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by Mandan Lynn
Smithwick, South Dakota
January 24, 2007
From journal A Bit of Budapest
Cinnaminson, New Jersey
January 17, 2005
To take photos, buy a photo ticket, which costs €3.
The Museum of Fine Arts occupies a very impressive building with a grand portico and a large lobby with ornaments of plaster and modern lighting. The museum has a large collection that starts with antiquity – Roman and Greek busts, statues, amphoras, and sarcophaguses. Also on the first floor is a collection of 15th-century Italian frescoes, which are exhibited in a large atrium with arches on two levels and frescoed ceilings.
There is also a baroque hall with 17th century Italian paintings by Renier, Giordano, Solimena, Ribera, Strozzi, and Reni. Unfortunately, it has terrible painting arrangement and lighting - paintings are staggered up to the ceiling and oil is staring at you instead of the painting.
The museum has a large collection of 19th-century art. Here you can see some Art Nouveau paintings by German and Hungarian masters such as Makart and Romako alongside paintings by Puvis de Chavannes and statues by Rombaux and De Vigne. German painters of the first half of 19th century are well-represented. There is a large hall devoted to works of Carpeaux, Delacrouix, Corot, Courbet, Daubigny, and Millet. But the best part of the 19th-century collection is of course works of Impressionists – Bonnard, Monet, Renoir, Cezanne, Toulouse-Lautrec, Pissarro, Manet, and Boudin – each of the most famous French Impressionists is represented by at least one painting.
On the first floor up the stairs is Old Masters gallery. The Italian Renaissance is well-represented, as are Gothic icons from Siena, Venice, Arezzo, Padua, and Florence. You walk from one famous master to another: Ferrari, Boccaccino, Vivarini, Basaiti, Lippi, Ghirlandaio (an amazing painting of "St. Stephen"), di Cosimo, Luini, Sodoma, Rafael (the famous "Esterhazy Madonna"), Tintoretto, Palma Vecchio, Lotto, Corregio, Bassano, Veronese, Bronzino, Raeburn, Gainesborough, Ricci, Canaletto, Grassi, Guardi, Tiepolo, Altomonte, Troger, Crespi, Gentileschi, Guercino, Rosa, Lebrun, Mignard, Bourdon, Vouet, Poussin, Murillo, Zurbaran, Velazquez, Goya, Cano, and El Greco.
Across the floor there is a good collection of German, Austrian, and Dutch masters (from the 15th to 17th centuries), with masterpieces of Holbein, Cranach, Mengs, Brueghel, Jordaens, de Vos, van Dyck, Rubens, Teniers, Massys, Bosch, Gossaert, van Cleve, and van Eyck, Memling. A whole floor above is devoted to 17th-century Dutch paintings, the highlight of which is Rembrandt’s portraits.
In the basement there is Egyptian art and a large bookshop.
It is a good collection, but it is difficult to navigate between floors.
From journal Travels in Hungary - Budapest, Part I
July 29, 2001
From journal Buda+Pest+Me=Love