is surveyed in the modest (but substantial) exhibition catalogue Tóth and Marosi 1978, which is accompanied by the acts of a conference (Fitz 1979). The most important museum collections of Romanesque stone carvings have been catalogued: see Tóth 2010 for the Hungarian National Gallery and Buzás and Tolnai 2004 for Esztergom. A modern catalogue of the Romanesque stone reliefs from Pecs cathedral is still lacking. The later Romanesque statues from the important Benedictine abbey church at Ják have been published in Szentesi and Újvári 1999. Among early Gothic carvings, the tomb of Queen Gertrude from Pilis abbey is of key importance: Takács 2015 is a monographic study of the monument. From the later Gothic period, the statue find uncovered in Buda castle in 1974 is the most important: Zolnay 1976 and Marosi 1976 are the first reports, on which Zolnay and Marosi 1989 is largely based. Despite several other publications, a detailed catalogue is still lacking. An overview of research and a summary of questions are provided in Papp 2016. Gothic wooden statues (most of them originating from altarpieces) were catalogued in Radocsay 1967. Overviews of more special topics are also available: Varga and Lővei 1990–1992 is dedicated to medieval tombs, while German 2014 is a monograph of Gothic sacrament niches in Transylvania.

  • Buzás, Gergely, and Gergely Tolnai, eds. Az Esztergomi Vármúzeum kőtárának katalógusa. Esztergom, Hungary: Esztergomi Vármúzeum, 2004.

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    Studies and catalogue of medieval stone carvings held by the Castle Museum of Esztergom. The stone carvings include fragments from the medieval cathedral of Esztergom, one of the foremost buildings of medieval Hungary.

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  • Fitz, Jenő, ed. Forschungsfragen der Steinskulptur der Arpadenzeit in Ungarn. Akten der Pannonia Konferenzen 3, held in Szekesfehervar, Hungary, 22 May 1978. Szekesfehervar, Hungary: István Király Múzeum, 1979.

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    Studies presented at a conference accompanying the 1978 exhibition of Árpádian period stone sculpture. Published in Volume 17 of the museum yearbook Alba Regia, and available online.

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  • German, Kinga. Sakramentsnischen und Sakramentshäuser in Siebenbürgen: Die Verehrung des Corpus Christi. Petersberg, Germany: Imhof, 2014.

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    Kinga German’s book provides an analysis and overview of 145 Late Gothic sacrament houses and sacrament niches from Transylvania, along with a catalogue of all these monuments. The analysis deals with the function of these micro-architectural elements in the context of Eucharistic worship in later medieval Transylvania. The book—based on the author’s doctoral dissertation—provides the first detailed survey of these monuments.

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  • Marosi, Ernő. “Vorläufige kunsthistorische Bemerkungen zum Skulpturenfund von 1974 in der Burg von Buda.” Acta Historiae Artium 22 (1976): 333–373.

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    Art historical observations about the Buda Castle statue find were first summarized by Ernő Marosi, who participated during the excavations. He clarified that statues date from the period of King Sigismund and are of central importance for a proper understanding of the International Gothic style.

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  • Papp, Szilárd. “Made for the King: Sigismund of Luxemburg’s Statues in Buda and Their Place in Art History.” In Medieval Buda in Context. Edited by Balázs Nagy, Martin Rady, Katalin Szende, and András Vadas, 387–451. Brill Companions to European History 10. Leiden, The Netherlands, and Boston: Brill, 2016.

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    Papp surveys the research history of the Buda Castle sculpture find and summarizes art historical opinions about the function, grouping, and stylistic connections of the statues. The study also raises several new questions, outlining a new research project dedicated to these artworks.

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  • Radocsay, Dénes. A középkori Magyarország faszobrai. Budapest: Akadémiai Kiadó, 1967.

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    Catalogue of all extant medieval wooden statues known at the time of publication from the territory of the Kingdom of Hungary.

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  • Szentesi, Edit, and Péter Újvári, eds. A jáki apostolszobrok—Die Apostolenfiguren von Ják: Studien. Budapest: Balassi Kiadó, 1999.

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    This book contains studies about the Romanesque church of Ják in western Hungary and the 13th-century apostle statues from its main portal. The whole book is bilingual (Hungarian and German) and is available online.

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  • Takács, Imre. “The Tomb of Queen Gertrude.” Acta Historiae Artium 56 (2015): 5–88.

    DOI: 10.1556/170.2015.55.1.1Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Queen Gertrude, wife of King Andrew II, was murdered in 1213. Her tomb, recovered through excavations at the site of the Cistercian Abbey of Pilis, is one of the most important early Gothic monuments in all of Hungary. This is a monographic study of the monument, along with a catalogue of all its fragments.

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  • Tóth, Melinda, and Ernő Marosi, eds. Árpád-kori kőfaragványok. Budapest and Szekesfehervar, Hungary: István Király Múzeum, 1978.

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    Catalogue of an exhibition held at Szekesfehervar, dedicated to architectural sculpture of the Romanesque period and early Gothic. To this day, this small book is the only overview of stone sculpture in the Árpádian period and is now available online as well.

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  • Tóth, Sándor. Román kori kőfaragványok a Magyar Nemzeti Galéria Régi Magyar Gyűjteményében. Edited by Árpád Mikó. Budapest: Magyar Nemzeti Galéria, 2010.

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    The catalogue of Romanesque stone carvings is the first volume in the series of the Hungarian National Gallery collection catalogues. Published posthumously, the manuscript of Tóth was prepared for publication by Árpád Mikó. The book contains a long introductory study, which gives an overview of Hungarian Romanesque sculpture of the 11th and 12th centuries. This is followed by forty-six catalogue entries and the publication of some relevant documents about the collection.

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  • Varga, Lívia, and Pál Lővei. “Funerary Art in Medieval Hungary.” Acta Historiae Artium 35 (1990–1992): 115–167.

