Budapest’s Museum of Fine Arts reopened with an exhibition showing some 50 precious drawings and prints by several international and Hungarian masters ranging from Leonardo to Miro and Munkácsy to Rippl-Rónai, on Friday.
The exhibition entitled “The Paper Side of Art: From Leonardo to Miro” celebrates the 150th anniversary of the museum’s Collection of Prints and Drawings, as well as its reopening to the public after a year-long close forced by the coronavirus pandemic, Lászlo Baán, the museum director, told a press conference. Speaking about the anniversary, Baán noted that the Hungarian state had purchased in 1871 the Esterházy family’s precious artwork collection that included 4,000 drawings and 51,000 prints which became the core of the museum’s current collection.
It was later continuously expanded through donations from Hungary and abroad and through additional purchases of drawings and prints by Old Masters and by modern artists as well, Baán said. Marking the anniversary, the Museum of Fine Arts and the National Gallery have published a richly illustrated catalogue presenting 540 outstanding works from their current collection of some 200,000 drawings, prints, lithographs and woodcuts, he said. Introducing the exhibition, curator Kinga Bódi said that it presents the most delicate drawings and prints of the collection along with ones only rarely displayed.
The oldest one is “Jacob’s Dream” tempera and gold on parchment by an anonymous Bohemian artist dating back to the 15th century. The public can also see one of the museum’s three Leonardo drawings, the Study of Two Warriors’ Heads, as well as Delacroix’s Horse Frightened by Lightning, Brueghel’s Landscape with Tobias and the Angel, Picasso’s The Frugal Meal and Miro’s Migratory Bird. Other masters include Durer, Raphael, Rembrandt, Rubens, Goya, Van Gogh, Cezanne and Schiele, and Hungary’s Rippl-Rónai, Munkácsy, Aba-Novák, Ferenczy and Kondor. The exhibition will run in the museum’s Michelangelo Hall until August 15.
Featured photo illustration by Csilla Cseke/MTI