UNKNOWN MASTER, Hungarian
(active 1200-1230)

Head of a King

1200-25
Red limestone, height 17 cm
Magyar Nemzeti Galéria, Budapest

This head of a king was most probably part of one of the figures decorating the doorway of the Cathedral in Kalocsa, Hungary. Fragments of the portal, of the same red marble, were unearthed during excavations in the last century.

The head, formed in a summary manner, is one of the finest examples of Romanesque stone-carving in Hungary. It is elaborated also at the back and is crowned with a hoop-like headdress decorated with three Greek crosses. The simplicity of the form, the elaboration of the beard, moustache and hair in parallel straight lines and the strongly outlined wide-open eyes are responsible for the monumental character of the head. Formerly it was thought to be the head of King St. Stephen, founder of the Cathedral, but it may rather be that of one of the biblical kings adorning the portal.




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