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    Overview of funerary sculpture from the Middle Ages, highlighting the most important monuments, including royal tombs and the series of red marble tombstones from the later Middle Ages. Lővei is working on a complete catalogue of medieval tombstones from Hungary and has published extensively on the subject.

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  • Zolnay, László. “Der gotische Skulpturenfund von 1974 in der Burg von Buda.” Acta Historiae Artium 22 (1976): 173–331.

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    Uncovered in Buda Castle in 1974, this sculpture find is the most important ensemble from the period of King Sigismund. These series of sculptures are among the finest European monuments of the International Gothic style. The excavations were led by Zolnay, and this article is the first detailed overview and preliminary catalogue of the statue find.

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  • Zolnay, László, and Ernő Marosi. A budavári szoborlelet. Budapest: Corvina Kiadó, 1989.

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    The book is an overview of the entire Buda Castle sculpture find, with an art historical study by Ernő Marosi. It is essentially a revised and Hungarian-language version of the studies published earlier as Zolnay 1976 and Marosi 1976. The book includes a numbered list of the statues uncovered and reconstructed.

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Painting and Manuscript Illumination

When it comes to painting in medieval Hungary, the largest body of material survives in the field of wall painting. Significant discoveries in this field are still made to this day. Panel paintings are known largely in the context of altarpieces—although this original context is often lost in the early 21st century, especially with pieces that entered museum collections. Manuscripts from medieval Hungary survive in smaller numbers (due to the later destruction of the central areas of the kingdom), literature about them is presented in the sections Illuminated Manuscripts and Royal Manuscripts.

Wall Painting

Radocsay 1954 provides a full catalogue of medieval murals known at that time from medieval Hungary. Highlights and updates are included in the author’s more popular overview (Radocsay 1977). More focused studies were published in Tóth 1974, which concentrated on the Árpádian period, and in Prokopp 1983, which dealt with the impact of Italian Trecento painting in Central Europe. Wall paintings of certain regions of medieval Hungary received a lot of attention: Prokopp 2005 focuses on Gömör County while Togner and Plekanec 2012 on Szepes County (both in present-day Slovakia). Marosi, et al. 2009 publishes largely new material uncovered in the northeastern region of medieval Hungary. Jenei 2007 provides and overview of wall painting in Transylvania, while Prioteasa 2016 gives an in-depth analysis of medieval wall paintings in orthodox churches in Transylvania. Among monographic works focusing on single monuments, Buran 2002 and Fabritius 2006 are the most important recent studies.

  • Buran, Dušan. Studien zur Wandmalerei um 1400 in der Slowakei: Die Pfarrkirche St. Jakob in Leutschau und die Pfarrkirche St. Franziskus Seraphicus in Poniky. Weimar, Germany: Verlag und Datenbank für Geisteswissenschaften, 2002.

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    Monograph of wall paintings from around 1400 in Upper Hungary: specifically, in the church of Saint James at Lőcse (Levoča) and in the smaller village church of Pónik (Poniky). The author analyzes the iconography and Bohemian connections of these high-quality monuments.

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  • Fabritius, Helga. Die Honigberger Kapelle: Kunst und Selbstdarstellung einer siebenbürgischen Gemeinde im 15. Jahrhundert. Dössel, Germany: Verlag Janos Stekovics, 2006.

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    Monograph of a painted chapel in Transylvania, located next to the Transylvanian Saxon church of Szászhermány (Hărman). The fresco cycle dates from the middle of the 15th century and has a rather unusual iconographic program, which is analyzed in detail by Fabritius.

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  • Jenei, Dana. Gothic Mural Painting in Transylvania. Bucharest: Noi Media Print, 2007.

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    Illustrated, popular overview of the history of medieval wall painting in Transylvania.

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  • Marosi, Ernő, Zsombor Jékely, and József Lángi. Falfestészeti emlékek a középkori Magyarország északkeleti megyéiből. Edited by Tibor Kollár. Budapest: Teleki László Alapítvány, 2009.

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    Profusely illustrated overview of wall painting in the northeastern region of the Kingdom of Hungary, focusing on monuments uncovered and restored during the last few decades (including monuments from Hungary, Slovakia, Ukraine, and Romania).

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  • Prioteasa, Elena Dana. Medieval Wall Paintings in Transylvanian Orthodox Churches: Iconographic Subjects in Historical Context. Bucharest: Editura Academiei Române, 2016.

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    Detailed study of the history and iconography of the frescoes of nine medieval Orthodox churches in Transylvania. Chapters include the analysis of donor portraits and the incorporation of Western iconographic subjects—such as the three holy kings of the Árpádian dynasty—into Orthodox pictorial programs.

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  • Prokopp, Mária. Italian Trecento Influence on Murals in East Central Europe, Particularly Hungary. Budapest: Akadémiai Kiadó, 1983.

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    Study of the influence of Italian trecento painting in Central Europe. The author discusses Austria, Bohemia, and Poland, but most attention is given to the medieval Kingdom of Hungary. Includes a detailed analysis of such key monuments as the palace chapel in Esztergom or the Chapel of Saint Stephen in Zagreb. Accompanied by a catalogue of monuments.

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  • Prokopp, Mária. Medieval Frescoes in the Kingdom of Hungary. Šamorín, Slovakia: Méry Ratio, 2005.

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    Popular overview of medieval frescoes in the northern county of Gömör (now in Slovakia), which is particularly rich in late-14th-century monuments. Originally published in Hungarian as Mária Prokopp, Középkori freskók Gömörben (Šamorín, Slovakia: Méry Ratio, 2002).

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  • Radocsay, Dénes. A középkori Magyarország falképei. Budapest: Akadémiai Kiadós, 1954.

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    Study of medieval wall painting in Hungary. Includes a full catalogue of all monuments known at the time from the territory of the Kingdom of Hungary. Radocsay surveyed all written and pictorial sources (including 19th-century copies of wall paintings) to compile his catalogue, which is indispensable to this day.

