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Dobó Square - Eger, Hungary
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Ráday Mansion and museum - Pécel, Hungary

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The Ceremonial Hall upstairs, its wall paintings were inspired by copperplate engravings in old books - Pécel, Hungary The Ceremonial Hall upstairs, its wall paintings were inspired by copperplate engravings in old books

The Ceremonial Hall upstairs in the Ráday Mansion of Pécel was a representative state room or function hall. It was created during the alteration works between 1755-1766. The Ceremonail Hall also known as the "Dining Palace", its walls are covered with unique monochromatic, single-colored murals which almost look like drawings. These were requested by the former owner of the mansion, the educated Gedeon Ráday. The pictures were selected from his favorite illustrated books: the "Metamorphoses" (English: "Books of Transformations") and the "Temple des muses" (French, in English it means "Temple of the muses") of Publius Ovidius Naso antique Roman poet (also known as Ovid). The moral messages and hexametric verses under the pictures were written by Gedeon Ráday himself.

The original pictures in the books were copperplate engravings and created by Bernard Picart and Philipp von Gunst, and the murals were painted on the walls based on them in 1766. The monchrome pictures were created by fresco technique (in Italian "affresco", powdered pigment is applied on wet lime plaster), while the colorful flower garland ornamentation was painted by secco technique (wet paint is applied on dry wall). The painter is unknown in both cases. During the devastating fire of 1825 the dome of the mansion was collapsed, and because the Ceremonial Hall was under it, the mural of Phaeton on the ceiling was destroyed and has never been restored.

The models of the wall paintings were created by copper engraving. This technique is similar to the copper etching, both are copperplate-based intaglio (relief) printing processes. The difference lies in that whereas in the case of copperplate etching the lines are etched out with acid, the copper engraving uses physical force to do this. And this is exactly why it is faster and easier to make a copperplate engraving than the etching.

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