Build after design by Márkus Géza, fully decorated with Zsolnay ceramics on the façade and with floral decorations taken from the Hungarian folk art tradition, the Cifra Palace is considered one of the masterpiece of the Hungarian Szecesszio.
Although traditionally this work is considered as heavily influenced by the researches upon the National Hungarian Style performed by Odon Lechner and his fellowship, there are some evidences of autonomous researches performed by Markus which reveals an original and very interesting approach to the Art Nouveau style.
Stylistically the building could present some similarities with other building by Lechner, as for example the Postal Bank Saving or the Geological Institute; the massive use of Zsolnay ceramics on either Façade and roof, are also elements shared with several Lechner (and more in general, Hungarian) artistic production:
Anyway Geza Markus adpopted in his design and decorations, some interesting solution, which I couldn’t find in any Lechner production. By technical perspective, Markus used the technique of multi-layered sgraffitos which, on the white façade’s surface, represents lines and curves; even the Zsolnai decors are disposed in relief with the same effect:
Stylistically, the decorations resemble the classic patterns of Hungarian folk arts: however, at a second sight, one notices that the patterns designed with Zsolnay tiles represent more abstract patterns with a sort of unique psychedelic taste. Combined with the all rounded shape of the palace, and enforced by the mushroom like chimes on the roof, the Cifra palota goes to be similar to some audacious artistic production by Gaudi in Spain, something that Salvador Dali would probably have included into his definition of terrible and comestible Art Nouveau.