He studied art, travelling to Vienna in 1812 and Italy in 1815, but had no luck with either writing or painting until April and June 1819, when his tragedies A tatárok Magyarországon ("The Tatars in Hungary") and Ilka, vagy Nándorfehérvár bevétele ("Ilka, or the Capture of Belgrade") were a great success.
Kisfaludy began writing poems and songs while in the army from 1804 to 1811. He saw active service in the Napoleonic Wars in Italy, Serbia and Bavaria. After his return in 1810 he courted a girl named Katalin Heppler, but did not marry.
He followed them up immediately with other dramas he had written: Stibor vajda ("The Voivode Stiber") and A kérők ("The Suitors"), in September, and A pártütők ("The Insurgents") in November. And the next year wrote three more. His plays were translated into German, and performed in Vienna.
He fell in love with a woman named Nina Löffler, but because she was Jewish he could not marry her. He wrote prolifically for Aurora until his death from tuberculosis in 1830. The Kisfaludy Society was created in his honour in 1836.
He is remembered for his plays and epigrams, and for poems like his elegy Mohács (1824), on the subject of the battle of 1526. His life was fictionalised by Mór Jókai in Eppur si muove (1872).
Hungarian Academy of Sciences.