Hungarian painter (b. 1844, Nyíregyháza, d. 1920, Dolány)
The Recapture of Buda Castle in 1686
Oil on canvas, 356 x 705 cm
Magyar Nemzeti Galéria, Budapest
Benczúr started to paint “The Recapture of Buda Castle in 1686” in 1885; the composition was completed for the Millennial Celebrations in 1896. This huge painting was the last such venture of Benczúr and of Hungarian Historical painting in general, since by the turn of the century this genre became out of date. The composition implies the historical necessity of the Austro-Hungarian Empire by emphasizing that Hungary was freed from Turkish suzerainty in 1686-1687 by the help of Karl of Lotharingia and Eugene of Savoy. Benczúr groups the figures ingeniously; thus, in spite of the numerous characters, the presentation still remains fluent. The careful studies of costumes, props and faces, and their realistic and colourful rendering, were required to establish the historical authenticity of the final work.
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