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  • Radocsay, Dénes. Wandgemälde in mittelalterlichen Ungarn. Budapest: Corvina, 1977.

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    A popular overview written by Radocsay, with color illustrations and brief catalogue entries on key monuments.

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  • Togner, Milan, and Vladimír Plekanec. Medieval Wall Paintings in Spiš. Bratislava, Slovakia: Arte Libris, 2012.

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    Study of medieval wall paintings in the northern county of Szepes (Spiš), which includes early-14th-century monuments of crucial importance, along with several later fresco cycles.

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  • Tóth, Melinda. Árpád-kori falfestészet. Művészettörténeti Füzetek 9. Budapest: Akadémiai Kiadó, 1974.

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    Detailed study on wall paintings from the Árpádian period (1000–1301), unsurpassed in its attention to some monuments and the wide European context in which these are discussed. A supplement in the form of an article was published by the author twenty years later: Melinda Tóth, “Falfestészet az Árpád-korban: Kutatási helyzetkép,” Ars Hungarica 23 (1995): 137–153. The book is available online.

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Panel Painting, Altarpieces

Radocsay 1955 aims to catalogue all medieval panel paintings known from the territory of medieval Hungary. Glatz 1983 is the most important overview of the medieval holdings of the Slovak National Gallery in Bratislava, while Török 2005 presents medieval altarpieces at the Hungarian National Gallery. Gerát 2014 is an overview of late medieval panel paintings from the territory of Slovakia, focusing on the iconography of hagiographic scenes, while medieval altarpieces from the territory of Transylvania are catalogued fully in Sarkadi Nagy 2012. The altarpiece at Medgyes/Mediaș also received monographic treatment in Folberth 1973. Sarkadi Nagy 2012 provides and overview of medieval paintings and altarpieces preserved at the Christian Museum in Esztergom. Jenei 2016 is an overview of painting in Transylvania, while Labuda and Čelková 2003 focuses on the Upper Hungarian local context of the painter Master MS.

  • Folberth, Otto. Gotik in Siebenbürgen: Der Meister des Mediascher Altars und seine Zeit. Vienna and Munich: Schroll, 1973.

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    Monograph on the late-15th-century main altar in Medgyes/Mediaş and its painter.

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  • Gerát, Ivan. Legendary Scenes: An Essay on Medieval Pictorial Hagiography. Bratislava, Slovakia: Veda, 2014.

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    Published by the Institute of Art History in Bratislava, this beautifully illustrated book provides an overview of biblical and hagiographical scenes of late medieval painting from the northern regions of the Kingdom of Hungary, providing new insight into the art of the period.

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  • Glatz, Anton C. Gotické umenie v zbierkach Slovenskej národnej galérie. Bratislava, Slovakia: Slovenská Narodná Galeriá, 1983.

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    Overview of the medieval collection—paintings, sculptures, and altarpieces—in the Slovak National Gallery, Bratislava.

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  • Jenei, Dana. Gothic in Transylvania: The Painting (c. 1300–1500). Bucharest: Oscar Print, 2016.

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    The book provides an overview of Gothic painting in the region of Transylvania, including mural and panel painting as well. In addition to a chronological overview, the author also treats thematic issues of the paintings as well as information about the artists and their patrons.

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  • Labuda, Jozef, and Mária Čelková. Neskorogotický oltár Majstra MS z roku 1506 v Banskej Štiavnici: Zborník prednášok z medzinárodného sympóziaThe Late-Gothic Altar by Master MS from 1506 in Banská Štiavnica: Collection of Lectures from International Symposium. Banská Štiavnica, Slovakia: Slovenské Banské Múzeum, 2003.

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    Collection of studies of a conference, which deal not only with Master MS and his high altar for the church of Saint Catherine in Selmecbánya/Banská Štiavnica, but also with the wider artistic context of the Master.

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  • Radocsay, Dénes. A középkori Magyarország táblaképei. Budapest: Akadémiai Kiadó, 1955.

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    Study and full catalogue of medieval panel paintings known at the time from the territory of the Kingdom of Hungary. An indispensable starting point for all later research.

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  • Sarkadi Nagy, Emese. Local Workshops—Foreign Connections: Late Medieval Altarpieces from Transylvania. Studia Jagellonica Lipsiensia 9. Ostfildern, Germany: Thorbecke, 2012.

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    Study of medieval painting in Transylvania, focusing on late medieval altarpieces. The book includes a complete catalogue of the surviving Transylvanian altarpieces and is illustrated with all-new photographs of the entire material. It is an indispensable reference work on Late Gothic painting in the Kingdom of Hungary.

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  • Török, Gyöngyi. Gótikus szárnyasoltárok a középkori Magyarországon: Állandó kiállítás a Magyar Nemzeti Galériában. Budapest: Kossuth Kiadó, 2005.

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    Catalogue of medieval altarpieces in the Hungarian National Gallery, Budapest. The book includes entries and illustrations of all the pieces included in the permanent exhibition. A brief guide to the permanent exhibition is available in German and English, as well: Gyöngyi Török, Gothic Panel Paintings and Wood Carvings in Hungary: Permanent Exhibition of the Hungarian National Gallery (Budapest: Hungarian National Gallery, 2005). Also available online.

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Illuminated Manuscripts

The most important repository for medieval manuscripts in Hungary is the National Széchényi Library, the holdings of which are catalogued in Bartoniek 1940. An overview of manuscript illumination in medieval Hungary is given in Berkovits 1969, while Güntherová-Mayerová and Mišianik 1962 focuses on illuminated manuscripts from the territory of Slovakia. Another overview is provided by the exhibition catalogue Vízkelety 1986. The celebrated Bible manuscript of Demeter Nekcsei—now at the Library of Congress in Washington, DC—was first published in Harrsen 1949; later, a partial facsimile also appeared (Dercsényi, et al. 1988). A special field of illumination—namely illuminated charters—is the subject of a series of articles by Dénes Radocsay (Radocsay 1958). The library of the important 15th-century humanist bishop and book collector, János Vitéz, was the subject of an exhibition at the National Széchényi Library (Földesi 2008).

