Archive for the ‘Hungarian Secession History’ Category

In other part of this blog some evidences of the relationship of the develoment of Hungarian Szecesszio influences from the British Art and Crafts movement were outlined. In particular, since the exhibition, due in 1900, of the british painter and book illuminator Walter Crane those influences became very relevant and characterized mostly of the work of severla hungarian secessionist artist (Sandor Nagy) particularly as far as the book illustration was concerned. Those influences cohabited with other sources which eventually insipred the work of the Hungarian Szecesszio (influences, for example, of the austrian Secessionist movement as well as Wiener Werkstaette on the work of Kozma Lajos, as noted in a very recent post, are noticeable).

In this article, influences of the pre-Art and Craft movement (hitherto with strong relationship with this) named Pre-Raphaelite, after the artists brotherhood who constituted  the movement itself, on the Hungarian painter Aladar Körösfői-Kriesch were outlined. As an example, two works of Aladar Körösfői-Kriesch will be examined. The two paintings refer to the so called "Cicle of Klara" and dated 1911. they both are actually in the National Hungarian Museum of Budapest and the picture here presented were taken in the room of the Museum.

DSCF6927 DSCF6930

Both the paintings related to the history of Klara Zach, In this work of Körösfői-Kriesch, as on the big-format paintings,  titled: Zách Klára, and on his goblein (woman with a rose) the figure of Zách Klára is an innocently killed, suffering womans are illustrated, whom refused a God, and a highness (Kasszandra Apollő -the brother of Zách Klára) ‘s love.


The nudity symbolizes the innocence and the vulnerability of the heroes, pre-destinated to fall. The future of both suffering women are intertwines with the destruction of their city/country. Kasszandra symbolizes tragedy of  Troy, Zách Klára symbolizes the tragedy of Hungary.

Basically, the theme itself could also typical of the Pre-Raphaelitism, since for the brotherhood Renaissance epic constituted one of the main influencing streams. The human characters, mainly female (as per the preraphaelite …) were dressed with traditional clothing, even if here seems that Korosfoi was inspired more from the Italian Renaissance rather than the tradition of his own Hungarian homeland.

Redhair girls are prominent in those two paintings as well as in several works of the Pre-Raphaelite. The following are respectively masterpieces of Edmund Blair Leighton (God Speed, 1900) and Dante Gabriel Rossetti (Lady Lilith, 1968; The Bowder Meadow, 1871-72; The blessed Damozel, 1878)

god_speed thumbnail  bower blessed

All those paintings are inspired by late medieval themes and aesthetics. However, some noticeable differences are noticeable between the paintings of Rossetti and the two of Korosfoi. Basically, I would refer to such differences as related to the role of the woman. In Rossetti, woman still was characterized with ephemeral sight, with a sort of absence in her own eyes, lack of intellectual related activities. Woman in Rossetti painting are like puppets, even beautiful and fascinating, but who seem completely disoriented (in a way they have some similarities with some "Beveuse d’Absrynth" portrayed in some of the turn of the century french area paintings)without any evidence of autonomous (nor actual) thought . On the contrary, female characters in the painting of Kriesch are, on the contrary, really noticeable. Both the Kresch paintings show two group of female characters and, in every case, the feelings and attitude of the characters themselves are quite noticeable, without any doubt.l

100_0649 100_0643

Eyes and expressions of the faces are more than just outlined in those paintings. Feelings like joy, superb, envy, sadness, … are absolutely well evident in the lines of the faces. Obviously even women acting on the main scene are well characterized as well :

DSCF6979 DSCF6980 DSCF6929

No doubts, even for Kriesch the late Middle age was a source of inspiration. But the symbolism of the Hungarian painter has some different peculiarities if related to the older Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood. The woman for the British movement was a symbol mainly for the inner, obscure and mainly unknown forces which rule the Nature in the whole. Feminine was a symbol for a fierce, outstanding and still dangerous force which can represent a threat or a menace for human beings. The woman of Kriesch is conceived having a much more complicated character and, as a consequence, symbolism of the feminine itself is much more complex. The females here preserve sensual character, which was even a topic for the British brotherhood (think, as an example, to the red lips of Rossetti’s portraits). and, even, some of the character in the Kriesch painting show a menacing attitude. However the feminine is beaten, till the death of Klara in the last scene, and by male (the soldier) human figure; and she are in deep sadness as well, desperation which, however, doesn’t seem to be characterized by an inner fragility of the weaker sex, as per the former century tradition.

Kriesch’s female characters, in a word, are living beings, not merely beautiful puppets, thus reflecting the changing paradigm of the feminine which characterized the art at the end of the century and the art within the Hungarian Szecesszio in particular. Again, the feminine hasn’t at all the ethereal aspect of the woman in the late Renaissance nor the adorable virginal beauty and attitude of the female figures sang by late medieval cavalry epics. Kriesch females have complex characters, different attitude and they act in the scene in an unpredictable non-taxonomical way.

