„Matthias was Elected as a King by the whole Country". The Age and the Court of King Matthias in the Art History
The „popular song" of the Pest kids (actually a humanistic forgery of 1559) stressed already two important values represented by this election: the unity of the nation and the role played in it by common people. The 19th century as an epoch of the birth of national consciousness, added a third, that of the institualisation of national culture by founding university, academy, museum and libraries. So, Matthias' age became a model for national „rebirth" even before this term was introduced into recently conceived cultural history in the second half of the 19th century – mainly due to the concept of Jacob Burckhardt. The ideal reconstruction of the Age of Matthias was favorized in the sense of historicism as reflecting the flourishing of Hungarian urban culture in the time following the Austro-Hungarian compromise: in Burckhardt's terms, „the State as a work of art", „the rise of individualism" and the „fame". So, the integration of both fragments and of related artsitic collections in a triumphal synthese became the task of art historical research, of the preservation and restoration of historical monuments and also of the museology, and they kept on these principles during a century, up to the 1970ies. The first issue different of this cult of a uniformized Renaissance conception was the evidence of a synchretistic coexistence of Late Gothic and Renaissance culture in the time of the King. It can be only hoped, that scholarly conferences as well as exhibitions of the 450th anniversary of Matthias' election will contribute to the spread and to the popularisation of a pluralistic conception of his age both in history and in art history.
Changing Geographical Thinking in the Court of King Matthias
An important change of Western geographical thinking was in fact not initiated by the discovery of America. As the researches of the past decades have pointed out, this shift was not only a cause, but also an effect of the new discoveries, and of the systematization of the accumulated geographical knowledge in the 15th century. The fresh geographical knowledge of the period also turns up in the second part of the century in Hungary. The libraries of King Matthias Corvinus and of his humanist scholars acquire geographical treatises, the Italian historians of the King (Ransanus, Bonfini) prepare the first partial descriptions of countries, and cartographer Francesco Rosselli designs a map of Hungary. Some scattered remarks attest that the King's thinking was also influenced by the new ideas. Matthias Corvinus and the scholars of his court disposed of an up-to-date geographical erudition and mentality, and began to apply their knowledge in practice.
King Matthias and the Transylvanian Rebellion
As a part of the reforms in 1467 King Matthias and his advisors decided to abolish the old tax named "chamber's profit" (lucrum camerae) and impose a new one called "the tax of the royal treasury". This was, however, practically the same duty to be paid to the king as the previous one. The thirtieth (tricesima), the toll on foreign trade was also renamed and from then on it was called the "crown tariff". Although these steps seem to be incomprehensible, they were not without point, since in this way all tax privileges related to the chamber's profit lost their validity.
These administrative acts resulted in indignation and outrage, especially in Transylvania. There, the iobagiones did not pay the chamber's profit by reason of their military obligations and expenses, but they were not exempt from paying the tax of the royal treasury. Therefore, the most serious revolt against the new economic policy broke out in Transylvania, nonetheless there are numerous charters referring of armed conflicts in Bácska, in Temes County, in Slovenia and in the north-eastern part of Upper-Hungary, too. The rebellion was finally defeated, but because of the great resentment Matthias was forced to withdraw some of his reform acts.
The Reborn Image of God
The paper analyses the transition between medieval metaphysics and the Neoplatonic concept of Christianity in the Renaissance from an iconological point of view. As far as the Holy Trinity is concerned, the representation of God's image caused the major theological difficulty. Trinity (1425-27), a fresco by Masaccio in Santa Maria Novella is considered as a new approach for the idea. The following chapter deals with the relationship between Dante and Michelangelo concerning the representation of imago Dei: in this important matter there is a striking contrast: although the Artist was a great admirer and illustrator of the Poet, he shows a fundamentally different God. The difference in the 15th century derives from the ideas of docta religio et pia philosophia of Ficino and Pico della Mirandola which crea-ted a new theological background: this God is present in Nature (not only through the hierarchy) and is in movement in five parts in the ceiling frescoes of the Sixtine's Chapel.
The Mysterious SOLVIROGRAM
The poems of the greatest renaissance poet writing in Hungarian, Bálint Balassi (1554-1594) were first printed after decades of his death in the beginning of the 1630s, while his love poems remained in the manuscript form. The editor of the first print, who made it ready for press, was a certain SOLVIROGRAM Pannonius. Literary history has been trying to solve the riddle and discover the mysterious person behind the penname for more than a hundred years—with limited success.
The aim of the present paper is to identify the editor(s) and the maecenas of Balassi's first printed volume of poems, primarily on the basis of the correspondence between Gáspár Madách and András Ráday. This paper renders it likely that the maecenas has been Imre Balassa, while the editor(s) might have been Gáspár Madách and/or András Ráday. Nevertheless, the author does not reckon that Solvirogram Pannonius can be identified with any one of them without peradventure.
Trellis, Pavilion, Fish Pond – Transylvanian Renassaince Garden History
Certain stylistic periods in garden history appearing in Hungary cannot be comprehended without the mementos of Transylvanian garden design. One such period is the late Renaissance, when due to the cultural break in Hungarian territories under Turkish reign, Transylvania along with Western Hungary had become the last bastions of continuity of our material and immaterial heritage.
With regards to specific Transylvanian examples of this period, the 17th century palatial hanging garden of Gyulafehérvár (Alba Iulia) is of great garden historic interest. In addition, the gardens of Mihály Apafi and his wife Anna Bornemisza in Ebesfalva, Küküllővár, Székelyhíd, Radnót and Fogaras are also prominent.
In case of manor-houses, according to their more modest economic means, the significance of utility gardens overrule that of decor gardens, which are only partly or not at all differentiated. An exception is the manor-house garden of Siménfalva (in Udvarhelyszék), which was considered unique within Transylvania and Hungary with regards to its decorative patterns.
The Transylvanian examples cited in the works of János Stirling, Raymund Rapaics, Kinga S. Tüdős and others also confirm the historic significance of late Renaissance Transylvanian gardens.
Specific components of Transylvanian garden design of this period are the garden divided into four parcels, the shingle-covered summer-pavilion of (generally) octagonal-shaped plan, and the fish pond. The pond is not part of the parcels, rather it is a constituent of the utility garden, – which also has a decorative function – located in close proximity to the parceled garden with either a physical or a visual connection.
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