The Museum of Fine Arts (Szépművészeti Múzeum) in Budapest has an extraordinary permanent and a hugely successful temporary exhibition series.
Opening hours: Permanent Exhibitions are open from Tue to Sun 10 am – 5pm. Oftentimes, the museum is open until 9:30 pm on Thursdays (if there’s an extra program). Temp exhibitions are basically the same, but you have another half an hour to enter (until 17:30). The museum is closed on Mondays.
Prices: 1200 HUF (if you are from the EU and aged between 6-26 or 62-70 you can get a 50% discount). Temporary exhibition prices start at 1200 HUF, and if you buy a ticket for a temp exhibition, you can go to the permanent exhibition free.
Tip for budget travelers: For individuals, the Museum of Fine Arts provide FREE guided tours in English in the Collection of Old Master Paintings from Tue to Fri at 11am & 2pm, on Sat at 11am. The Old Master Paintings are the core of the permanent exhibition (so the free guided tour excludes other collections and temp exhibitions, and guidance for groups, of course). More advanced guided tours need to be paid. But again, there are audio tours available for 1000 HUF (both perm and temp, flexible route)! You can listen to some samples here (e.g. Gauguin: The Black Pigs, Raffaello Santi: The Esterházy Madonna, Cézanne: The Buffet)
Phone: 00-36 1 469 7100
metro (yellow line): Hősök tere stop
trolley buses: 72
buses: 4, 30, 75, 79
Location of the Museum of Fine Arts on the Budapest Tourist Map:
Permanent exhibitions in the Museum of Fine Arts, Budapest
Not only will you find here approx. 3,000 excellent foreign art works (especially Flemish, Dutch as well as Spanish, French, German paintings, graphics and statues ranging from the 13th to the 18th century etc.), but also valuable collections from the ancient times (Egyptian, Greek & Roman artifacts) displaying original works of the art of Hellas, Italy and Rome.
Temporary exhibitions in the Museum of Fine Arts, Budapest
To mention but a few of the temp exhibitions from the past few years: Van Gogh, Tiziano, the Incas, Hundertwasser, etc. If you drop by these days, you can see the Splendour of the Medici, Art and Life in Renaissance Florence (until May 18, 2008). Prices are very favorable (starting at 1200 HUF, and if you are under 26 or over 62, it will only cost you 600 HUF). Temp exhibitions were tremendous success, oftentimes tickets sold out, so you may wish to book your admission in advance.
Children in the Museum of Fine Arts, Budapest
There are regular museum educational classes where art touches children through stories, dances, creative movement, dance, etc.- not boring! Also for kids between 5 and 7, who learn about Seasons, Colors and Shapes, Stories in Art and, of course, Animals. There’s even a summer camp! Most of these programs are in Hungarian (e.g. the Sat morning museum immersion classes), so please contact the Museum of Fine Arts for further details at Phone: 00-36-469 7180, Email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
History of the Museum of Fine Arts, Budapest
When Hungary was celebrating its 1000th birthday in 1896, the Hungarian Parliament passed a new law, which said that art collections scattered in different institutions were to be placed in the newly-established Museum of Fine Arts. The Museum of Fine Arts was designed by Albert Schickendanz and Fülöp Herzog, and it finally opened its gates in 1906 (inaugurated by I. Franz Joseph ). At that time, only plaster casts were available to illustrate the complete history of European sculpture. “It was for these life-size copy sculptures that the Doric, Ionic, Romanesque, Renaissance and Baroque halls on the ground floor were designed, imitating the styles of individual periods of art history,” writes Szilvia Bodnár. Over the years, the number of original works increased, so the plaster sculptures were out, and the ground floor galleries are now used to display exhibitions of the Classical Antiquities and of 19th century paintings & sculptures, