Showing posts with label conference. Show all posts
Showing posts with label conference. Show all posts

Monday, May 18, 2015

Conference on Medieval Esztergom

18th century painting of the Porta Speciosa
of Esztergom cathedral 

There will be a conference on May 28th 2015, at Esztergom, dedicated to medieval history and art of the city, which was Hungary's first capital. Titled "Metropolis Hungariae," the conference will feature a number of internationally known Hungarian scholars, who will speak about recent archaeological research in the town and new art historical work. The focus of the conference will be the Árpád period, perhaps the most important period in the town's history. Art historical lectures will primarily discuss the architecture and sculpture of the medieval cathedral of the town.

The conference presents a good opportunity for visiting Esztergom, where the permanent exhibition in the former royal palace has been reinstalled and the restoration of the palace chapel has been fully completed (I already reported on this last year).

The full program can be seen below.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Research about the Jagiellonians

Bernhard Strigel: Saint Ladislas of Hungary interceding
with the Virgin  for Vladislas II, King of Hungary. 

As the online journal Obeliscus reports, an international conference takes place in Debrecen these days (April 10-11, 2015), dedicated to the Jagiellonians. Titled The Jagiellonians in Europe: Dynastic Diplomacy and Foreign Relations, this international conference and roundtable is dedicated mainly to historical questions. The full program is available on the website of Debrecen University.  The material of the conference will be published soon.

Then coming up next week, the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna will host a conference to commemorate the First Congress of Vienna of 1515. This meeting of the Habsburg emperor, Maximilian I, and the Jagiellonian brothers, Vladislas II, King of Hungary and King of Bohemia, and Sigismund I, King of Poland, was a turning point in the history of central Europe, due to the Habsburg-Jagiellonian mutual succession treaty made there. The meeting and the treaty ultimately led to almost 400 years of Habsburg rule in Hungary, after the death of King Louis II at the battle of Mohács in 1526. The program of the international conference can be consulted on the website of the KHM. Update: the Museum also launched an online database commemorating the Congress (which in its current state does not seem to be all that usefeul). You can find it here.

A few years after the huge exhibition held at three venues and dedicated to the art and culture of the Jagiellonians, these events indicate continued interest in the Jagellonian dynasty. This is also shown by a major new research project dedicated to the dynasty, which commenced last year. Based at the History Faculty, University of Oxford, the five-year project is supported by the European Union. On the Oxford Jagiellonians research project, see the information provided by Medieval Histories, or visit the website of the project.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Conference on Early Medieval Illustrated Texts in Budapest

Apollonius Pictus manuscript: National Széchényi Library

There will be an international conference dedicated to early modern illustrated texts next week at the National Széchényi Library in Budapest. The symposium, organized jointly by the Library and Pázmány Péter Catholic University, is titled: Facing and Forming the Tradition. Illustrated Texts on the Way from Late Antiquity until the Romanesque Times.

The conference represents a new step in the research initiated by the publication of a study-volume and facsimile of the Apollonius Pictus manuscript held at the Széchényi Library. A number of prestigious international scholars, who have already dealt with the manuscript, will be present at the conference. The event is organized by Anna Boreczky and Béla Zsolt Szakács, and will be held on 18th – 20th March, 2014. The programme of the conference can be seen and downloaded from below (thanks for Gábor Endrődi for uploading it):

You can also read the conference abstracts on Scribd. I am really looking forward to this event! More information is available on the website of the library.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Upcoming medieval conferences

Spring is often the season of conferences - and there are a number of them coming up in March, some dealing with aspects of medieval art in Hungary. So below, I am listing these, hoping to generate some additional interest in these forums.

Berlin, SMPK, Kupferstichkabinett

Pagans and Christians in the Late Roman Empire: New Evidence, New Approaches (4th-6th centuries) - International Conference, Budapest - Pécs, March 7-10, 2013

The first conference to come up also deals with the earliest subject: the Early Christian period. Although only a few lectures deal with art historical topics, one of the locations of the conference the town of Pécs (which boasts an Early Christian necropolis) merits its inclusion here. Devoted to examining pagan-Christian interactions across the Roman Empire, the conference seeks to consider new evidence and new approaches to the material and textual remains that bear on the value of these categories between the fourth and the sixth centuries. The conference is organized by the Department of Medieval Studies at Central European University, together with the University of Pécs and the Hungarian Patristic Society. Information on the conference is available on the CEU website.

Medieval Religious Architecture in Transylvania - 8th International Conference, Satu Mare, March 8-10, 2013

The conference series organized by the County Museum of Satu Mare and Jósa András Museum of Nyíregyháza has been one of the most important forums for questions of medieval architecture in Transylvania for many years. The conference presents a regular occassion for Hungarian and Romanian researchers to meet and discuss issues of their common heritage. Even more important is the fact the proceedings of these conferences are being published regularly: so far five volumes have been printed. The studies are published in various languages - often in English, and always with English-language summaries.
The program of the 8th conference can be seen here.

Grants of Arms and Patents of Nobility as Expressions of a European Cultural Transfer? International Conference, Opava (Troppau), March 13-15, 2013

This international interdisciplinary colloquium organised by the universities of Opava and Brno together with the Institute for Medieval Research of the Austrian Academy of Sciences aims to add the neglected point of view of diplomatics: which conclusions about the constitution of the “aristocracy”, its self-fashioning and its role within the politics of the European monarchs are offered by patents of nobility or acts of promotion to higher ranks of nobility? For the first time the concise cooperation of historian and art historians shall push the interdisciplinary approach towards grants of arms which, due to their illuminated coats of arms, may be considered as an important diplomatic innovation of the 14th and 15th centuries. A central question is how far – considering the profound differences between the European aristocratic elites – the progressive output of patents of nobility and grants of arms issued by European monarchs may be interpreted as a result of a European cultural transfer. The program of the conference is available here - you may notice that this is something I have to prepare for (as one of the presenters).

Other conferences worldwide

There are of course other events planned worldwide: The Index of Christian Art at Princeton is organizing a conference on Maps and Diagrams in Medieval Art (March 15-16, 2013). Also, on April 18-20, The International Colloquium “Medieval Europe in motion” will be held in Lisbon. You can find the conference website here and there is also a Facebook page for the event. The website also provides information on related research projects. And, to call attention to something later in the year: the second Forum Medieval Art (Forum Kunst des Mittelalters) is scheduled for September 2013 in Freiburg im Breisgau.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Italy and Hungary in the Renaissance (Book review)

Back in 2007, a major conference was organized at Villa I Tatti (The Harvard University Center for Italian Renaissance Studies in Florence), dedicated to Humanism and early Renaissance art in the Kingdom of Hungary. The conference aimed to give an overview of the field, focusing naturally on connections between Italy and Hungary. In August 2011, the long-awaited volume of the these studies has been published by Villa I Tatti, edited by Péter Farbaky and Louis A. Waldman. The conference, the research trip to Hungary which followed it, and the volume together represent the crowning achievement of the role of I Tatti as "a bridge between Hungary and Florence in the world of humanistic scholarship for three decades" - as emphasized by director Joseph Connors in the Foreword.

It also has to be pointed out that in 2008, an entire series of exhibitions and events were organized in Hungary in the framework of the so-called Renaissance Year. Three exhibitions, in particular, have to be mentioned here: the Budapest History Museum organized a large international exhibition dedicated to the rule of King Matthias in Hungary. Titled Matthias Corvinus, the King, the exhibition was accompanied by a large catalogue, also edited by Péter Farbaky with Enikő Spekner, Katalon Szende and András Végh (published in an English version as well). A large number of the participants of the 2007 Villa I Tatti conference also contributed to this catalogue - where naturally actual physical objects are in focus. The two publications thus nicely complement each other. Two smaller exhibitions focused on more special topics: the exhibition at the National Széchényi Library, titled  A Star in the Raven's Shadow, was dedicated to János Vitéz, archbishop of Esztergom, and the beginnings of Hungarian Humanism in the middle of the 15th century. The exhibition of the Museum of Applied Arts - The Dowry of Beatrice - examined the origins of Italian majolica at the court of King Matthias, focusing on the magnificent Corvinus-plates made in Pesaro. (To get the English-language catalogues, search for item nos. 58713 and 113069 at

15th c. fresco at the Palace of Esztergom

However, the conference organized at I Tatti  was the event met with most extensive response. This was largely due to two of the the papers presented at the conference and a press conference held by the Hungarian Cultural Minister in Rome, announcing the findings of these two papers. At the conference, Zsuzsanna Wierdl and Mária Prokopp presented their theory concerning one of the 15th century frescoes at the castle of Esztergom, attributing it to the young Botticelli - a subject I have written about elsewhere on this blog.

Naturally, there is much more to the book than these sensational claims. The volume makes the lectures presented at the conference available in an edited format. The description of the book at the Harvard University Press website gives a good overview of its main topic:

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Conference in memoriam Szabolcs de Vajay

Szabolcs de Vajay, an outstanding medieval historian of Hungarian origin, passed away last year in the 90th year of his life. Of Hungarian origin, professor Vajay lived in Vevey, Switzerland, and wrote extensively on heraldry, genealogy, dynastic history, the knightly orders and many other questions. An international workshop to commemorate him will be held on October 7-8 at Budapest and Fehérvárcsurgó.

Titled Knights, Nobles, Diplomats. Social Network and International Contacts in Historical Perspective, the workshop was organized by the following:

Medieval Studies Department, CEU
Foundation Joseph Károlyi, Fehérvárcsurgó
The Order of Malta, Budapest
CAPITULUM, University of Szeged

I could not find the program of the conference anywhere on the web, so I uploaded the invitation I received here. You are advised to contact the organizers listed there if you intend to participate.

Sunday, May 08, 2011

Art and Architecture around 1400 Conference

As Medievalists around the US (the world?) are gearing up for this year's Medieval Congress at K'zoo, yours truly will drive over to neighboring Slovenia, to participate at the CIHA Colloquium at Maribor, titled Art and Archicture around 1400: Global and Regional Perspectives. I've gotten to like these more focused conferences, as discussions often tend to be livelier. The conference was organized by the University of Maribor, and by the Slovene Art History Society, under the auspices of a really distinguished Program Committee.
The six-day program of the conference is quite rich, with a number of interesting excursions aside from the talks, for example to see frescoes by the workshop of Johannes Aquila

Naturally, there will be a sizable Hungarian delegation at the conference, and a lot of Hungarian medieval topics will be treated in lectures and posters. A conference report with pictures will likely appear on this blog some time later. For now, a number of pictures of Slovenia's rich Gothic heritage can be seen in this gallery (the statue of St. James to the left is from the pilgrimage church of Ptujska Gora).

Gothic frescoes in Slovenia, photos from earlier this week on Flickr

The website of the conference above is no longer available, so the links above don't work any more.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Conference and exhibition about László Gerevich

László Gerevich, one of the eminent Hungarian archaeologists of the Middle Ages, was born 100 years ago. To commemorate, the Budapest History Museum organized a conference and an exhibition about his career. The highlight of this career was the excavation of the medieval royal palace of Buda, which became possible after the destruction of World War II. Gerevich was able to uncover the lower lever of the entire medieval palace, bringing to light a number of highly important finds. In that period, he was the director of the Budapest History Museum, and later also the founder and first director of the Archaeological Institute of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences. Gerevich also excavated several other medieval sites, including the Cistercian Abbey of Pilis (see my recent post on the abbey). His English-language books include The Art of Buda and Pest in the Middle Ages and Towns in Medieval Hungary. If you read Hungarian, you can find more information on him here.

You can read the program of today's conference by clicking on the image above. I will write another post on the exhibition once I get a chance to visit it.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Medieval manuscripts at the National Library

A page from the 14th century Bible
of 'Weceslaus dictus Ganoys'
National Széchényi Library 
The National Széchényi Library preserves Hungary's largest repository of medieval manuscripts, and it is also an important research center in this field. On Monday, January 24th 2011, a series of lectures will be held about various medieval manuscripts and early printed books.The detailed program of these sessions can be studied on the blog of the National Library (in Hungarian). Lectures will be given by researchers working at the library, as well as by art historian Ernő Marosi.

If you would like to know more about the medieval holdings of the library, the 1940 catalogue of Latin medieval manuscripts is available online (Emma Bartoniek: Codices Latini Medii Aevi), to be found among the databases of the National Library (go to Kézirattár). Also, there is a lot of information available on the Bibliotheca Corviniana, as I wrote in a previous post and also on my website. Most important resource is the Bibliotheca Corviniana Digitalis. For other early Hungarian books, you might want to look at another website of the library, dedicated to the earliest Hungarian linguistic records (the full website is largely in Hungarian).

Monday, January 17, 2011

Armales Transylvanorum

An international traveling exhibition, which presents photographs of about fifty armorial letters from Transylvania, will arrive to Budapest this  week. It is the result of research conducted by specialists of the Institute of History, University of Debrecen and the Faculty of History and Philosophy, Babes-Bolyai University in Cluj Napoca. The project was coordinated by Tamás Szálkai, whose book on this subject was published in 2009. The armorials date from the period of the Principality Transylvania, and were donated by Princes of Transylvania to various noblemen.

The exhibition will open at the Budapest History Museum on January 19th, 2011. For that day, and entire conference has been organized on the subject of Coat of arms and society in medieval and early modern Hungary. You can read the conference program here, and you can read more about the exhibition here.

There is an entire website dedicated to the program, unfortunately only in Hungarian - visit Armales Transylvanorum for more information.

Sunday, January 09, 2011

Conference about Pécs cathedral

The medieval building of Pécs cathedral was completed during the 12th century. The building, although rebuilt several times, essentially survived until the late 19th century, when it was drastically remodeled ('restored') in Neo-Romanesque style. Directed by the architect Friedrich von Schmidt, this construction took place between 1882-1891. The remodeling brought to light much of the original Romanesque sculptural decoration of the cathedral, the remains of which were all removed from the building, and placed in a lapidarium. The carvings have been moved from one place to another during the last 100 years, until they finally found a home in the newly constructed Cathedral Museum, which opened in 2004. This museum contains the richest collection of Romanesque sculpture in Central Europe - and these sculptures are of extremely high quality. The material includes the narrative cycles from the walls of two stairways leading down to the crypt, fragments of the altar of the Holy Cross and the western portal of the cathedral, among many other carvings. Unfortunately, the beautiful Gothic carvings found among the ruins of chapels north of the cathedral are not on view (for more info, see the website of the Sigismundus-exhibition).

Romanesque narrative reliefs from Pécs cathedral
Pécs, Cathedral Museum
No modern catalogue of the material is available - in fact, there is simply no current publication available on this material in any language. There isn't even a small guidebook to the museum, where actually not even all the labels have been properly written. Pécs is a world heritage site (because of the Early Christian necropolis of the town, located in the area around the cathedral) and was the European capital of culture during 2010. Still, nothing happened around the cathedral museum. The Cathedral Museum has no real website, and there is barely any information available on the sculptures online. (This website has some photos and information in Hungarian. This website, made for university students, also contains some photographs and a useful bibliography).

Pécs, Cathedral Museum

On January 14, 2011, a public workshop will be dedicated to new research on Pécs cathedral, organized by the University of Pécs. At this occasion, the work of a research group established last year and coordinated by Endre Raffay will be presented. You can read the program here (in Hungarian).

