Abstract: The Changing Myth of the Hero in Nineteenth Century Hungarian Paintings
This work has analysed seven visual texts on Hungarian heroes in the 19th century, and observed the changes in the myth of the hero during this period. Nineteenth century Hungarian culture has been reconstructed on the basis of selected cultural text analyses, and the conclusions are inductive, taking into account as many different variables as possible. The intention has been to select a representative sample of the researched material and to develop an exact and repeatable method in order to ensure reliable and comparable results.
A semiotical cube model was developed for the method used. The model presumes that the terms in the analysed text are complementary rather than opposites. Saussure's meaning of langue and parole has been integrated into the model. If langue is the global culture of a certain time, then parole is a single part of it, a certain local culture. The same thing can be interpreted as either parole or langue, depending on the point of view. Moreover, when a local culture functions as the langue, parole is part of a certain production and when this production functions as a langue, then the parole is a single text.
The hero theme in Hungarian paintings continues literary tendencies, where national feelings after the Revolution (forradalom) and during the War of Independence (szabadságharc) were expressed through personal emotions. Mainly because of literary suppression that followed the defeated uprising, the visual arts took over literature's role as a social leader, and a special langue of Hungarian visual expression was developed. The tendency was to create uniform national identity among Hungarians by using historical examples. This was politically important in the establishment of sovereign state of Hungary.