Museum of Fine Arts in Budapest

Museums and Galleries

In the 70 of the last century, one of the Soviet publishing houses issued a series of books on the most famous museums in the world. In 1976, an album entitled “Museum of Fine Arts. Budapest". At that time, it was one of the most popular publications, which contained about 150 reproductions of the richest collection of cultural heritage of Hungary.

Museum and its collections

The Museum of Fine Arts, also called the famous Budapest collection of cultural treasures, is located on Heroes' Square - one of the most beautiful and popular places in the Hungarian capital. The opening of the museum was planned at the end of the 19th century as part of grandiose projects in honor of the millennium of the Hungarian state.

The building of the Museum of Fine Arts (Szpmvzzeti Mzeum) was created according to the designs of Albert Shikedanets and Fülep Herzog, which gave it a neoclassical look and decorated with Corinthian columns on the facade. Another reference to ancient Greece was the image on the portico of a scene from myths about the battle of the lapiths with the centaurs. The opening of the Museum of Fine Arts took place in the 1906 year. The ceremony was attended by the Austro-Hungarian Emperor Franz Joseph I.

If at first the museum’s collection contained 700 paintings by ancient masters, today there are more than 120 of thousands of rare exhibits in the halls and storage rooms. Over the long years of the museum’s work, works of artists and sculptors from Hungary were added to foreign works of art.

In the 80s of the last century, several of the most famous paintings were stolen from the museum, which were estimated at $ 6 million. Among them were paintings by Raphael. The police were involved around the world. But it was not possible to find the stolen. And only a few years later, someone on the phone indicated the location of the rarities. They were found in Greece next to one of the monasteries. The paintings were neatly packed in a suitcase.

Every year, museum venues display collections of various museums around the world. But the museum also has stationary exhibitions showing the development of world culture from Ancient Egypt to the heyday of Impressionism.

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Permanent collections:

  • Egyptian
  • antique;
  • ancient painting;
  • ancient sculpture;
  • graphic;
  • Hungarian.

At the beginning of the 20th century, the building was closed for renovation for several years. And only in 2018 the museum again opened its doors to visitors. After the reconstruction, permanent exhibitions resumed.

Egyptian collection

In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, scattered objects from Ancient Egypt were in the private possession of Hungarian travelers, aristocrats, diplomats who visited this African country or acquired interesting finds. Mummies of animals and people, amulets, bronze figurines were very popular with collectors. At the beginning of the 20th century, Egyptian-Hungarian excavations were carried out. Some of the artifacts were donated to the European state.

All these rarities in the amount of 1200 units were combined into a large collection, and in 1934 transferred to the Museum of Fine Arts. Five years later, the first exposition of Egypt was opened, which then became permanent. The collection was replenished after the Second World War. Thus, objects from the collection of György Rath, rarities from excavations in Nubia, finds from Thebes appeared here. Today, the Egyptian collection consists of 2,5 thousand items of culture and everyday life of the period of Ancient Egypt.

Antique art

The museum collection of ancient art in Budapest is the largest in Hungary. It consists of 6 thousand rare works of painting and sculpture of the Etruscan, Greek, Carthaginian and Roman cultures. And covers the time period from the 3rd millennium to the 7th century BC.

The beginning of the collection was laid by copies of ancient sculptures. But already at the beginning of the 20th century, the museum has 135 marble items purchased from Paul Arndt, an archaeologist from Germany. A little later, rare terracotta figurines appear. The collection is replenished mainly through purchases from private collections. Most of the collection appeared at the turn of the 20th and 21st centuries.

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Collection of ancient paintings

This collection is dedicated to the art of old Europe, from the middle of the 13th century to the beginning of the 17th century. More than 3 thousand paintings represent several periods of cultural development: from the Gothic to the Renaissance. The halls of the museum contain ancient paintings by such masters of painting as El Greco, Raphael, Rubens, Titian, Velasquez and many others.

There are also representatives of the Dutch trend in the collection: Gerard David, Petrus Christ, Van Dyck. Visitors will appreciate the large collections of paintings by Goya, Dürer, Cranach and others. The gallery of old masters was launched by the private collection of the large aristocratic family of Hungary, Esterházy.

Ancient sculpture collection

The Department of Ancient Sculpture was created in 1955. But from the very opening, the systematic acquisition and storage of voluminous works of art was carried out. The first were Italian statues, which one of the directors bought. There was a period in the history of the museum when plaster copies of famous sculptures appeared.

But since 1914 of the year, real original masterpieces of world-famous masters began to be placed in the halls. Among the most famous exhibits of the Department of Ancient Sculpture are the unique statues of Leonardo da Vinci, Rustici, Delmar and other talented masters. Represented in the halls and samples of wooden sculptures of Austria and Germany.

Collection of prints and drawings.

The graphic collection of Szpmvzzeti Mzeum is based on drawings and engravings from the private collection of the Esterhazy family. They include the famous pencil work of Leonardo da Vinci, Rembrandt, Albrecht Dürer, Nicholas Poussin and other masters. Some of the drawings belong to Austrian, German and French artists who lived in the 18th and 19th centuries.

In recent years, the collection has been replenished through purchases and thanks to the generous donations of Hungarian and foreign cultural funds. Today in the halls and storerooms of the museum there are about 3 of thousands of rare drawings and prints.

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Art of hungary

The Hungarian collection includes art objects, paintings, sculptures, bas-reliefs, tombstones made by Hungarian masters from the 11th to the 19th centuries. Among the ancient relics are wooden sculptures, parts of church paintings, frescoes, stone carvings, landscapes, still lifes and portraits. Many works were first kept in the Museum of Applied Arts and the National Museum, and at the end of the 19th century were transferred to the collection of the new Museum of Fine Arts. But only after the war these works were singled out in a separate collection.

Excursions and other activities

Weekends and evenings have many activities. This series of concerts, theatrical performances, master classes, vernissages, film screenings, dance shows and much more.

As part of school education, various educational courses and excursions are held. For preschoolers and schoolchildren, special history lessons and creative classes have been developed.

Working hours

The museum is open all week. Working hours:

  • Monday through Thursday - 10.00-18.00.
  • Friday - 10.00-19.00.
  • Saturday and Sunday - 9.00-19.00.

Some days there is a restriction on visiting certain exhibitions. Therefore, it is better to know in advance about the opening hours on the official website. The local store is open daily from 10.00 to 17.00.

Getting there

Address: Budapest, Dozsa Gyorgy utca, 41.

The museum is located to the left of Heroes' Square, next to the famous Varoshliget park.

There are several ways to get here:

  • by metro to Hősök tere station (yellow line);
  • by trolleybus No. 79 to the stop Benczúr utca, No. 72, 75 to the stop Állatkert;
  • by bus - No. 20E, 30, 30A, 105, 230 to the stop Hősök tere M.

From the stops you need to walk a few minutes.

The Museum of Fine Arts of Budapest is one of the main attractions of the Hungarian capital. After seeing the creations of the great European masters, you can visit a local store and buy art publications cheaply.