Symbolizing Hungary, Kriesch’s Cicle of Klara shows a feminine who is beaten by some evil and stronger forces but who also is still able to preserve her character, beaten but not annihilated.


Maybe the most famous building of the Hungarian Secession, the Magyar Iparművészet building, due to the effort of the most known turn-of-the-century Hungarian architect, Odon Lechner.

Well, this morning I was the nearby of Ulloi ut, the street where the building is located, and decided to took some pictures. But this morning was a little bit foggy, so I didn’t waste my time taking pictures overcharged by whites (yes, tend to be a perfectionist even more…). Just to try the 10x optical zoom feature of my brand new FujiFilm S5800 I decided to take just details. In which are mostly noticeable the influences on the works of Lechner by the Hungarian national folk art.

Here are. Enjoy !!!

DSCF7176 DSCF7154

DSCF7157 DSCF7158

DSCF7159 DSCF7161

DSCF7155 DSCF7156

DSCF7162 DSCF7163

DSCF7164 DSCF7165

DSCF7166 DSCF7167

DSCF7168 DSCF7171


Lajos Kozma (Kiskorpad, 1884 – Budapest, 1948) is one of the most interesting and original artist in the history of the Hungarian Szecesszio. He studied architecture in Budapest when in his own 20th, even if his interests were also in the illustration graphics, in furniture design and in buildings decoration. This one will be the first of a series of articles on this exceptional and maybe rather unknown artist, maybe one of the most interesting figure in the history of Hungarian Secesszio.

In this article the work of Kozma as book illustrator is presented. Eventually, the article contains a digitized version of Révész Béla’s Találkozás Hamupipőkével, one of the most important piece of art as far as the book illustration during the turn of the century period in Hungary.


As for Bela Lajta and Karoly Kos, the mainstream interest for Kozma was the Hungarian national artistic tradition (Magyar nepvuveszet). He studied the popular art in the rural area of Kalotaszeg and influences from those studies are well evident in his graphical works as well as his decorations for some Lajta architected buildings. However popular art wasn’t the sole source of inspiration for Kozma. He was very acknowledged of the work of the Wiener Werkstaette (eventually himself tried to proceed in the foundation of an Hungarian Budapester Werkstaette which, however, never reached the level of the wiener counterpart). and in particular of the geometric style of Josef Hoffman and of Koloman Moser. Geometrism in a black and white graphic which inherited some influences from the English Arts and Crafts tradition (William Morris, as far as the complexity of the lines are concerned) and of the later British symbolism (Aubrey Beardsley). In the comments included in the presentation of the Találkozás Hamupipőkével illustrations themselves, some evidences of strong influences from symbolist visions of Gustav Klimt and Ferdnand Khnopff are also noticed.


Read the rest of this entry »

It is fully Autumn, in Budapest as well. It is still warm enough to have nice walk through the city. Some Art Nouveau detail reveal some influences from Belgian and French Art Nouveau, like the following captured on the Pest Vigado’s façade:

100_6121.JPG 100_6122.JPG 100_6123.JPG

But the season itself requires a more meditative attitude through the very typical colors of autumn. Best bet to walk through the small ways of the Kerepesi cemetery, where all is covered by leaves, and colors are astonishing:

100_6137.JPG 100_6138.JPG 100_6142.JPG 100_6149.JPG 100_6150.JPG


Sunlight is a little bit opaque, as a fine veil are passing slowly. The mourning of the statues out there is like a feeble voice: you can hear it thought the sad and fascinating lines of the vests and of the female bodies. The Szecesszio here, in the melancholy of these statues seems to be fully aware of ruling line of van De Velde and of the sad, melancholic, ambiguous and seductive mouths of sir Dante Gabriel Rossetti …

100_6124.JPG 100_6126.JPG 100_6127.JPG 100_6128.JPG 100_6129.JPG 100_6131.JPG
100_6132.JPG 100_6139.JPG 100_6140.JPG 100_6141.JPG 100_6143.JPG 100_6145.JPG
100_6147.JPG 100_6148.JPG 100_6152.JPG 100_6153.JPG 100_6156.JPG 100_6160.JPG
100_6163.JPG 100_6164.JPG 100_6167.JPG

100_6168.JPG 100_6169.JPG 100_6170.JPG 100_6171.JPG

Frigyes Spiegel

Modern Ornamentation in Architecture

 THE WHOLE WORLD of art is moving and stirring. An entire century of sterility and vacuity must be compensated. The specific art of the century of the great­est progress must be created.

