Hungarian National Gallery English


King Matthias
Alexy, Károly

King Matthias

Bronze sculpture , Bronze
57 cm

Inv.: 56.75-N
Location: Buildings C-B, 1st Floor

Alexy, Károly - King Matthias

Alexy studied in Vienna in the first half of the 1840s. His small equestrian statue of Queen Victoria was a success and earned him an intriguing commission: he had to make a sixteen-piece series of the noted army commanders of the Habsburg Empire. At home, the reform diets and movements urged for political-social changes, the idea of the country's independence and the need for a national king were more and more strongly voiced. All this directed the attention to the great figures of the national past: a monument to commemorate King Matthias became timely. Nationawide fund-raising began, István Ferenczy made the plans but his ideas divided the public who thought they were too ambitious. It was probably the general atmosphere that encouraged Alexy to plan a series of Hungarian heroes and kings, with King Matthias modelled first. The small standing bronze figure shows the renaissance ruler, the patron of sciences and arts. His head is adorned with the laurel wreath of a victorious commander instead of the crown. He rests his hand on a traceried gothic edifice all three sides of which are adorned with allegorical figures. The latter convey a sort of "plastic laudation": Historia, Minerva and Fortuna extol Matthias' life-work and personality. Alexy's work was received warmly at the Pozsony diet of 1844 and in the art exhibition in Pest, bronze copies were cast of the piece, but his idea of the cycle could not be realized.