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Stained-glass wonders from Budapest

Statesman News Service |

The Embassy of Hungary and the Hungarian Information and Cultural Centre presented a unique exhibition by eminent Hungarian artist Miksa Róth, titled ‘Colour Drenched Sunshine’, at the Art Gallery of the Hungarian Centre.The exhibition was inaugurated by Dr Csaba Balogh, Minister of State, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade Hungary and Prof. Lokesh Chandra, President of the Indian Council of Cultural Relations.

Marking the occasion, the Ambassador quoted: “During Europe’s belle- époque era, Hungarian artist Miksa Róth was one of the continent’s top stainedglass masters, and his colourful works still brighten monumental buildings in Budapest, right up to this day. We are pleased to present a few of his works for art lovers in India.” Róth established, in the beginning of the 20th century, a workshop renowned for reviving glass and mosaic art in Hungary.

After first learning his craft in the workshop of his father Zsigmond Róth, the artist also spent time in England, France and Germany, where he studied medieval stained glass works. In 1885, Miksa Róth founded his own workshop and soon received a number of commissions due to the wave of construction that overtook Budapest, following the Austro-Hungarian Compromise of 1867.

Decorative elements, intended to grace buildings erected for economic or administrative purposes, churches, synagogues, cafés, private homes or blocks of luxury flats, were all crafted in his workshop. From the end of the 1890s, Róth was the first artist in the AustroHungarian empire to adopt the new type of glass invented by LC Tiffany, a material he utilised with great originality while also introducing mosaics to Hungary.

His most significant works can be seen in distinguished buildings such as the Hungarian Parliament or the venerated Chapel of the Holy Right Hand of St. Stephen, located in the Royal Palace. In Budapest, the Academy of Music, the former headquarters of the Gresham Insurance Company and the Lipótmezo Chapel also feature Róth creations. The accolades reaped during Miksa Róth’s artistic career turned into tragedy following the outbreak of World War II.

Forced by the 1939 Anti-Jewish Laws to close his workshop, Róth died at home in 1944. The exhibition is on till 27 October (10 a.m. to 4 p.m., weekdays ). As a finissage to the exhibition and with the objective of strengthening the bond of Indo-Hungarian Cultural ties, the Hungarian Centre, in collaboration with Gallery Sree Arts, will organise a three-day art camp titled ‘The Sunbeam Consortium’, inspired by Róth, on 28 October.