Friday, January 20, 2023

The Death King Louis II of Hungary

Louis II was a king of Hungary whose life was framed with drama. At his premature birth he was kept alive by court doctors who killed animals to wrap the baby in the warmth of their carcasses as a primitive incubator.

He died at age 20 during a battle against the Ottoman Turks. 

The Discovery of the Corpse of King Louis II by Bertalan Székely, 1860

His story was immortalized by Hungarian painter Bertalan Székely. According to Wikipedia, "Nearly the entire Hungarian Royal army was destroyed in nearly two hours on the battlefield. During the retreat, the twenty-year-old king died when he fell backwards off his horse while trying to ride up a steep ravine of the Csele stream. He fell into the stream and, due to the weight of his armor, he was unable to stand up and drowned."

Székely based the reconstruction on a letter by Ferenc Sárffy, who experienced the battle. The composition and arrangement of figures and lighting evoked feelings of national pride and independence.


James Bamford said...

The whole painting is incredible with its composition and values. The thing that's getting me the most is lighting and texture on the churned up dirt. I don't even know the path to approach something like that.

- James Bamford

Unknown said...

As a Hungarian, this painting touches me deeply, as a creative artist it fascinates and inspires me.
Janos Szabo from Budapest