Juhász Gabriella írása

április 30th, 2020 § 0 comments

review

Jó­zsef Sisa, ed. Mo­ther­land and Prog­ress: Hun­ga­ri­an Ar­chi­tec­tu­re and De­sign 1800–1900. Ba­sel: Birkhäu­ser, 2017.

Six ye­ars ago a mo­nu­men­tal work was pub­lis­hed by the Re­se­arch Cent­re for the Hu­ma­ni­ti­es of the Hun­ga­ri­an Aca­demy of Sci­en­ces and Osi­ris pub­lish­ing hou­se. It was the first part of a two-volume se­ri­es dis­cus­sing Hun­ga­ri­an art in the 19th cent­ury, with the first vo­lu­me fo­cus­ing on ar­chi­tec­tu­re and app­li­ed arts. The main edi­tors were Lász­ló Beke and Jó­zsef Sisa, whi­le the sci­en­ti­fic ad­vi­sors were Ka­ta­lin Sin­kó and Il­di­kó Nagy. Most of the stu­di­es were writ­ten by Jó­zsef Sisa, with all ot­her aut­hors also well-known ex­perts of the­ir re­se­arch fields. With this work Hun­ga­ri­an Art and Hun­ga­ri­an His­to­ry of Art have re­ce­i­ved not just a spe­ci­a­list book abo­ut ar­chi­tec­tu­re and app­li­ed arts in the 19th cent­ury but also an out­stand­ing work that exa­mi­nes the so­ci­al, cul­t­u­ral, and po­li­ti­cal cir­cum­stan­ces which hel­ped de­ve­lop Hun­gary into an ad­van­ced count­ry in Euro­pe du­ring the 19th cent­ury. This re­view has been promp­ted by the fact that a few ye­ars la­ter an Eng­lish vers­ion, trans­la­ted by Step­hen Kane, was also pub­lis­hed, mak­ing it also ava­i­lab­le ab­road.

The tab­le of cont­ents vi­su­a­li­zes a well-structured con­cept bas­ed on ch­ro­no­log­i­cal or­der, and it splits the book into four big chap­ters. The pre­face helps un­der­stand the his­to­ri­cal backg­round and pe­ri­o­di­za­ti­on and gi­ves a glim­pse into the his­to­ry of the re­se­arch of the era. The th­ree main chap­ters co­ver the th­ree big eras of the 19th cent­ury: Clas­sic­ism, Ro­man­tic­ism, and His­to­ric­ism. The­re is no di­rect switch bet­ween the­se but a smo­oth tran­sit­i­on, sin­ce each has som­eth­ing to use from its an­te­ce­dents. The book also pro­vi­des a short over­view of the pro­ducts of app­li­ed arts from the era.

Du­ring the first de­ca­des of the 19th cent­ury in Hun­gary (as part of the Habs­burg Mo­narchy) ci­ti­zen­s­hip was strengt­he­ned, and the midd­le class pla­yed an inc­re­a­singly im­por­tant role in cul­t­u­ral and re­gi­o­nal is­sues, espe­ci­ally in Pest and Buda. Af­ter the flo­od of 1838 in Pest, a Be­au­ti­fi­ca­ti­on Com­mit­tee was fo­un­ded by Arch­du­ke Jo­seph, Pa­la­tine of Hun­gary: his goal was to crea­te a uni­fi­ed city, whe­re the streets and squ­a­res are log­i­cal and well-structured, whe­re no con­struc­ti­on can be­gin wit­ho­ut the app­ro­val of the aut­ho­ri­ti­es, and whe­re the height of the buil­dings is si­mil­ar. New buil­ding types such as te­ne­ment hous­es and dif­fe­rent pub­lic ins­ti­tu­tions – mus­e­ums, thea­ters, baths, etc. – were built. Ur­ban plan­ning star­ted, and Hun­ga­ri­an ar­chi­tects ga­ined a more inf­lu­en­ti­al role than Vi­ennese ar­chi­tects, with two per­sons, Jó­zsef Hild and Mi­hály Pol­lack stand­ing out. Af­ter a short over­view, the Clas­sic­ism chap­ter de­ta­ils the de­ve­lop­ments of Pest, Buda, and the rest of the count­ry. It exa­mi­nes the train­ing of ar­chi­tects and the dif­fe­rent buil­ding types: some of the­se are high­ligh­ted so we can read abo­ut the­ir de­tai­led his­to­ry and descript­ion. Th­ro­ugh the examp­les we get to know the po­li­ti­cal, re­li­gi­o­us, cul­t­u­ral, and so­ci­al life of the ci­ti­zens and the towns: we can see how Hun­gary star­ted the de­ve­lop­ments in light of the his­to­ri­cal events of the Re­form Era, and how the­se buil­dings be­came part of the na­ti­o­nal iden­tity and rep­re­s­en­ta­ti­on.

