The connection with Zsolnay came through Lechner – the two had worked together designing iridescent stove tiles and architectural ceramics. Zsolnay also made the roof tiles of the Matthias Church in Budapest.
After Vilmos Zsolnay's death in 1900, the factory lost some of its vitality and originality, but the Schmidl tomb was made before his influence was exhausted and is an extraordinary flowering of ceramic art. The ceramics are sculpted, textured and glazed a beautiful turquoise blue.
Within the tomb are some Hebrew inscriptions and mosaics showing the Lion of Judah, but otherwise there is little Jewish about it, typical of the Neolog (Reform) Judaism of Hungary. The majority of Hungarian Jews, especially in the cities, are Neolog and the orthodox are in the minority. Some tombstones in the Neolog Rákoskeresztúr cemetery have no Hebrew inscriptions at all.
Eli Valley describes these almost secular tombs as ohelim, tents, in which it was traditional to bury outstanding members of the community. The Schmidl tomb is an Art Nouveau ohel with oriental touches. It was a style Lajta used in works for Gentile clients, including his competition entry for the tomb of Lajos Kossuth (pictured).