József Rippl-Rónai stained-glass windows in the dining room of the Andrássy Mansion in Tiszadob

Issues and solutions in connection with restoration and reconstruction

MúzeumCafé 36.

The stained-glass windows of the Andrássy Mansion in Tiszadob present us with a varied picture. In addition to the stained glass of mainly simple geometrical design in the stairway, entrance hall and salon, you can also find József Rippl-Rónai’s colourful, animated ensemble echoing Art Nouveau, which was originally designed for the dining room of Tivadar Andrássy’s villa in Buda. Most of the architectural glass of the so-called “Andrássy dining room” has been destroyed. A small element of the window made by Miksa Róth has proved to be original. Unfortunately, no fragments of the ceiling glass made in Wiesbaden or the wrought framework holding it have come to light. From the very start we were faced by a sharp question. How would the three small, original, intact glass sections – which remained only as fragmented compositional parts – fit into the architectural and design concept taking shape with respect to the renovation and future use of the building? In this regard, architectural and monument preservation points of view clashed. As it happened – rejecting the sterile concept of precise restoration, as well as a contemporary reinterpretation by a glass artist, and later an entire reconstruction-oriented but fake solution – a certain confusion arose. Then finally came the answer. The first phase of the reconstruction plan roughly outlined the final appearance. In the second step it was necessary to prepare all the full-size cartoons and on the basis of these to determine the exact colour and position of each glass section, so that the entire concept could be implemented. The cross-over between applied arts and interior design requires complex deliberation.