Results of the research of an older generation of scholars - notably Melinda Tóth - remain largely unpublished. Maybe a younger generation of scholars is needed to publish much-needed information and evaluation of Hungary's most important Romanesque monument.

Friday, November 12, 2010

The earliest copies of Hungarian medieval wall-paintings

detail of the St. Catherine legend (copy)

In 1844, during repairs after a minor earthquake, medieval wall-paintings were uncovered in the Calvinist church of Máramarossziget (at that time the capital of Máramaros County, today Sighetu Marmaţiei in Romania). Instead of simply recording this fact in the Historia domus, and covering the paintings over, a detailed report was sent to Budapest, to the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, which had been founded not so long ago, in 1825. After requesting more information, Imre Henszlmann, the only art historian member of the Academy, delivered a lecture on the wall paintings of Máramarossziget in 1847. By this time, Henszlmann has already published his monograph on the Church of St. Elisabeth in Kassa (Kaschau, Košice, Slovakia) and also in 1846, was among those issuing a general call for the protection of historic monuments.

Máramarossziget church in 1846
In delivering his lecture, Henszlmann relied on a plan and view of the church (illustrated to the right) and also a copy of the wall-paintings. He did not describe the copy, and his description of the frescoes is not entirely clear. István Szilágyi, a teacher at the college of Máramarossziget and a member of the Academy corrected Henszlmann's interpretation in a lecture presented in 1850 (as it is well known, Hungary was occupied with a revolution and a failed war for independence in 1848-1849). Szilágyi did not have a chance to see the frescoes himself, but his interpretation was based on first-hand eyewitness accounts, in addition to copies. This episode represents the first true art historical debate in Hungary, concerning a medieval monument.

As it happened, the church of Máramarossziget burned down in 1859. The fire destroyed a large part of the town, the entire roof of the church burned down, and the vaults all collapsed. As a result of this catastrophy, the wall paintings - even more of them - came to light again. This time Szilágyi had a chance to examine them, and a new set of drawings and copies were made. A sad decision had to be made - the remains of the church had to be torn down, with the exception of the medieval tower. Rebuilding the church was halted by another fire in 1872 - the new building was only finished in 1892.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Three conferences on medieval Hungary

Three interesting conferences in the next few days will focus on different aspects of Hungarian medieval history and art.

The first conference, to be held on October 16 at Székesfehérvár, focuses on King Charles Robert (1308-1342), Hungary's first king of the Neapolitan Angevin dynasty. The conference, organized by the Museum of the Bishopric of Székesfehérvár, is to commemorate the 700th anniversary of the coronation of Charles Robert. Although Charles ruled from 1308, only his third coronation in 1310 was accepted as fully legal (with the Holy Crown, by the archbishop of Esztergom and at Székesfehérvár). The conference is titled Charles Robert and Székesfehérvár, and talks will focus on aspects of his coronation, his heraldic representation, seals and coinage. Art historical topics will include Hungarian luxury manuscripts from the Angevin period, and also the Angevin royal tombs at Székesfehérvár.

The program can be seen below, or at this link. (Language: Hungarian)

The following day (Oct. 17th) a workshop will begin at the Central European University, running until October 19. Organized by the Department of Medieval Studies and the King Matthias Museum of Visegrád, the workshop is titled Centers of Power and Spiritual Life in the Middle Ages and in the Early Modern Period: Mendicant Orders in the Context of Urban Development and Royal Patronage. The workshop focuses on the role of the mendicant orders in the life of Central European urban centers, and will include visits to a number of such sites in Budapest and Visegrád. A description and the full program is available at the website of the Medieval Studies department.

