King Matthias Hunyadi – Corvina Library – National Széchényi Library

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The exhibition opened on Monday, November, 3. 2018 at the  National Széchényi Library in Buda.

The most beautiful, the hidden, less emphasized side of

Mátyás Hunyadi’s Codex can be visited through November, 6. 2018. – February, 9. 2019. – Budapest.

On the occasion of the official opening were present: LászlóTüske Director-General, Miklós Kásler, Minister of Human Resources,  Csörsz Rumen István,  Professor László Szörényi ,  Edina Zsupán.

The new exhibition at the National Széchényi Library (OSZK) explores historical, new legendary codex books  collection of King Matthias.

There are many gorgeous Corvina and other ornamental codex books coming from domestic collections, including from New York, Paris, the Vatican and various parts of the world. Among the manuscripts will be seen in Hungary extremely important piece for the first time … these are more valuable in terms of history and culture.  The fact that the royal house has a uniform appearance, the Renaissance ornament library can well be followed, thanks to the joint work of the Buda’s book painters, bookbinders, copiers and humanists with their dream library to came true. From the world-renowned library, according to our present knowledge, there are approximately 220 volumes to have  had survived the centuries. To-day they are kept in major libraries all over the world. Corvina in Italy are kept in several cities of Italy – such places as: Milano, Firenze, Parma, Modena, Verona,Volterra, Venezia, Roma. Currently 58 corvinas are owned by various collectors across Hungary and 37 are kept in National Széchényi Library. Altogether were 216 Corvina but in Hungary’s turbulent years of history many were destroyed or lost. After the death of the King Matthias (1490), II. Ulászlo and II. Lajos gave away many books. Among others, a special Greek-language book arrived from Vienna, which was discovered in 2010 as the only one of Matthias’s Corvinas,  also discovered the Cassianus Corvina, which is currently held in Paris and is  definitely the most beautiful style of the Buda workshop. The corvinas from Leipzig, preserved the work of Byzantine emperor Konstantin († 959) and at the time being was in use on the court order ceremony. Also can be viewed the beauty of the illustrated book from the Vatican Apostolic Library,  the so-called “Vatican Mission”. May discover at the exhibition, the book of  the most important painters of the Buda workshop Francesco da Milano Castello, th  magnificent manuscript, including the Torino treasures, from a private collection. Domonkos Kalmáncsehi issued three decorative codex, one of the most beautiful Hungarian Codex from the past, also from New York the breviary and mission. According to the researchers memory these the two codex were not exhibited before in Hungary.

Upon guided tour floating through  the history of the treasure of arts  … the Renaissance royal library of King Matthias Hunyadi followed Italian models, but came into being in the last decade of the king’s rule in a fertile Hungarian cultural environment. It was the earliest library of this sort in Europe. It was the earliest library of this sort in Europe. The concept of design resembling the library of Federico da Montefeltro in Urbino but also bearing similarity with the library of the Aragonese court in Naples. It approximately contained 2000 volumes and an amount surpassed only by the library of Papal State in Rome. The earliness and primacy of King Matthias’s collection is illustrated by the fact that even the Medici regarded it in certain aspects as a model for the library at Buda. The library contains work of the classic authors of Antiquity and the early Fathers of Church, mainly in Latin and some in Greek. At the time being it was exceptional to have in the Italian library the Greek manuscripts. Most recent researches proved that the manuscripts uniformity was only at the end of the 1480s. New codices were made and on the pages were Hungarian and Italian owners name such as: Johannes Vitéz and György Handó who were Hungarian and Bohemian coats of arms of King Matthias. These Corvinas were designed with uniform leather and velvet bindings.The book production began 1480 as Beatrice of Aragon arrived flourishing Renaissance Naples to Hungary. Her coat of arms can be seen on several codices made at the time in Buda. The group of codices are called Corvinas, but has not been as part of the royal library collection, were liturgical manuscripts serving the in church or monastery and these upon order of the King or occasionally by the royal couple were representative pieces of the culture at the court. These were extremely richly decorated and were placed at the chapel of the royal castle of Buda. Matthias grants arm to Orbán of Nagylucse, royal treasure and provost of the Saint Nicholas collegial chapter of Székesfehérvár, later Bishop of Eger. The decoration combines Gothic and Renaissance elements. The style says that the work was by Francesco da Castello and also by the master of Milan decorating together with Francesco Rosselli one of the most influential masters of the Buda workshop. These are sophisticated examples of Francesco da Castello and Rosselli imitations.
The Janus Pannononius’s Gospel Book … four Gospels with each having the figure of the author painted by an anonymous illuminator. Péter Váradi’ handbook on Canon Law printed in Venice, but the decoration was prepared at Buda … and still more to see.

If we consider that these texts and illustrations were made by human hands in the 15th century, these eye-catching masterpieces and art treasures will present a historic era for future generations.

Worth to go back in time visit the exhibition see the masters works.

Update, snaps by Aggie Reiter

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