View More View Less
  • 1 Institute for Literary Studies of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, H-1118, Ménesi út 11–13.
Restricted access


The paper analyses the textual and visual representations of King Matthias Corvinus in the light of Antique physiognomical theories. I intend to focus mainly on those descriptions and portraits which were influenced by the lion's physiognomy. The last chapter deals also with the portraits of Matthias, but with the Attila-faun-like images. The Antique theories of physiognomy have contributed to a more exact interpretation of his images and the physiognomical comparison has resulted a more shaded picture about his iconography, even in the case of the Attila-faun-type portraits where we cannot study such clear-cut intentions. Due to the research we can place plausibly the leonine images of King Matthias among the Renaissance state-portraits after having taken into consideration the king's political intentions as well. The examination of the sources has resulted that the role of Galeotto Marzio must have been crucial in mediating the physiognomical theories towards the Buda court. I have also demonstrated that in his work physiognomy appears as an element of the theoriesrelated to good governance.