MARKÓ, Károly the Elder
(b. 1791, Lőcse, d. 1860, Villa Appeggi)

Visegrád

1826-30
Oil on canvas, 58,5 x 83 cm
Magyar Nemzeti Galéria, Budapest

The first ambitious composition of Hungarian scenery to be painted in the first half of the last century was by Károly Markó the Elder. He was the first great Hungarian landscape painter and his works were of high distinction, but he was later forced by hard times to earn his living abroad. This scene of Visegrád was painted when he still lived in Hungary.

It shows one of the most beautiful parts of the Danube Bend, the site of a glorious era in Hungary's history. On the top of the emerald green hill are ruins of the medieval castle, and down near the Danube is one of the keeps, the high rectangular Solomon Tower, where King Solomon of Hungary is reputed to have been imprisoned. Beyond the heavily shadowed foreground is the splendid panorama of the Danube Bend. The chief merits of the picture are its well blanced composition, delicate colour effect and the love of nature that radiates from painting.