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Masterpieces of Budapest on Show in Luxembourg Museum, Paris

Some of the greatest masterpieces from Hungarian museums are getting their first showing in Paris at the Luxembourg Museum.

A comprehensive and educational show gathers about 80 works from the Museum of Fine Arts of Budapest, currently in full renovation, following the reunification of the Szépmuvészti Mùzeum and the Hungarian National Gallery.

Most of the works come from the collection of the Esterhàzy family, who owned many beautiful pieces acquired in the 17th and 18th centuries.

In 1871, 600 of their works were bought by the Hungarian state.

The exhibition is divided into chronological sections, starting from the end of the Middle Ages and running through Symbolism and Modernity in the 20th century. Visitors come across great names such as El Greco, Veronese, Dürer and Lucas Cranach but they will also have the chance to admire an outstanding “Crucifixion” by Albrecht Altdorfer, a less well-known great master of the German Renaissance.

The Dutch Golden Age, a period particularly appreciated by the Esterhàzy, is well represented with various paintings: a still-life by Willem Claez Heda, a portrait by Frans Hals as well as genre scenes by Jan Steen and Pieter de Hooch.

Although the presentation of the show is academic, a section called “Figures” tries to create a dialogue between pieces from different centuries or even various mediums. One can nevertheless question the pertinence of hanging “The Water Carrier” by Goya next to Manet’s portrait of Baudelaire’s mistress.

The modern section allows one to discover major works by avant-gardist Hungarian artists such as Jozsef Rippl-Ronai. His mysterious large-scale canvas “Femme à la Cage” was painted in 1892 in Paris, where he worked close to the Nabis painters.

“Chefs-d’œuvre de Budapest” runs from March 9 through July 10 2016 at Musée du Luxembourg, 19 rue de Vaugirard, 75006 Paris. via uk.blouinartinfo.com

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