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Kuruc Soldier (Hommage à Rákóczi) Jan Kupecký (Johann Kupezky)


Jan Kupecký (Johann Kupezky) Pezinok, 1666 – Nuremberg, 1740

Culture Czech
Date early 1710s
Object type painting
Medium, technique oil on canvas

94 x 75 cm
with frame: 123.5 × 104.5 × 7.5 cm

Inventory number 54.18
Collection Old Master Paintings
On view Museum of Fine Arts, First Floor, European Art 1600–1700 and British Painting 1600–1800, Cabinet 2

One of the greatest masters of baroque portraiture in Central Europe was the Czech Ján Kupecký. With this painting, he paid tribute to the War of Independence against the Habsburgs, led by Francis II Rákóczi, and to its heroic Kuruc soldiers. He painted the work at the beginning of his stay in Vienna, immediately after the rebellion was crushed and Rákóczi was exiled in 1711. The powerful light coming from the left illuminates the sitter’s face and hands, which reflect his determined character: the piercing gaze, the knitted eyebrows and the resolute gesture shows his indefatigable energy and uncompromising dedication. His torso is clad in armour, over which he is wearing an animal hide. Numerous variations and copies of the painting are held in different public and private collections.


Pigler, Andor, Katalog der Galerie Alter Meister, 1-2. Museum der Bildenden Künste, Szépművészeti Múzeum, Budapest. 2, Akadémiai Kiadó, Budapest, 1967, p. 364-365.

This record is subject to revision due to ongoing research.

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