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King Saint Stephen Offering His Crown to the Virgin Mary Franz Anton Maulbertsch

Artist:

Franz Anton Maulbertsch Langenargen, 1724 – Vienna, 1796

Date: 1772-1774
Medium: canvas, oil
Dimensions: image: 31 × 19.5 cm image (with frame): 36.5 × 25 × 4 cm, 0.8 kg
Type: sketch for a painting
Inventory number: 6332
Collection: Old Hungarian Collection

Saint Stephen offering the Hungarian crown to Mary was the most common and most popular theme of Hungarian late Baroque altar painting, in which the Virgin Mary is linked to the cult of the Hungarian king, Saint Stephen. Franz Anton Maulbertsch’s small-scale work created with virtuoso technique and powerful, fresh colours was a study for the high altar of the Roman Catholic church of the village Écs. Here, Saint Stephen, shown in Hungarian attire, presents the coronation regalia to Mary and asks her to protect his country. An angel carries the regalia on a pillow, while a small putto in the lower left corner of the painting holds the country’s coat of arms. Such an attempt at an accurate representation of the cloak and coronation regalia reveals the importance placed on faithful depictions during this period.

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