  • Bartoniek, Emma. Codices manu scripti Latini. Vol. 1, Codices Latini Medii Aevi. A Magyar Nemzeti Múzeum Országos Széchényi Könyvtárának címjegyzéke 7. Budapest: Magyar Nemzeti Múzeum, 1940.

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    Catalogue of medieval Latin manuscripts in the National Széchényi Library, including important illuminated manuscripts such as the 14th-century Illuminated Chronicle.

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  • Berkovits, Ilona. Illuminated Manuscripts in Hungary: XI–XVI Centuries. Shannon, Ireland: Irish University Press, 1969.

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    Study of medieval manuscript illumination in Hungary. Originally published in Hungarian (Ilona Berkovits, Magyar kódexek a XI.–XVI. században [Budapest: Magyar Helikon, 1965]); also available in a German edition.

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  • Dercsényi, Dezső, Ferenc Levárdy, and Tünde Wehli. A Nekcsei Biblia legszebb lapjai: The Most Beautiful Pages of a Fourteenth Century Manuscript from Hungary in the Library of Congress. Budapest: Helikon Kiado, 1988.

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    A partial facsimile edition—containing all pages illustrated with miniatures—of the Nekcsei Bible, accompanied by studies on the manuscript. Published in cooperation with the Library of Congress in Washington, DC.

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  • Földesi, Ferenc, ed. A Star in the Raven’s Shadow: János Vitéz and the Beginnings of Humanism in Hungary. Budapest: National Széchényi Library, 2008.

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    Exhibition catalogue dedicated to the library of Bishop Johannes Vitéz, an early humanist in 15th-century Hungary. His library was later incorporated in the Corvinian Library of King Matthias.

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  • Güntherová-Mayerová, Alžbeta, and Ján Mišianik. Illuminierte Handschriften aus der Slowakei. Prague: Artia, 1962.

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    Overview of medieval illuminated manuscripts in the territory of Slovakia (formerly Upper Hungary).

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  • Harrsen, Meta. The Nekcsei-Lipócz Bible: A Fourteenth Century Manuscript from Hungary in the Library of Congress, Ms. Pre-Accession 1. Washington, DC: Library of Congress, 1949.

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    Monograph on a 14th-century manuscript originally commissioned by Demeter Nekcsei, a court official at the time of King Charles Robert. The manuscript is one of the most important surviving documents of the Bolognese connections of this period.

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  • Radocsay, Dénes. “Gotische Wappenbilder auf ungarischen Adelsbriefen.” Acta Historiae Artium 5 (1958): 317–358.

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    Continuing in Acta Historiae Artium 10 (1964): 57–64, this two-part article is the most important overview of illuminated Gothic armorial letters, primarily from the period of King Sigismund. Radocsay was a pioneer of art historical study of illuminated charters, revisiting this topic in several later studies as well.

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  • Vízkelety, András, ed. Kódexek a középkori Magyarországon: Kiállítás az Országos Széchényi Könyvtárban. 1985. november 12.–1986. február 28. Budapest: Országos Széchényi Könyvtár, 1986.

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    Exhibition catalogue of medieval manuscripts in Hungary, with a strong focus on illuminated manuscripts. Contains a series of important studies on book culture, libraries, and manuscript illuminations in medieval Hungary.

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Royal Manuscripts

Only a handful of manuscripts survive from the immediate environment of the Hungarian royal court before the 15th century. The Hungarian Angevin Legendary received the most attention of these manuscripts—published in a partial facsimile in Levárdy 1973, accompanied by a detailed study. The Vatican part of the manuscript was also published in a full facsimile (Morello and Stamm 1990). Since the late 20th century, several new leaves of the manuscript have turned up (see Török 1992), and more recently, the manuscript has also received monographic treatment in the book Szakács 2016. The Illuminated Chronicle of Hungarian history is also available in a facsimile edition (Dercsényi 1969) and is treated in a more recent illustrated book, Veszprémy, et al. 2009. A new critical edition and translation of its text was also published, accompanied by a study volume on the manuscript and its illuminations: Bak and Veszprémy 2018.

  • Bak, János M., and László Veszprémy, eds. Studies on the Illuminated Chronicle. Budapest: Central European University Press, 2018.

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    Study collection on the Illuminated Chronicle, including a codicological description, an art historical essay by Ernő Marosi and a study on heraldry by György Rácz. The book accompanies Volume 9 of the Central European Medieval Texts series, which is a Latin and English edition of the text of the Chronicle: János M. Bak and László Veszprémy, eds., The Illuminated Chronicle (Budapest: Central European University Press, 2018).

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  • Dercsényi, Dezső, ed. Chronicon Pictum: The Hungarian Illuminated Chronicle. Budapest: Corvina, 1969.

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    Facsimile edition and study volume about the Hungarian Illuminated Chronicle. Dating from around 1360, the royal manuscript is the most important medieval illustrated chronicle from Hungary. Kept for centuries in Vienna, the book returned to Hungary and entered the National Széchényi Library in 1932.

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  • Levárdy, Ferenc. Magyar Anjou Legendárium: Hasonmás kiadás. Budapest: Helikon Kiadó, 1973.

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    The Hungarian Angevin Legendary is perhaps the most important illuminated manuscript connected to the Angevin rulers of Hungary. Apart from a core part in the Vatican, pages of the manuscript have found their way into collections from the United States to Russia—most of the pages being preserved at the Morgan Library. This book is a partial facsimile, which publishes each page of the manuscript known at the time—including the folios identified at the Hermitage Museum by Lajos Vayer.

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  • Morello, Giovanni, and Heide Stamm, eds. Heiligenleben: Ungarisches Legendarium; codex Vat. lat. 8541. Zürich, Switzerland: Belsen, 1990.

