Budavári palota - Hunyadi udvar (I.)
King Matthias I of Hungary
Matthias Corvinus (1443 - 1490)
King of Hungary (as Matthias I) and Croatia (1458-1490), son of Hunyadi János
Monumental fountain group in the western forecourt of Buda Castle. The group depicts a hunting party led by Matthias Corvinus, the king of Hungary. The bronze figures are standing on heaps of rocks against the backdrop of the northern facade of the former Castle Church. Water is running down between the cracks of the boulders. The whole theatrical arrangement bears resemblance to the famous Trevi Fountain in Rome although it is on a much smaller scale.
The monumental facade behind the fountain is flanked by two pairs of giant Corinthian columns. The original balustrade crowning and the Mansard roof was richer in details but it was simplified after the second world war. The central niche forms a triumphal arch which is decorated with King Matthias' personal coat of arms. The Art Nouveau arboreal decoration of the niche creates an interesting stylistic contrast with the more traditional taste of the fountain. The surface is decorated with a plain golden mosaic.
There are four statues or statue groups:
(click on the photo for an enlargement in a separate window.)
- King Matthias is standing on the highest rock in hunting attire. He is holding a crossbow in his right and a huge stag lies dead at his feet. The stag was modelled after a majestic animal which was killed in 1896 by poachers in the forest where Stróbl went hunting.
- On the lower rocks a henchman blows his horn and the leader of the hunting group rests sitting on a boulder with his back towards the viewer. Three hounds complete the central group.
There are two more bronze figures on the sides of the basin. They are connected to the central group with gestures and gazes but they have their own plinths.
- Szép Ilonka (Helen the Fair) (on the left), heroine of a famous 19th century ballad by Mihály Vörösmarty. The girl is looking towards the king protecting her tame fawn from the hunters.
- Galeotto Marzio (Narni 1427 - Bohemia c. 1497) (on the right), Italian humanist and chronicler, who lived in King Matthias court (Wikipedia). A dog lies at his feet and a falcon sits on his arm.
- Alajos Stróbl (Liptóújvár / Liptovský Hrádok 1856 - Budapest 1926),
Sources & Information
Location N 47°29'46" E 19°2'20"
Item Code: hubp051; Photograph: 7 September 2012
Of each statue we made photos from various angles and also detail photos of the various texts.
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© Website and photos: René & Peter van der Krogt