Bela III, owing to his western relationships, earned a significant international prestige for the Arpad dynasty. His son, Andrew had the opportunity to take advantage of the Cause of Christ in increasing his kingdom’s role in Latinity.

Andrew II can be considered to be the only monarch who assumed the sign of Christ, proved his stamina for the Holy Land, and also, as a result of his diplomacy the Latin Empire would survive as a factor in the region. Andrew II was striving to assume the role of Byzantium as a decisive member of the power system. It was not by chance that the lord of Tyrus, Conrad of Montferrat turned to the Arpads, begging: ”Jerusalem is calling for you!” In the eye of the West he was not just the descendant of the Arpads defending Christianity against the Cumans and Petchenegs, but also a potential leader in close relationship with prominent European dynasties. For the Latins he was not just a small western lord, but an offspring of a domus that had produced great rulers, who was related to Byzantine emperors, during whose reign the conversion of pagans and heretics began, and whose daughter had a reputation for leading a sainted life while he was still alive.

St. Bernard of Clairvaux could see his siblings settling in Hungary. The grey friars were guaranteed the same privileges by Bela III they had enjoyed in France. Andrew II’s chancery and the ranks of the higher clergy were filled with experts who had graduated in Paris, and who were mostly of French origin, who brought the modern culture and intellect of the age to Hungary. Anonymus studied in the Abbey of Sainte Genevieve, where he had made friends adept in literature. From the end of the 1220s we can find Hungarian students at the studium generale in Orleans.

The influence was reciprocal: some Hungarian kings and queens got into the French literature, for instance Andrew II was woven into the Guillaume d’Orange mythology. The Hungarian monarch is also a character in Andreas Capellanus’s Ars amoris. The famous troubadour of the age, Gaucelm Faidit found his home here: „Et ai estat en Ongri’ et en Franssa” / And I haue beene inne Hungrey and Fraunce”.

The plan of the historical panel, „Hungarian-French Historical Relations” by Vilmos Aba-Novak can be viewed at the exhibition. The 28 metre long piece of art consists of 7 metre tall panels and it illustrates cultural relationships and the influence of the French Cistercians well. The panel won Grand Prix at the 1937 Paris Great Exhibition. The great work of art is in the Istvan Csok Gallery.



Chiharu Shiota, the Japanese artist who has lived in Germany for twenty years, has earned international renown with exciting installations and performances. The Key in the Hand, the project she presented at the 2015 Venice Biennale, was named best exhibition of the year by several specialist journals.

Shiota likes to work with threads and everyday objects strung together: in her installations, old beds, window frames, clothes, shoes, suitcases or keys appear in an apparently impenetrable, mysterious tangle of strands. Over the past decade, the thread has become Shiota’s artistic trademark. As they enmesh the exhibition halls, the tangles, like so many emblems of how human relationships develop, represent the richly symbolic notions of remembering again and again. The Kmetty Museum, which houses the first part of her display in Szentendre, presents ten colour drawings that are all related to the same subject, the relationship of people: each examines the roads and paths that lead “from soul to soul” in its own way, while their approaches are alike. Szentendre Gallery gives home to the installation that comprises hundreds of kilometres of red thread and over twenty thousand old keys, which the public contributed in Hungary and abroad.
Chiharu Shiota was born in 1972, in Osaka, Japan. She studied at Kyoto Seika University, and the Canberra Shool of Art. In 1996 she moved to Germany, where she studied at the Universities of Fine Arts of Hamburg and Braunschweig. She completed her studies at the Berlin University of the Arts in 2003. She still lives in the German capital. Over the past fifteen years, she has had more than seventy solo exhibitions in leading centres of art. In addition to her creative work as an artist, she is also guest professor of the California College of the Arts. This is her first exhibition in Hungary.