Worth to know about the ELTE University Library. On the paintings of Mór Than, Part I.

In the 1848/49 war of independence, Mór Than served under the pseudonym ”Apáti” with Görgey. He probably never imagined that he would later paint portraits of Franz Ferdinand. Above the main entrance, between two columns, is a painting of the king in his 40s in Hungarian regalia. With this work, Than became a member of an elite portrait painting club. However, a former director, Zoltán Ferenczi, mistakenly called the portrait artist György Vastagh.

The painting became important soon after its completion because it became clear that very few pictures of the king were available in the Hungarian part of the Monarchy. Jenő Doby (born 04.09.1834), the famous line engraver, was commissioned to engrave the King's portrait and passed on Than's portrait. The work was based on a newspaper article published in Fővárosi Újság on 27. 11. 1875. The picture was 47*30 cm and cost 4 forints. From then on, everyone in the country used this picture of the King.

Nevertheless, the Than portrait was copied by many other artists. Ernő Lányi, painter and drawing teacher, also wrote a letter in 1887 asking for permission. His request was granted, but we do not know what happened to his copy. If anyone has any information about this copy of a portrait intended for the 1st District Art School in Budapest, we would be grateful.

Based on Edit Kazimír's article