The third conference, to be held on October 19-20 at Budapest and Piliscsaba, will focus on the first monastic order, the Benedictines. Titled Heritage and Mission: The Benedictines in Hungary, the conference is jointly organized by the Hungarian Benedictine Congregation, the Sapientia Theological College and the Faculty of Humanities of the Pázmány Péter Catholic University. Various sections in the program of the conference will be dedicated to art historical topics, such as Benedictine architecture in medieval Hungary. The full program is available on the websites of all three organizers: here, here and here. (Language: Hungarian)

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Conference on medieval ecclesiastical architecture in Transylvania

The monastery church of Ákos (Acâş),
the most important Romanesque monument
 of Szatmár County
This coming weekend, on October 8-10, 2010, an international conference will be dedicated to medieval ecclesiastical architecture in Transylvania. Jointly organized by the County Museum of Satu Mare (Romania) and the Museums of Szabolcs-Szatmár-Bereg County (Hungary), the conference will be held at Szatmárnémeti (Satu Mare). Speakers will include noted archaeologists, art and architectural historians both from Romania and Hungary. Topics include mainly Romanesque and Gothic church buildings and medieval wall-paintings. I uploaded the program of the conference, you can read it by following this link.

The present conference is the 7th in a series started in 1997. This long tradition and the international nature of the conference makes it one of the most important forums to present new research on medieval art in Transylvania. Another important factor is that the conference papers are published in bilingual (sometimes tri-lingual) publications. So far, four volumes have been published, and volume V is currently in preparation.

You can reach these books, and many other publications of the County Museum of Satu Mare on a website they dedicated to monuments of the county.

Here are the direct links to the individual volumes:
Volume II (2002)
Volume III (2004)
Volume IV (2007)
(Volume I is not available on the website, but you can find the contents of it in the database of the Regesta Imperii Opac).

Finally, if you would like to know more about the monastery church of Ákos (pictured above), visit the database of architectural monuments on the same website. All information is available in English, Hungarian and Romanian.

Sunday, October 03, 2010

1000 years of Gyulafehérvár Cathedral

Western facade of Gyulafehérvár cathedral
Survey by Márton Sarkadi and Tamás Emődi, 1996 
In 1009, King Stephen I decided to create a new bishopric, with jurisdiction over the territory of Transylvania. The seat of the bishopric was established at Gyulafehérvár (Karlsburg, Alba Iulia) and the first cathedral, dedicated to Saint Michael, was erected during the 11th century. The first cathedral was replaced with a much larger Romanesque cathedral, construction of which started at the end of the 12th century, and was for the most part completed before the Mongol invasion of 1241. At that time the town and the church was sacked and burned. Just as soon as repairs were made, the Saxons of nearby Szeben (Hermannstadt, Sibiu) sacked the town again in 1277. Two very important contracts dating from 1287 an 1291 detail the repairs undertaken at this time, with the latter date indicating completion of the entire edifice. These dates at the same time also underline the significance of this building: apart from smaller expansion and the addition of chapels, the building as it stands today originates from the 13th century. This makes Gyulafehérvár the only cathedral building to have survived from the Árpád-period - well, in fact, from the Middle Ages at all. (Other cathedral cities - including Esztergom, Kalocsa, Pécs, Veszpém, Győr, Vác, Eger, Várad - were in the territories occupied by the Ottoman Turks. To get an idea of their fate, see my previous post on the destruction of the centers of medieval Hungary).

The main body of the church is that of the Romanesque building, although the western part of the nave was vaulted in the 14th century. The two side apses, opening from the transept, are also from this period, while the original main apse has been replaced with a much longer early Gothic apse, built during the 1270s. Chapels on the north side (Lázói and Várdai chapels) originate from the early 16th century, and the monumental south tower also dates from the Gothic period. The building has suffered more during the last few centuries than it could be summarized here (significant dates of damage include 1438, 1565, 1601, 1603, 1658, 1849) - yet it still stands today and serves as the center of the Hungarian catholic church in Romania.

The building underwent major renovation at the beginning of the 20th century. The work, which was led by István Möller, was not fully completed by 1918, when Gyulafehérvár became part of Romania. More recently, several campaigns of restoration have been carried out during the last fifteen years, in preparation for the millennial celebrations of the bishopric. During this period, a large amount of archaeological and art historical research was carried out, the results of which are now largely published.
In this post, I would like to call attention to these publications.