Gyula Benczúr, Ladislaus Hunyadi’s Farewell, 1866

King Albert the II of Hungary and Croatia died in 1493 and willed his reign to his son Ladislaus the Posthumous, who was still in his mother’s belly, born four months later. When Albert died there was a jockeying for power amongst the aristocracy in Hungary that lasted years, the story of which is convoluted and confusing, so I will spare the reader the details. However, one such nobleman was the young Ladislaus Hunyadi. The Posthumous promised to protect Hunyadi, and suspecting nothing Hunyadi accompanied the Posthumous to Buda. Here we see him biding his farewells to his fellow courtiers who plead with him not to go. Once there, the Posthumous turned on Hunyadi, had him arrested, tried him in a kangaroo court, and beheaded him. Hunyadi went down as a martyr in the quest for Hungary’s independence from the feudal system. There’s even an opera about him called Hunyadi László , written by Ferenc Erkel.

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