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Legacy of Drawings

The Christian Museum of Esztergom possesses 227 drawings by Károly Markó, the Elder. However, this item does not actually stand for the total legacy of drawings, because some pages contain several studies and sketches. The majority of drawings totalling almost 300 are draperies and figure studies, or colour sketches prepared for pictures depicting mythological and biblical themes. These drawings often served as compositional or colour sketches. This can be concluded on the basis of clearly discernible cross hatchings, staines, or remarks referring to colours. In addition to the group of sketches and studies, there exists a separate section of China ink drawings depicting Italian landscapes. Markó made the first samples of these China ink drawings in the mid-1840s. János Simor, Primate of Esztergom, bought these drawings from Markó's son, Károly Markó, the Younger. Markó's son offered his father's drawings for sale in his letter originally addressed to the Society of Hungarian Fine Arts in September 1877. However, the Society was not very keen on buying the legacy while János Simor paid 1000 Forints for them 30 March 1878. Drawings held at the Collection of Prints and Drawings of the Hungarian National Gallery do not have a similarly homogeneous 'collection history'. Some were bought from an art critic, Tamás Szana, or from Markó's grandchild, Giulia Markó Conti, or were donated by a renowned museum director, Ágoston Kubinyi.