UNKNOWN MASTER, Hungarian
(active 1420-1430 in Buda)
Figure of a Prophet1420-30
Limestone, height 24 cm
Historical Museum, Budapest
When the castle of Buda was reconstructed, fragments of statues were found during excavations. As it soon turned out, the majority of statues had never been finished. They must have been works of a workshop which were thrown out when a stone-cutting workshop was demolished. Hollows in the ground were filled with statues together with fragments when a house was built in the Middle Ages.
The picture shows one of the figures, partially completed. The statues were made of limestone which came from the region of Buda, perhaps Budafok. A group of them shows figures of different size (knights, bishops, kings never identified and aristocratic ladies) in court costumes while the other group includes saints, apostles and prophets in half life-size. The two groups do not differ from each other in style.
Dates were decided after a critical analysis of style had been carried out. Statues came rather from the 1420s than the Late Anjou period, i.e. the late 1370s as was first believed. Statues represent two major styles: one is closely associated with sculpture of the Vienna school around 1400, and the other with French sculpture (the style of André Beauneveu, a Flemish artist, in Bourges) which is very likely to have arrived at Buda via Brabant and Lower-Rhineland.