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    This a full facsimile of the largest part of the Hungarian Angevin Legendary, which is preserved at the Vatican Libraries (Vat. Lat. 8541). The facsimile is accompanied by a very detailed codicological study of the manuscript, which is essential for proper understanding. More recently, the manuscript has also been digitized by the Vatican Libraries, available online.

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  • Szakács, Béla Zsolt. The Visual World of the Hungarian Angevin Legendary. Budapest: Central European University Press, 2016.

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    The monograph provides a detailed analysis of the image cycles contained in the dispersed manuscript: it provides a reconstruction of the original manuscript, analyzes the different narrative of saints and their arrangement, and explains the significance of certain narratives. The book analyzes the system of selecting and arranging the legend within the book and deals with the structure of the individual narrative cycles. Another part focuses on image types recurring in the lives of several saints. The book was originally published in 2006 in Hungarian.

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  • Török, Gyöngyi. “Neue Folii aus dem Ungarischen Anjou-Legendarium.” Zeitschrift für Kunstgeschichte 55 (1992): 565–577.

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    The article publishes new leaves of the manuscript that have emerged since the reconstruction published by Levárdy, including a page with the Life of Saint Francis (which later entered the Metropolitan Museum) and another leaf from the Bancroft Library in Berkeley. A few years later, she published another leaf with scenes of Saint Francis in the collection of the Louvre: Gyöngyi Török, “Problems of the Hungarian Angevin Legendary: A New Folio in the Louvre,” Arte Cristiana 89 (2001): 417–426.

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  • Veszprémy, László, Tünde Wehli, and József Hapák. The Book of the Illuminated Chronicle. Budapest: Kossuth Kiadó, 2009.

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    A new illustrated overview of the Illuminated Chronicle, with a historical (László Veszprémy) and an art historical (Tünde Wehli) study, for the general audience.

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Decorative Arts

The Kingdom of Hungary had rich mines of gold and silver, so goldsmith art flourished in the kingdom. The most important ensemble of goldsmith works is the Hungarian Coronation Regalia, as well as related objects used in royal ceremonies. The bibliography surveys works about the Holy Crown of Hungary and the Coronation Regalia in one section, while a separate section is dedicated to Goldsmith Works in general. A separate section lists publications on other fields of decorative arts, including bronze objects, ceramics, liturgical textiles, and furniture.

The Holy Crown of Hungary and the Coronation Regalia

The Hungarian Coronation Regalia—especially the Holy Crown of Hungary—are among the most well-known and most discussed objects from medieval Hungary. The first scholarly work on the ensemble dates from 1792, which was followed by a long series of studies and monographs. The culmination of this research is the monograph Deér 1966. A new phase of research started after the coronation ensemble returned to Hungary from the United States in 1978. Kovács and Lovag 1980 provides the first overview, while Fülep, et al. 1983 and Bardoly 2005 present the results of systematic investigations of various elements of the ensemble. Tóth and Szelényi 1999 provides a summary of the latest research, which has now been made available fully in the new monograph Tóth 2018.

  • Bardoly, István, ed. The Coronation Mantle of the Hungarian Kings. Insignia regni Hungariae 2. Budapest: Hungarian National Museum, 2005.

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    A continuation of detailed studies about the coronation regalia—a study volume dedicated to the Hungarian Coronation Mantle, originally made as a chasuble and donated to the Collegiate Church of Szekesfehervar by King Saint Stephen and his wife Gisela in 1031. The volume presents the results of the detailed examination and conservation of the Coronation Mantle, carried out at the Museum of Applied Arts.

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  • Deér, Joseph. Die Heilige Krone Ungarns. Graz, Austria: Böhlau, 1966.

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    This very detailed monograph is regarded as one of the milestones of the study of the crown. Deér proves once and for all that the crown does not originate from the time of Saint Stephen, while also proposing a new theory for its creation, dating the current arrangement to 1270. A Hungarian translation of the book was published in 2005: József Deér, A magyarok szent koronája (Gödöllő, Hungary: Attraktor, 2005).

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  • Fülep, Ferenc, Éva Kovács, and Zsuzsa Lovag, eds. Studien zur Machtsymbolik des mittelalterlichen Ungarn. Insignia regni Hungariae 1. Budapest: Magyar Nemzeti Múzeum, 1983.

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    First volume of a series about the Hungarian coronation regalia, which published the results of examinations after the ensemble was returned to Hungary in 1978.

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  • Kovács, Éva, and Zsuzsa Lovag. The Hungarian Crown and Other Regalia. Budapest: Corvina, 1980.

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    First, new illustrated overview of the coronation regalia after their return to Hungary from the United States.

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  • Tóth, Endre. A magyar szent korona és a koronázási jelvények. Budapest: Országgyűlés Hivatala, 2018.

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    This new monograph presents the results of several decades of research carried out by Endre Tóth in connection with the Hungarian coronation regalia, and especially the Holy Crown of Hungary. Since 2000, the regalia are on permanent display in the Hungarian Parliament building, thus the book was also published by the Parliament Office.

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  • Tóth, Endre, and Károly Szelényi. The Holy Crown of Hungary: Kings and Coronations. Budapest: Kossuth, 1999.

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    A short overview of the coronation regalia, with a series of new photographs by Szelényi. Tóth proposes here the theory that the two parts of the crown were put together in the late 12th century, at the time of King Béla III. This beautiful illustrated book is also available in German and Hungarian editions.

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Goldsmith Works

Medieval Hungary was particularly famous for its goldsmith art, which was based on the rich gold and silver mines found in the kingdom. The Hungarian gold coins were among the most stable currencies of medieval Europe—Gyöngyössy 2007 surveys and catalogues the different coins from the Middle Ages. The only unbroken series of objects associated with the long line of Hungarian kings is that of their seals—the Árpádian-period seals are catalogued in Takács 2012. The afterlife and historiography of medieval Hungarian goldsmith works is the subject of Wetter 2011. Imported works from Limoges and pieces of local production from the Árpádian period are surveyed in the popular overviews Kovács 1968 and Kovács 1974. The author of these overviews, Éva Kovács, was also one of the leading authorities on French late medieval goldsmith art and published a small monograph on the so-called Matthias-Calvary, one of the chief works of this art form (Kovács 1983). Roth 1922 and Toranová 1982 survey goldsmith works from Transylvania and Upper Hungary, respectively, while Kolba 2004 provides a catalogue of liturgical goldsmith works in the collection of the Hungarian National Museum. (See also the section on the Holy Crown of Hungary and the Coronation Regalia.)

