Heartwarming Middle Ages. Stoves and Stove-tiles in Medieval Hungary

The Castle Museum of the Budapest History Museum presents an exhibition on medieval stove-tiles and stoves ranging from the 14th to the 16th centuries. Coming from a number of different collections, this unique compilation of objects has never been exhibited together before. 

 

Their name says it all: everyday objects are such a usual, given part of our everyday lives that we do not even think about their history, their meaning or their relevance in art history. Our exhibition is proof that in many cases, they are worth further consideration.

 

Tile stoves are one of the greatest products of Central European domestic culture. Since their birth around the 12th century, they have been the heart of dwellings from peasant houses to castles, making winters a lot more bearable without any smoke penetrating the interiors. However, stoves were not only beneficial to the living quality of their owners, they also became a decorative element, a kind of prestige item of various living spaces. Stove tiles were decorated with a wide array of designs ranging from geometric motifs to complete narrative scenes with figures according to the fashions of a respective era.         

 

Because of the durability of these objects, tiles are a favourite among archaeologists. They are considered among the most valuable findings of various locations: royal palaces and castles, cloisters and town houses as well as noble mansions and peasants’ homes.

 

The exhibition presents an overview of the different styles and motifs of stove tiles from the area of historical Hungary as well as international examples. Visitors have the chance to discover the stoves of the royal court in Hungary as well as the “secrets” and professional methods of manufacturing a stove. They can immerse themselves in the world of biblical, mythological and historical figures, and the heroes of folk tales, too. Besides the stoves themselves that warmed up the cold days of their owners in the Middle Ages, a number of paintings, graphics and miscellaneous objects are on view.     

 

Hungarian museums have been collecting these objects for decades, or even centuries; now we finally have the chance to see them together in an unprecedented overview in the Castle Museum of the Budapest History Museum.

 

We dedicate the exhibition to the memory of Imre Holl and Tibor Sabján, two of the most renowned scholars of historical tile research.

 

Open from 12 April until 2 September 2018

 

Due to the materials of the objects on view, the exhibition rooms have lower temperatures. We suggest bringing a light sweater. 

 


 

Curators
Dr. ANDRÁS VÉGH, Director of the Castle Museum of the Budapest History Museum (BTM) 

in collaboration with VIRÁG KISS (BTM) and EDIT KOCSIS (King Matthias Museum of the Hungarian National Museum)

 

Research fellows 
Employees of the Medieval Department of the Budapest History Museum
ZOLTÁN BENCZE, DOROTTYA B. NYÉKHELYI, JUDIT BENDA, VIKTÓRIA HORVÁTH, ESZTER KOVÁCS, KÁROLY MAGYAR, ADRIENN PAPP, IDIKÓ SÁNDOR, ENIKŐ SPEKNER, ÁGOSTON TAKÁCS, GYÖRGY TEREI, ANIKÓ TÓTH

 

Designer 
LAJOS CZEGLÉDI – Studium Design Kft.

 
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