Barely a few years have passed since the trumpet sounded the rebirth of decorative arts in England. and by today. the whole world echoes with it and the most distinguished artists of our age stand at the gates, waiting to lead their new ideas to victory. Since the glorious times of the Renaissance, there has not been such an intensive movement in the sphere of the fine arts. New schools are taking form in painting and sculpture. each bringing with it new ideas: newer and newer problems are solved. and the time is not long now until the particular art of today’s epoch will crys­tallize from the now seething elements.



One thing is certain already today: that the decora­tive art of the future will rightly claim first place. It could not even be any other way in our century of practical tendency, which explores the aim of every object, which is not content with art being only in and of itself. but calls for it to adjust and conform to our everyday life. How should we engage with all those objects that perpetually surround us. that we con­stantly see?


Read the rest of this entry »

Well, even if last week was very intense as far as my stidues on hungarian secession are concerned, no post were eventually published on the blog. Ok, I was very busy but the very reason was that my computer suddenly decided not to work properly …

However, this reportage was 10 days old and it concernes the so called Wekerle colony.


Just 100 years ago (1908) in the very city border of Budapest, a new residential area came to live, mainly for the work and the efforts of the group of the Young , leaded by Karoly Kos but which grouped other artists such as Dezső Zrumeczky, Györgyi Dénes, Veler Mende, Bela Januzsky, Kozma Lajos.

Influenced by the ideas of John Ruskin and William Morris, the quest of the Young was to achieve an artistic production which can be popular to be acquired by the emergin fin-de-siecle hungarian middle class, but , at the same time an artistic production which was the result of a deep study on the national hungarian folk tradition. Eventually, the art of the Young was a mixture between the Transilvanian folk architecture and influences by the finnish young architecture (Sonck, Saarinen) and the english Art and Craft movement. “Wekerle Kispest, the ‘Hungarian Garden Suburb’ was built to house more than 20,000 people (lower middle class public servants). It does not only provide residential units but has been planned to provide for all the needs of people settling there. Apart from shops and schools, adult education and cultural amenities were also provided. This estate for industrial and white collar workers occupies a unique place in the architectural history of Hungary. The idea of the housing estate was initiated by Prime Minister Sándor Wekerle. The winning design drew up a ring street system composed of diagonals. All these street led to a central square.The special lane system of the street resulted in stressed intersections street corners and triangular squares. These points marked the sub- centres where the public buildings were erected. The main square with the surrounding biuldings were nearly ready by 1912, however the entire project was completed by 1926.” (

Ok, really it tooks me a while, ’cause the district is quite large and all those villas are a little bit displaced through the hills of the second district.  Here you will able to find out maybe the most elegant and luxurious villas of the turn of the century art. And, from the rakpakart, the Buda’s side of Duna river, you can see an amazing Pest side skyline, including the outstanding building of the Hungarian Parliament.


I took those photos in two different days, respectively three and two weeks ago, and both were very sunny days. The Duna itself was scented with a see-like parfum …

Ok, hope you really enjoy this gallery and, as ever, the geotagged map.

Read the rest of this entry »

Well, this time the web site can provide a very special article. Thanks (but many ..) to my collegue Zita and to the kindly staff of the Foldtani Intézet I had access to the inner rooms of one of the most famous building of the hungarian szecesszio: the masterpiece building of Lechner which hosts the Hungarian Geological Society.


Eventually, a book was even donated to me: I published an excerpt in which the art critic Nemes Marta describes the bullding by an architectonic point of view. Enjoy the article and the photos as weel BY CLICKING ON THE FOLLOWING LINK !

Read the rest of this entry »

Maybe it isn’t a well known fact that really Budapest was born after three cities melt together:Buda, Pest and, eventually, Óbuda. In Hungarian language Óbuda means Old Buda, Ancient Buda, and, in fact, it is the more ancient part of the city.


Founded by the romans, nowadays Óbuda seems much more like the most recent of the Budapest district, at least as far of the architecture is concerned. However there still are some beautiful niche that resembles more a small town in countryside instead of the most ancient part of this big capital city.

This is, for example, the beautiful small Fo ter, the Main Square:

 100_3448.jpg 100_3449.jpg 100_3444.jpg 100_3450.jpg 100_3455.jpg

100_3443.jpg 100_3446.jpg 100_3447.jpg 100_3445.jpg

But just few, really few meter after, in north direction, you will find an amount of modern (not modernist at all)architecture that recall in my mind those of some zone of Naples, such as Scampia …

100_3451.jpg 100_3452.jpg 


Read the rest of this entry »


Ferdnand Khnopff vs Otto Eckmann

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...

Basel 2013

Basel 2013

Basel 2013

Basel 2013

Basel 2013

Basel 2013

Basel 2013

Basel 2013

Basel 2013

Basel 2013

Basel 2013

Basel 2013

Basel 2013

Basel 2013

Basel 2013

Basel 2013

Basel 2013

Basel 2013

Basel 2013

Basel 2013