European Art 1250-1600

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European Art 1250-1600

The complex reconstruction of the Museum of Fine Arts has created the unique opportunity to rearrange the permanent exhibition of the Old Master Paintings based on a brand new concept, according to which the exhibition presents the main periods of art history chronologically and divided into smaller geographical areas.

The museum’s air-conditioned wing on Dózsa György Road showcases the European art of more than two centuries, spanning from the thirteenth century to the late 1500s. Visitors can view the Gothic, early and High Renaissance as well as the mannerist material of the Old Master Paintings. The richest section of the selection comprising some four thousand works presents the art of the Italian regions – primarily Tuscany, Venice, Emilia, Romagna, Rome, and Lombardy – but the Netherlandish, German, and Spanish painting of the era is also represented through outstanding masterpieces. Thanks to the new concept, the overall picture displaying the local characteristics of each school will be accompanied by the presentation of universal trends and the mutual influence between the centres of art. At certain points of the exhibition epoch-making masters – who defined the given period or artistic circle – are highlighted, among them Lucas Cranach, Raphael, Leonardo da Vinci, and El Greco. The thematically arranged halls provide a more complex overview of the genres, modes of depiction, stylistic trends and the original function of artworks. The paintings are complemented with sculptures, prints, and applied art objects, allowing an insight into relations of artistic and cultural history. Visitors are helped during their tour of the exhibition by wall captions, explanations next to the displayed objects, reconstruction drawings, an audio guide, and multimedia presentations.

Highlights, curiosities

Titian’s portrait of a woman

This portrait had been attributed to Titian up until the early 20th century but from the 1930s experts increasingly expressed doubt about his authorship. It was displayed at the museum’s old permanent exhibition as a work by an unknown 16th-century Italian painter. The cleaning of the picture in recent years, however, revealed the subtle painterly solutions previously concealed by the accretions and dissolved all doubt concerning the original attribution.

Restoration of Sodoma’s predella panels

Sodoma’s paintings were given new life during the restoration carried out in the museum in 2016 and 2017. The multimedia application at our exhibition allows an insight into the fascinating work done by conservators/restorers Tímea Bakonyi, Ágnes Kuna and Gábor Erdei, and reveals the adventurous story of the pictures, which still hide many secrets.

New sculptures in the Old Master Paintings exhibition

Graphic art, applied art objects and sculptures will add colour to the new permanent exhibition of the Old Master Paintings. This marvellous sculpture of Saint Michael will be displayed for the first time to the public since it was only purchased by the museum in 2017. The museum’s collection never before had a 15th-century Spanish sculpture of such high quality as this piece, which can be seen in the hall devoted to early Spanish masters.

European Art 1250-1600

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