1914, size: 8.10 x 6.10 m

The Ban of Croatia, Nikola IV Zrinski, was a descendant of the old noble house of Šubić Bribirski. He rose to fame by defending his homeland against the Ottomans. In 1563, he was appointed a commander of the royal army on the Danube and in Szigetvár.

In 1566, the Turks invaded Hungary with a large army, and in early August, they besieged Szigetvár. Though the Ottoman forces vastly outnumbered them, the defenders fought fiercely for every part of the city, palace and old fortress. Ultimately, Zrinski and his garrison were defeated, but their courage and the enormous casualties suffered by the enemy postponed the Ottoman campaign to the west for several years.

The painting captures the last moments of the defenders when the Turkish army had already taken over the city. The palace and the old castle are engulfed in flames, and Zrinski gives a fiery speech to what remains of the garrison and prepares them for the last charge. Exhausted fighters lay aside their heavy gear, so it doesn't slow them down.

The right part of the picture shows a gunpowder magazine that the defenders did not want to surrender to the enemy. The commander of local women lights a torch she will later throw into the magazine. Other women follow her on the scaffolding because they prefer death to captivity and slavery.

The dark column of smoke dividing the image symbolises the explosion of the fortress and the nobility of the terrible sacrifice: the lives lost in the name of freedom.