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Unique Exhibition Opens about the Life of Legendary Painter Mihály Munkácsy

MTI-Hungary Today 2023.12.10.
The Almásy Mansion in Gyula

A new temporary exhibition entitled Munkácsy: the success story has opened in the Almásy Mansion in Gyula (southeastern Hungary). The exhibition traces the life of Mihály Munkácsy from his first brushstrokes to world fame, as he “returns” to the building where he first became acquainted with painting.

Gabriella Gyarmati, art historian and curator of the exhibition, said that the aim was to portray Munkácsy in a way that has never been seen before.

Previously, the Munkácsy Museum in Békéscsaba (southeastern Hungary) highlighted his travels to the Belgian resort of Ostend in a temporary exhibition; now they focus on his early years.

Munkácsy’s uncle, who was not allowed to practice as a lawyer for a long time because of his role in the 1848-49 revolution, was given a job at the Gyula County House in the 1860s. It was also the place where Munkácsy returned from Arad (now in Romania) when he fell ill, the expert recalled.

In Gyula, the young Munkácsy studied drawing for five weeks with the German Károly Fischer. He also met the painter Elek Szamossy, who had just returned from Italy, having been asked to restore the Wenckheim family’s ancient gallery. This is how the history of Munkácsy and the Wenckheim-Almásy Mansion in Gyula is connected, said Gabriella Gyarmati. She stressed that the exhibition will start from here, presenting, among other things,

Munkácsy’s patriotic painting, his genre painting, and a special room dedicated to the painting Condemned Cell, where visitors will also be able to learn about the circumstances of the work’s creation.

Condemned Cell (Siralomház) (1880). Photo via Wikipedia

Managing Director Ildikó Fekete-Dombi also emphasized that the exhibition entitled Munkácsy:the success story will show original works of art with an insured value of HUF 1.5 billion (EUR 4 million).

This is more than any previous commitment we have made,”

noted the managing director of Erkel Ferenc Nonprofit Ltd., running the exhibition venues, including the mansion. She said that the public will be able to see a non-traditional exhibition of fine art, with interactive tools to help them get involved.

Photo via Facebook/Gyulai Almásy-kastély Látogatóközpont

“We used 21st century technology to create the installations. For example, the Paris Salon of the 19th century, the site where Munkácsy became world-famous, is displayed on VR glasses. The painting Condemned Cell is displayed in several planes in one installation; the positions of the cut-out figures were created by the experts using artificial intelligence,” explained the manager.

In addition to the Erkel Ferenc Museum in Gyula and the Munkácsy Mihály Museum in Békéscsaba, the Hungarian National Museum, the Museum of Fine Arts, the Hungarian National Gallery, and the Kieselbach Gallery, shop, and auction house, as well as three private collectors, have all contributed to the exhibition.

The exhibition is open to the public from Friday until January 5, 2025.


The Salon, or rarely Paris Salon (French: Salon de Paris), beginning in 1667, was the official art exhibition of the Académie des Beaux-Arts in Paris. Between 1748 and 1890, it was arguably the greatest annual or biennial art event in the Western world.

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The exhibition presents several works that are being shown for the first time.Continue reading

Via MTI, Featured image via Facebook/Gyulai Almásy-kastély Látogatóközpont

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