(1863, Budapest - 1920, Budapest)

The Story of Klára Zách I

Oil on panel, 101 x 195 cm
Hungarian National Gallery, Budapest

In The Story of Zách Klára I and II the painter deals with a theme from Hungarian history, when in fourteenth-century Hungary, an alien king, the Angevin Charles Robert, ruled the country. Legend has it that one of the Hungarian aristocrats opposing his reign, Felicián Zách, attacked the royal family whom he blamed for the rape of his daughter. In retaliation, Felicián Zách and his entire clan were exterminated.

Numerous works of art and literature dealt with the theme in course of the nineteenth-century, when Felicián Zách became a symbol of the rebellion against foreign domination and personal sacrifice for Hungarian liberty. Körösfői-Kriesch, however, was fascinated mainly by the emotional rather than political basis of this theme. Klára Zách is here the embodiment of female honesty and virtue, and only marginally the heroine of a Hungarian drama.

These paintings show the interpenetration of Art Nouveau forms and ideas at their most intense.

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Created and maintained by Emil Krén and Dániel Marx; sponsored by the T-Systems Hungary Ltd.