The lost Re­vo­lu­ti­on of 1848–1849 and its con­se­qu­en­ces had an im­pact on the po­li­ti­cal cir­cum­stan­ces. It also af­fec­ted ar­chi­tec­tu­re: the rhythm of de­ve­lop­ment chang­ed. The se­cond chap­ter, Ro­man­tic­ism, exa­mi­nes the time pe­ri­od bet­ween 1840 and 1860. As ment­ion­ed abo­ve, the­re was no di­rect switch bet­ween ar­chi­tec­tu­ral sty­les. The­re are some ten­den­ci­es in the 1840s that can be cons­idered Ro­man­tic, but the main cha­rac­ter of the buil­dings re­ma­ined Clas­si­cist. Af­ter the Re­vo­lu­ti­on the­re were some plans from the 1840s which had to be re­jec­ted, for examp­le, tho­se of the Par­lia­ment buil­ding. Cons­ider­ing buil­ding types, if we exa­mi­ne the 1850s, the­re were mostly ad­mi­nistra­tive, edu­ca­ti­o­nal, and wel­fa­re ins­ti­tu­tions, and the main ar­chi­tects were Vi­ennese aga­in. The 1860s was a de­ca­de of po­li­ti­cal ea­sing for Hun­gary. More te­ne­ment hous­es, pa­la­ces, castles, and ot­her pub­lic ins­ti­tu­tions, such as the­at­res or baths were built. The first in­dust­ri­al buil­dings were also con­struc­ted, and Hun­ga­ri­an ar­chi­tects ga­ined more op­por­tuni­ti­es. The­se th­ree de­ca­des of Ro­man­tic­ism can be cons­idered a se­arch for a Hun­ga­ri­an na­ti­o­nal sty­le: Got­hic Re­vi­val and Rund­bog­en sho­uld be high­ligh­ted here. Buil­dings such as the Vi­ga­dó Con­cert Hall by Fri­gyes Feszl and the Pa­lace of the Hun­ga­ri­an Aca­demy of Sci­en­ces by Mik­lós Ybl (as well as the dis­pu­te by Imre Henszl­mann con­nec­ted to the Aca­demy buil­ding) are good examp­les of the­se at­tempts. The fo­un­da­ti­on of spe­ci­a­li­zed edu­ca­ti­on for ar­chi­tects was also laid in Hun­gary: in 1846 the Jo­seph In­dust­ri­al Scho­ol was ope­ned (called the Jo­seph Poly­tech­ni­kum from 1856), alt­ho­ugh the­re was no real train­ing of ar­chi­tects yet. Still, the re­se­arch star­ted to pro­vi­de ma­te­ri­al for edu­ca­ti­o­nal pur­pos­es.  The struc­tu­re re­ma­ins the same in this chap­ter: af­ter the his­to­ri­cal over­view, the dif­fe­rent types of buil­dings are pre­sen­ted, high­ligh­ting aga­in the most im­por­tant examp­les from this pe­ri­od of time.

The last chap­ter, His­to­ric­ism, starts with the Austro-Hungarian Comp­ro­mi­se in 1867, which crea­ted the po­li­ti­cal and eco­no­mic con­di­tions ne­e­ded to make big­ger de­ve­lop­ments not just in ar­chi­tec­tu­re but also in se­ve­ral ot­her fields. Con­cer­ning ar­chi­tec­tu­re, this pe­ri­od of time can be cons­idered a gol­den era, whe­re Bu­da­pest be­came a met­ro­po­lis and the Hun­ga­ri­an ci­ti­es de­vel­oped at a lar­ge scale. The changes of Hun­ga­ri­an so­ci­ety re­sul­ted in new buil­ding types: the de­mand for cul­t­u­ral and ins­ti­tu­ti­o­nal de­ve­lop­ment rose, and rep­re­s­en­ta­ti­on also be­came an im­por­tant fac­tor. In 1871 the City Coun­cil of Pub­lic Works was fo­un­ded, and the next pha­se of ur­ban plan­ning star­ted in Bu­da­pest. Its aim was not just to crea­te the struc­tu­re of the streets and canals of the city but also to con­struct tho­se rep­re­s­en­ta­tive buil­dings which are es­sen­ti­al for a ca­p­ital: mi­nistry, edu­ca­ti­on, he­alth­ca­re, hous­ing, in­dust­ri­al, en­terta­in­ment, etc. The proper edu­ca­ti­o­nal con­di­tions were or­ga­ni­zed for ar­chi­tects, so the­ir train­ing could fi­n­ally start in Bu­da­pest. For ori­en­ta­ti­on in ar­chi­tec­tu­ral life se­ve­ral jour­nals and pe­ri­o­di­cals be­came ava­i­lab­le, not just in Hun­gary but also from ab­road. Re­ports came from every city in Euro­pe, and even from Ame­ri­ca. The stu­di­es and books of the main fo­rei­gn ar­chi­tects also be­came ava­i­lab­le. For ge­ne­ra­tions of ar­chi­tects open and clos­ed com­pe­tit­ions of­fe­red op­por­tuni­ti­es to plan and win con­struc­ti­on works. With the new buil­dings it be­came im­por­tant to take care of the old­er ones: it was not per­fect, but the pro­tec­ti­on of mo­nu­ments still be­came an im­por­tant fac­tor in ar­chi­tec­tu­re. Af­ter an over­view, the chap­ter fo­cus­es on the term we use to descri­be the era: His­to­ric­ism. It is a coll­ec­tive name for the re­vi­val of his­to­ri­cal sty­les in the 19th, such as Re­na­is­sance or Ba­ro­que, Ro­ma­nes­que or Got­hic. The fol­lo­wing sec­tions give de­tai­led in­for­ma­ti­on abo­ut the buil­ding types, high­ligh­ting aga­in some of the most im­por­tant buil­dings and the peak of the era: the Mil­len­ni­um Ex­hi­bit­ion of 1896.

Just like the tran­sit­i­on bet­ween Clas­sic­ism, Ro­man­tic­ism, and His­to­ric­ism, the tran­sit­i­on from His­to­ric­ism to Se­ces­si­on was smo­oth. The se­arch for a na­ti­o­nal sty­le re­sul­ted in a new type of exp­r­es­si­on: flo­ral or brick-ornamented fa­ca­des. The last tho­ughts of the book ref­lect on the con­nec­tions bet­ween Neo-baroque and Se­ces­si­on: th­ro­ugh the examp­les it shows how the­se ex­pe­ri­ments led to the next trend in ar­chi­tec­tu­re, which la­ter con­ti­nu­ed to chan­ge into the next wa­ves of mo­der­nism.

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