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Portrait of Matthias Corvinus Benedetto da Maiano (attributed to) Giovanni Dalmata (previous attribution) Unknown Cast Maker (cast maker)


Benedetto da Maiano (attributed to) Maiano 1442 – 1497 Florence

Giovanni Dalmata (previous attribution) Traú [Trogir] ca. 1440 – after 1509

Unknown Cast Maker (cast maker)

Culture Italian
Date ca. 1476 (original), 1870s (cast)
Object type plaster cast
Medium, technique plaster cast

54 × 38.8 × 11.5 cm

Inventory number Rg.151
Collection Sculpture
On view Star Fortress (Komárom), Humanism and the Florentine Sculpture, Gallery XV

The marble reliefs depicting Matthias Corvinus (1443—1490) and his second wife, Beatrice of Aragon (1457—1508), daughter of Ferdinand I of Naples, are regarded as important portraits of the Italian Renaissance. The reliefs may once have decorated the royal residence in Buda Castle, yet they are first mentioned by Emperor Maximilian II (1527—1576) in a letter from 20 August 1571. In this document, the Holy Roman Emperor, who was also the king of Hungary, requested the reliefs, which were being held in Northeastern Hungary, to be sent to him.
In this way, the two portraits came to be in the imperial collection, and later in the collection of the Kunsthistorisches Museum. Not until 1933 were the portraits returned to Hungary as part of an agreement between Hungary and Austria. It was only in the mid-nineteenth century that Hungarian historians and art historians rediscovered the portraits, at which time the earliest plaster casts were made. The classicising portraits, virtuoso combinations of relief and bust, are emblematic portrayals of the royal couple. The portraits seem to have been the work of the Florentine sculptor, Benedetto da Maiano. They were probably made around 1476, on the occasion of the marriage of Matthias and Beatrice.

This record is subject to revision due to ongoing research.

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