If you’re planning a city break in Budapest over the coming weeks and are perhaps looking for an indoor retreat away from the classic city sightseeing, here’s an interesting way of whiling away an hour or two whilst you’re in the Hungarian capital. Running until 29th September, the Museum of Fine Arts (Szepmuveszeti), set right in the heart of in Heroes’ Square, is currently hosting an exhibition devoted to Egon Schiele, a renowned Viennese Expressionist artist who lived a short but eventful life at the turn of the 20th century.
Featuring some 70 works on loan from the Leopold Museum in Vienna – renowned as the world’s best Schiele collection – in addition to further temporary additions from other prestigious collections, the exhibition, entitled ‘Egon Schiele and his Age’, offers an insight into the all too brief career of one of the most outstanding artists of his generation, a century on from his first artistic outings in Budapest. In addition to paintings and drawings by Schiele himself, the ensemble is complemented further by works from his Expressionnist contemporaries, Oskar Kokoschka, Richard Gerstl and Carl Moll.
Beyond the exhibition, the permanent exhibits of the Museum of Fine Arts is well worth making time for, housing as it does one of the most important collections of European art dating from antiquity to the present day. Having celebrated its centenary in 2006, the museum contains a fascinating series of departments, ranging from Egyptian art and classical antiquities to sculptures, prints and drawings.
Crème de la crème of the museum’s permanent portfolio meanwhile, the Old Masters collection contains some 3000 paintings by a veritable list of stars including Raphael, Titian, Tintoretto, Veronese, van Dyck, Jordaens, Holbein, El Greco, Vélazquez and Goya to name but a very special few. There is also a Post-1800 department, however be aware that many of the most famous French paintings by Monet, Gauguin, Boudin, Bonnard and Denis are currently on loan to the Hungarian National Gallery.
The museum is open from Tuesday to Sunday from 10am to 5.30pm (closed Mondays).