  • Beke, László. Sodronyzománcos ötvösművek. Budapest: Magyar Tudományos Akadémia Művészettörténeti Kutató Csoport, 1980.

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    Study and complete catalogue of Central European medieval goldsmith objects decorated with filigree enamel, a sophisticated technique that became very popular in Hungary during the reign of King Sigismund.

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  • Gyöngyössy, Márton. Münzen und Medaillen des ungarischen Mittelalters, 1000–1526. Vienna: Kunsthistorisches Museum, 2007.

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    Study and catalogue of coins from the medieval Kingdom of Hungary, preserved in the collection of the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna.

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  • Kolba, Judit H. Liturgische Goldschmiedearbeiten im Ungarischen Nationalmuseum: 14.–17. Jahrhundert. Catalogi Musei Nationalis Hungarici: Series Medievalis et Moderna 1. Budapest: Magyar Nemzeti Múzeum, 2004.

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    Catalogue of liturgical goldsmith works in the Hungarian National Museum. Available online.

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  • Kovács, Éva. Limoges champlevé enamels in Hungary. Budapest: Corvina, 1968.

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    Catalogue of medieval enamel works, imported into Hungary from Limoges. Such objects played a major role when churches had to be refurnished after the destruction of the Mongol invasion.

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  • Kovács, Éva. Romanesque goldsmiths’ art in Hungary. Budapest: Corvina, 1974.

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    Overview of Hungarian goldsmith works from the Árpádian period, simultaneously published in German, French, and Hungarian as well.

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  • Kovács, Éva. The Calvary of King Matthias Corvinus in the Treasury of Esztergom Cathedral. Budapest: Corvina, 1983.

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    Study of the seminal object known as the Calvary of King Matthias, preserved in Esztergom. The upper part of the object is a Calvary scene made in Paris in 1402, while the lower part was added during the reign of King Matthias. Éva Kovács was the foremost expert of French goldsmith works around 1400. Her research was published in a significant monograph after her death: Éva Kovács, L’Âge d’or de l’orfèvrerie parisienne au temps des princes de Valois (Dijon, France: Faton, 2004).

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  • Roth, Viktor. Kunstdenkmäler aus den Sächsischen Kirchen Siebenbürgens. 2 vols. Sibiu, Romania: Drotleff, 1922.

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    Catalogue of goldsmith works surviving in the churches of the Transylvanian Saxons. Available online.

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  • Takács, Imre. Az Árpád-házi királyok pecsétjei—Royal Seals of the Árpád Dynasty. Corpus Sigillorum Hungariae Mediaevalis 1. Budapest: Magyar Országos Levéltár, 2012.

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    The book is the first part of a new series, titled Corpus Sigillorum Hungariae Mediaevalis. The series aims to catalogue Hungarian medieval seals—including royal seals and aristocratic seals as well as seals of towns, religious institutions, and other organizations. The first volume is dedicated to seals issued by Hungarian kings of the Árpád dynasty (1000–1301) and contains forty-eight catalogue entries as well as a detailed art historical study. Full English translation is provided.

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  • Toranová, Eva. Goldschmiedekunst in der Slowakei. Hanau, Germany: Dausien, 1982.

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    Overview of goldsmith works from the territory of modern Slovakia. Translated from the Slovakian edition.

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  • Wetter, Evelin. Objekt, Überlieferung und Narrativ: Spätmittelalterliche Goldschmiedekunst im historischen Königreich Ungarn. Studia Jagellonica Lipsiensia 8. Ostfildern, Germany: Thorbecke, 2011.

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    This book is not dedicated to details of technical questions, but rather focuses on the use and afterlife of medieval objects. Significant chapters are dedicated to the survival and later use of liturgical objects and reliquaries, often in circumstances different from the time of their creation. Another focus is the historiography and later interpretation of goldsmith objects. Key works such as the reliquary bust of Saint Ladislas as well as lesser-known objects are discussed, giving an overall view of the field.

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Other Fields of Decorative Art

The study of bronze objects has been a rather important field for research, as shown in Lovag 1999, which is a catalogue of the medieval holdings of the Hungarian National Museum, and by the studies and catalogues of medieval bells and baptismal fonts (Patay 1989, Benkő 2002). Medieval liturgical vestments have been studied more recently by Evelin Wetter. The most important result of her work is the catalogue and study volume published on the vestments in the Black Church of Brassó (Brasov): Wetter 2015. In the field of ceramics, a lot of research is available on late medieval stove tiles: for a monographic overview, see Tamási 1995. Individual pieces of medieval furniture have also been studied—the most interesting recent contribution is the study of late medieval and early modern storage crates found in the Transylvanian church of Henndorf (Harms, et al. 2012).

  • Benkő, Elek. Erdély középkori harangjai és bronz keresztelőmedencéi. Budapest: Teleki László Alapítvány, 2002.

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    Study and detailed catalogue of medieval bells and bronze baptismal fonts in Transylvania. With summaries in English and German. Available online.

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  • Harms, Mirja, Franziska Franke, and Peter Klein, eds. Der Henndorfer Truhenfund: Dokumentation und Datierung von 127 gefassten siebenbürgischen Truhen des 15. bis 18. Jahrhunderts. Munich: Siegl, 2012.

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    Study of late medieval and early modern painted storage chests discovered in the attic of the church of Henndorf. The material was studied and catalogued in cooperation by German, Romanian, and Hungarian restorers and researchers.

