Hungarian National Gallery

Member Rating 3 out of 5 by Mandan Lynn on January 24, 2007

The guys ran off to the history museum and I immersed myself in Hungary's National Gallery, a part of the castle complex.

The first section I visited was mainly ruins from the old castle. I'll admit it: kind of boring. I was nervous about the rest of the museum. From there I journeyed on to religious paintings and sculptures, the ones from that period that all look the same. I'm not a big fan.

But I kept moving. And things got good.

I wasn't familiar with any of the artists—they were Hungarian, a country that is underrepresented in most of the major art galleries I've visited in the rest of Europe. It just didn't produce any Picassos or da Vincis, but their art is not undeserving of merit.

I saw paintings by one Wolfgang Kopp, who impressed me immediately. I can't describe it, but his style is unlike anything I've ever really seen before.

There was an entire wing devoted to Laszlo Paal and Mihaly Munkacsy. They did a lot of foliage work. Nice. But there was a lot of it. I ended up rushing through this part a bit.

There was one painting called "Woman in Violet". It caught my eye because the figure in the painting...was wearing violet. Look around the famous old art: you will rarely see a woman painted wearing a color like that. It's not the sort of thing you realize until you are face to face with "Woman in Violet".

As you move up in the museum, the paintings get newer. By the top floor we had art after 1945. There was one called "Red Blind Spot" by Attila Szucs that was beautiful. It was an arctic scene, and in the middle was a giant red spot—as if someone had taken a photo and the glare off the snow created a red blind spot. Stunning. Otherwise, there was little I took note of in this section.

Most captions were in English and Hungarian, but this wasn't consistent. Sometimes they would be in Hungarian only. Sometimes there would be German captions. In front of one work there were Braille captions!

I spent a delightful 2 hours at the National Gallery, and could have easily devoted more time to it had I not agreed to meet the guys back on the steps at 12:30. If you like art, it would be a shame to miss out on the Hungarian works, which you will have a hard time finding in other museums around Europe.

Hungarian National Gallery
Tues-Sun 10am-6pm
Permanent collection free
Guided tours available for a fee
Hungarian National Gallery
Budavári Palota, Szent György tér 2., Wings A, B, C, D
Budapest, Hungary, 1014
(+36 1) 201 9082

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