by Alina LivnevaMarch 18, '20
The Hungarian National Gallery
Budapest is mainly known for its culture, cheap yet lavish lifestyle, magnificent architecture, and exceptional art and museums. The city is split down the middle by the river Danube with the Old Buda on one side, and Pest on the other (now one city by the name of Budapest), and the history of the place is fascinating. It also has a great art scene, which is what we are going to dive into now.
Budapest is an exciting city with a rich and diverse history. It has been host to many spectacular events in the past such as the annual Black Food Festival, which aims to create a wide variety of all black but still super delicious foods; the time they hosted a leg of the EPT (European Poker Tour) and created a fantastic event in Old Buda; a wide variety of great concerts such as Santana, and the Hungarian singer Peter Egyedi; and the beautiful town has so much more to offer as well. Besides the city’s stunning architecture, which spans from the Parliament building visible from Buda Hill to the great bridge connecting the two divided parts of the city, and includes the wonderful buildings, bridges, tunnels, and roads scattered throughout its environs, Budapest is also home to a few fantastic museums. This includes the Hungarian National Gallery. The Gallery is an absolute must-see and a real treat for those willing to make the trek up Buda Hill. Let’s step inside.
The Hungarian National Gallery was founded back in 1957 and is the national museum for art. It is located in the impressive Buda Castle on top of Buda Hill, overlooking the river, the bridge, and the parliament building – which makes for a pretty spectacular view. The Gallery contains the numerous paintings and artworks of both famous and lesser-known Hungarian artists and, thanks to the merger in 2008, now also hosts the Museum of Fine Art. This houses paintings and artworks from national and international artists too. Therefore you can now see the works of such artists as László, Ádam Szabó, Salvador Dalí, Farkas, Pablo Picasso and many more. The Gallery is a vibrant, exciting, and mind-expanding mix of paintings and sculptures from the Medieval, Renaissance, Gothic, and Baroque art periods as well as modern and postmodern Hungarian and international art. This Gallery is truly a treasure trove for art lovers.
Past and current exhibitions
It can be argued that art is mainly subjective. Still, at the National Gallery, there is sure to be something for every art taste. Previous exhibits include the beautiful works of Salvador Dalí as well as a vast collection of Baroque artworks and eccentric and exciting exhibitions, including the work of Bacon, Freud, and the paintings of the School of London. If you were to visit the Gallery right now, you would see a vast variety of great exhibitions including the fascinating exhibit titled Tuned In – The Coming Together of The Hungarian National Gallery and the 70-Year-Old Budapest Puppet Theatre; this exhibit is celebrating the 70th year of the Budapest Puppet Theatre by showcasing puppets and items used to illustrate the wondrous transformation the puppet theatre has undergone in the last 70 years. The exhibitions on display also include ArtArt in the 19th Century, Variations on Realism – From Munkácsy to Mednyánszky, and Late Gothic Winged Altarpieces featuring beautiful altarpieces, panel paintings, and wooden sculptures from the early 16th century.
There are many other wonderful exhibitions on display right now as well as the Gallery’s permanent collections, which include a fantastic show on Gothic Art in the Hungarian Kingdom from 1300-1500, a vast selection of nude sculptures from the turn of the century, an exhibit on modern ArtArt showcasing Hungarian ArtArt between 1896 and the Second World War, and an exhibit that will take you from Delacroix to Vasarely and show you the many beautiful works of international art produced after 1800.
The Hungarian National Gallery is usually open from 10 am to 6 pm Tuesday to Sunday, remaining closed on a Monday. However, The National Gallery is currently closed until further notice but will be reopening as soon as possible. Tickets are available either at the ticket desk at the entrance to the Gallery, or you can purchase them online when planning your trip. Make sure you check the Gallery’s website for any announcements or specials. It is also possible to book guided or private tours of the Gallery upon request.