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  • Lovag, Zsuzsa. Mittelalterliche Bronzegegenstände des Ungarischen Nationalmuseums. Catalogi Musei Nationalis Hungarici: Series archaeologica 3. Budapest: Magyar Nemzeti Múzeum, 1999.

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    Catalogue of medieval bronze objects in the Hungarian National Museum. Available online.

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  • Patay, Pál. Corpus campanarum antiquarum Hungariae: Magyarország régi harangjai és harangöntői 1711 előtt. Budapest: Magyar Nemzeti Múzeum, 1989.

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    Overview of the history of bell makers and bell making in medieval Hungary.

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  • Tamási, Judit. Verwandte Typen im Schweizerischen und Ungarischen Kachelfundmaterial in der Zweiten Hälfte des 15. Jahrhunderts. Budapest: Ungarisches Landesdenkmalamt, 1995.

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    Study of medieval stove tiles, focusing on production of the Buda workshops of the second half of the 15th century. Available online.

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  • Wetter, Evelin, ed. Liturgische Gewänder in der Schwarzen Kirche zu Kronstadt in Siebenbürgen. Riggisberg, Switzerland: Abbeg-Stiftung, 2015.

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    Exhaustive study and catalogue of the liturgical vestments of the Black Church of Brassó (Brașov/Kronstadt, Romania) in Transylvania. Regarded as the most important ecclesiastical collection among Transylvanian Saxon churches, the present book is the first systematic catalogue of the medieval and Renaissance textiles preserved there. Several objects date back to the 15th and the early 16th century, and these remained in use even after the community and its church turned Lutheran in 1543.

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Artists

Documents tell about several artists in royal service during the Middle Ages, such as Master Hertul and his son, Nicholas, both illuminators at the time of Kings Charles Robert and Louis the Great. However, it is quite impossible to identify any of the surviving works with the artists known from written sources. On the other hand, several artists provided information about themselves on the works they had created. The brothers Martin and George of Kolozsvár (Cluj-Napoca), sons of Nicholas the painter, created bronze statues for the cathedral area in Nagyvárad (Oradea) in the 1370s to 1390s. To date, Balogh 1934 is the only monograph dedicated to them; Marosi 1999 provides a more up-to-date study of their only surviving work. The painter Johannes Aquila from Radkersburg signed four of his works in the period between 1378 and c. 1405, three of which are in the territory of medieval Hungary (Velemér, Mártonhely/Martjanci, Bántornya/Turnišče). Marosi 1989 as well as the monographic works Höfler and Balažic 1992 and Kerny and Móser 2010 deal with this painter and his workshop. The painter Thomas of Coloswar painted his name on the altarpiece made for the Benedictine Abbey of Garamszentbenedek in 1427—his altarpiece is discussed in Mucsi 1980 and Jékely 2017. In the 15th century, we know several artists of Hungarian origin who made successful careers abroad, such as Hans Siebenbürger, chief painter of the Viennese Schottenaltar, or Jakob Kaschauer, painter and sculptor also active in Vienna. Several makers of monumental altarpieces in Upper Hungary are well documented from the late 15th century, such as Master Paul of Lőcse (Levoča) or the Master of Okolicsnó (Okoličné)—see Gyalókay 2011 and Buran 2017. However, the identity of the most celebrated painter from around 1500, Master MS, is still shrouded in mystery—its oeuvre is presented in Mikó and Poszler 1997.

  • Balogh, Jolán. Márton és György kolozsvári szobrászok. Cluj-Napoca, Romania: Minerva, 1934.

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    To this date the only monographic treatment of the sculptors Martin and Georg of Kolozsvár. Several more recent studies are available on the brothers, whose only surviving work is the bronze statue of Saint George killing the dragon, now in Prague (1373).

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  • Buran, Dušan, ed. Majster z Okoličného a gotické umenie Spiša okolo roku 1500. Bratislava, Slovakia: Slovenská Národná Galéria, 2017.

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    Catalogue of an exhibition dedicated to an unknown painter from 1500 who had painted the main altar of the Franciscan church at Okolicsnó (Okoličné, Slovakia), along with some other works in Upper Hungary.

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  • Gyalókay, Zoltán. Paweł z Lewoczy: Rzeźbiarz ze Spisza, między Krakowem a Norymbergą. Kraków: Dodo, 2011.

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    Monograph on the artist Paul of Lőcse, who was responsible for one of the largest late medieval retables in Europe, the main altar of the church of Saint James at Lőcse (Levoča, Slovakia).

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  • Höfler, Janez, and Janez Balažic. Johannes Aquila. Murska Sobota, Slovenia: Pomurska Založba, 1992.

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    Monograph on Johannes Aquila, published in a Slovenian and German edition, which includes a detailed analysis of all the five surviving ensembles associated with the workshop of the painter.

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  • Jékely, Zsombor. “Painting at the Court of Emperor Sigismund: The Nuremberg Connections of the Painter Thomas de Coloswar.” Acta Historiae Artium 58 (2017): 59–83.

    DOI: 10.1556/170.2017.58.1.3Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Study on the painter Thomas of Coloswar, reconstructing the origins of his style in early-15th-century Nuremberg.

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  • Kerny, Terézia, and Zoltán Móser. Képet öltött az Ige—Johannes Aquila freskói. Budapest: Kairosz, 2010.

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    Well-illustrated monographic study on the painter Johannes Aquila, in Hungarian.

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  • Marosi, Ernő. “Probleme der Prager St.-Georg-Statue aus dem Jahre 1373.” Umění 47 (1999): 389–399.

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    Article about the only surviving statue of the brothers Martin and Georg of Kolozsvár, the large-scale bronze showing Saint George killing the dragon, preserved in the royal castle of Prague.

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  • Marosi, Ernő, ed. Johannes Aquila und die Wandmalerei des 14. Jahrhunderts, Beiträge der Tagung vom 15.–20. Oktober 1984 in Velem. Budapest: Magyar Tudományos Akadémia Művészettörténeti Intézet, 1989.

