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In the 14th century iconography of St Ladislaus there is an ensemble in which the sainted king is sitting on a throne. The earliest known relic of this maiestas type is bishop of Várad András Bátori's pontifical seal (1329–45). The high priest on confidential terms with King Charles Robert is credited with the renovation and enlargement of Várad (Oradea) cathedral including the erection of new altarpieces and the transformation of old ones. The first impression of his pontifical seal is dated 1338, which marks a turning point in the traditional composition of pontifical seals. They customarily featured the stationary figure of the archbishop or bishop, and later (from the beginning of the 14th century) the patron saint of the diocese with high priests at prayer around him or her. In the middle of the Bátori seal neither the bishop, nor the patron saint of the cathedral (Beata Maria Virgo), but King Saint Ladislaus can be seen (it was the king who had transferred the seat of the Bihar bishopric to Várad and founded the cathedral). Previously, St Ladislaus only featured on the seal of the Várad chapter from 1291. After its release the sedentary type spread quickly. Its extant specimens include a – by now perished – mural in the St Michael church of Kolozsvár, and the starting scenes in three fresco cycles on the legend of St Ladislaus in Transylvania (Gelence [Ghelinta], Homoródszentmárton [Martiniş], Homoródkarácsonyfalva [Craciunel]). The best known examples are the silver coins issued by King Louis I the Great from 1364. Highly distinguished among the relics is a mould for casting pigrim's badges fished out of the Seine in 1894. The casting mould gives us a clue as to what kind of a St Ladislaus altarpiece was venerated in Várad. This conclusion is justified by the fact that a pilgrim's badge always portrayed a votive icon or statue at the place of pilgrimage, with tiny copies of other saints specifically worshipped at the shrine. This applies to this casting mould as well, hence it features the schematic representation of the picture erected on St Ladislaus's renewed altar at the time of András Bátori – and this representation is identical with the picture of the bishop's seal. Concerning the Bátori seal, it was Jolán Balogh (1900–1986) who first hypothesized a Neapolitan link. On the basis of the quite obvious compositional correspondences, one can conclude that this link must have been Simone Martini's altarpiece of Saint Louis of Toulouse (1317) in Naples, which had a specially high ideological importance for the Anjous.

The enthroned St Ladislaus picture was undoubtedly a cultic image for the Hungarian Angevin kings, with ideological-typological roots in the Neapolitan court. The Hungarian branch of the family also adhered to the cults and iconographic traditions of Naples but they tried to adapt them to the circumstances of their new country with a view to superseding and modernizing the earlier models.


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Senior editors

Editor(s)-in-Chief: Árpád MIKÓ

Bölcsészettudományi Kutatóközpont, Művészettörténeti Intézet
P.O. address: Budapest, 1250, 31, Hungary


Chair of the Editorial Board: Anna JÁVOR

Magyar Nemzeti Galéria
Budapest, 1250, 31, Hungary


Editorial Board

  • Géza GALAVICS (Bölcsészettudományi Kutatóközpont, Művészettörténeti Intézet)
  • Erika KISS (Magyar Nemzeti Múzeum)
  • András KOVÁCS (Babeș–Bolyai Tudományegyetem, Kolozsvár)
  • Ildikó NAGY (Budapest)
  • Enikő RÓKA (Budapesti Történeti Múzeum)

Művészettörténeti Értesítő
Hungarian Nationale Gallery
P.O. Box 31
HU–1250 Budapest, Hungary
Phone: (36 1) 375 8858 ---- Fax: (36 1) 375 8898

CrossRef Documents 18
WoS Cites 3
Wos H-index 2

Journal Rank
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History Q4
Visual Arts and Performing Arts Q4
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History 1111/1259 (Q4)
Visual Arts and Performing Arts 389/502 (Q4)


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Művészettörténeti Értesítő
Language Hungarian
Size A4
Year of
per Year
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Founder Magyar Régészeti és Művészettörténeti Társulat
H-1088 Budapest, Hungary, Múzeum krt. 14.
Publisher Akadémiai Kiadó
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Chief Executive Officer, Akadémiai Kiadó
ISSN 0027-5247 (Print)
ISSN 1588-2802 (Online)