4 months ago


The Christian Museum in

The Christian Museum in Esztergom and its recently published online catalogue Sarkadi-Nagy Emese Keresztény Múzeum, Esztergom (hu) The Christian Museum was, at the moment of its opening in 1875, the third public museum of Hungary. Based on the former private collection of Archbishop and Prince Primate János Simor (1813 - 1891), the institution displays a high quality selection of not only Hungarian but also Italian, German, Austrian and Netherlandish art dating from the Middle Ages to the 19 th century. It was of great importance that Simor was not only interested in collecting Italian and Netherlandish art, as was the trend among his contemporaries, but was also aware of the importance of old art from the Kingdom of Hungary. Thus, he was constantly present through his delegates on the art markets of Italy, Austria, and Germany while at the same time gathering - from the churches of his own diocese - ecclesiastical furniture and various liturgical objects that were out of use. Since Primate Simor’s death in 1891, the Museum’s collections only grew significantly after World War i. Arnold Ipolyi, Bishop of Nagyvárad (1823-1886) made possible through his will that his outstanding collection consisting mainly of late medieval Italian, German, Austrian and Hungarian paintings and sculptures should come into the possession of the Christian Museum in Esztergom. This, however, happened only after World War i (1920). Shortly afterwards, the Museum was enriched with a collection of an entirely different nature, namely Count San Marco’s bequest consisting mainly of works of applied arts and paintings (1925). Since then, the Museum has continually acquired works of art through purchases and donations. Despite their importance, the complete collection catalogues of the museum are still long in coming. A complete summary catalogue was published by István Genthon in 1948 and a number of case studies, exhibition catalogues as well as other publications have mirrored the continuous interest of researchers from all over the world in the objects of the museum. Under these circumstances, a special opportunity occurred in 2012 (having developed until 2017) when, through the framework of a research project financed by the Hungarian Scientific Research Fund (otka pd 104215) it was possible to initiate the compilation of an exhaustive online summary catalogue for an outstanding segment of the collection, that of late medieval objects from the Hungarian Kingdom, from Austrian and German territories. While this group of objects contains well-known pieces such as the Calvary-triptych of Thomas de Coloswar or the four panel paintings of Master ms from Banská Štiavnica, a part of the works referred to were never published, while another part of them were never exhibited. The initiative did Reliquary bust from Cologne. Around 1350. The Bishop’s palace and the Christian Museum in Esztergom. Credits: Mudrák Attila, Keresztény Múzeum. Museikon, Alba Iulia, 1, 2017, p. 156-159 | 157

158 | Sarkadi-Nagy Emese

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