Miles Christi: St. Ladislas of Hungary between Chivalrous Myth and Dynastic Cult. The Frescoes in the Church of the Incoronata in Naples
The furious battle of St. Ladislas of Hungary against the Cumans opens a brief but complex cycle – still problematical in many respects – painted in the Church of the Incoronata in Naples around 1403, at a time when King Ladislas of Duras had nearly achieved the crown of Hungary. In it, episodes from the life of the Virgin and images of St. Martin and St. George, to whom Hungarians were deeply devoted, surround three crucial moments of St. Ladislas’ life, attesting his military and religious virtues and celebrating at the same time his descent from St. Stephan, the first Christian king of Hungary. King Ladislas of Duras’ claims to belong to this dynastic continuity are strengthened by the arrival in Naples of a relic (likely of St. Stephen or of St. Ladislas) which two characters – whose identification could resolve the complicated issue of the patronage – offer to the Church of the Incoronata in the last scene of the cycle.