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    Collection of studies about the late-14th-century painter, Johannes Aquila, who was active along the western border of Hungary. The book is the result of cooperation of Hungarian and Slovenian researchers. Johannes Aquila is most famous for not only signing his work but also for painting his self-portrait. The self-portrait can be seen next to his signature, in a praying position (similarly to depictions of patrons), both at Velemér (1378) and at Mártonhely (1392). Available online.

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  • Mikó, Árpád, and Györgyi Poszler, eds. “Magnificat anima mea Dominum”—MS mester Vizitáció-képe és egykori selmecbányai főoltára—The Visitation by Master MS and his former high altar at Selmecbánya. Budapest: Hungarian National Gallery, 1997.

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    Exhibition devoted to the most important Late Gothic painter in Hungary. Seven panels from the former high altar of Selmecbánya/Banská Štiavnica are known by the master. Available online.

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  • Mucsi, András. The Calvary Altar-piece of Thomas de Coloswar in the Esztergom Christian Museum. Budapest: Corvina, 1980.

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    Small monograph on the Calvary altarpiece of Thomas of Coloswar, painted in 1427. Also available in a German and a Hungarian edition.

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Iconography

Iconography of medieval art in Hungary conforms to Western traditions—a systematic overview of themes, illustrated by examples from the territory of Slovakia, is provided in Gerát 2001. Special topics can only be found in the sphere of political and historical representations (see Bogyay 1950, Lőrincz 2014), especially in the later Middle Ages (Lucherini 2015, Mroziewicz 2015). King Sigismund was quite frequently depicted—not just in Hungary, but also all over the Holy Roman Empire (Kéry 1972 surveys most of these images). Other special iconographic topics are the depictions of the saints of the Árpádian dynasty (Magyar 2012), in particular Saint Ladislas (Marosi 1987–1988). The narrative cycle of the battle of Saint Ladislas against the pagan Cumans is one of the most original themes of Hungarian medieval art and is the subject of numerous publications (Jékely 2015 is one of the most recent). A more particular topic—the iconography of stove tiles—is treated in Gruia 2013.

  • Bogyay, Thomas von. “L’iconographie de la Porta speciosa d’Esztergom et ses sources d’inspiration.” Revue des Études Byzantines 8 (1950): 85–129.

    DOI: 10.3406/rebyz.1950.1024Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Study of the iconography of the former main portal of Esztergom cathedral, which is only known from an 18th-century painting and from some fragments. The portal is an important example illustrating the balance of secular and ecclesiastical power.

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  • Gerát, Ivan. Stredoveké obrazové témy na Slovensku: Osoby a príbehy. Bratislava, Slovakia: Veda, 2001.

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    An overview of themes and topics of medieval art, introducing the most important thematic groups. The book takes all the examples from the territory of modern Slovakia, but its observations and findings are valid for the entire territory of the medieval Kingdom of Hungary.

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  • Gruia, Ana-Maria. Religious Representations on Stove Tiles from the Medieval Kingdom of Hungary. Cluj-Napoca, Romania: Editura Mega, 2013.

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    This book, which is based on the author’s doctoral dissertation, provides an iconographical analysis of late medieval stove tiles from the Kingdom of Hungary. It is the first detailed analysis of the subject, arranged according to themes, and accompanied by a catalogue of several hundreds of monuments.

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  • Jékely, Zsombor. “Narrative Structure of the Painted Cycle of a Hungarian Holy Ruler: The Legend of Saint Ladislas.” Hortus Artium Medievalium 21 (2015): 62–74.

    DOI: 10.1484/J.HAM.5.107379Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Analysis of the pictorial cycle depicting the battle of Saint Ladislas against the Cuman army, and of his rescue of an abducted Hungarian maiden. The paper analyzes the narrative structure of the painted cycles, focusing on the murals we can identify as the earliest surviving examples, from the first third of the 14th century.

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  • Kéry, Bertalan. Kaiser Sigismund: Ikonographie. Vienna and Munich: Schroll, 1972.

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    A study of the iconography of King and Emperor Sigismund, including a discussion of his disguised portraits. The monograph is a starting point for all later studies on the numerous depictions of the ruler.

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  • Lőrincz, Viktor. “La symbolique juridique de la ‘Porta speciosa’ de la cathédrale archiepiscopale d’Esztergom en Hongrie au XIIe siècle.” Etudes d’histoire et des idées politiques 19 (2014): 241–260.

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    New analysis of the iconography and political symbolism of the former main portal of the Cathedral of Esztergom.

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  • Lucherini, Vinni. “Il Chronicon pictum ungherese (1358): Racconto e immagini al servizio della costruzione dell’identità nazionale.” Rivista di Storia della Miniatura 19 (2015): 58–72.

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    Analysis of the iconography of the miniatures of the Illuminated Chronicle, the most important medieval illustrated record of Hungarian history. (See also the section on Royal Manuscripts.)

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  • Magyar, Zoltán. Hungarian Royal Saints: The Saints of the Arpadian Dynasty. Herne, Germany: Schäfer, 2012.

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    Overview of the cult and representation of the royal saints of the Árpádian dynasty: Saint Stephen and his son, and Saint Emeric as well as Saint Ladislas and Saint Elisabeth of Hungary.

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  • Marosi, Ernő. “Der Heilige Ladislaus als Ungarischer Nationalheiliger: Bemerkungen zu seiner Ikonographie im 14–15. Jh.” Acta Historiae Artium 33 (1987–1988): 211–256.

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    Detailed study about the iconography of King Saint Ladislas, including an overview of the various types of his depictions and the political function of these images.

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  • Mroziewicz, Karolina Anna. Imprinting Identities: Illustrated Latin-Language Histories of St. Stephen’s Kingdom (1488–1700). Frankfurt: Peter Lang, 2015.

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    Monograph on illustrated printed histories of Hungary, focusing on the representation of Hungarian royal saints and other rulers.

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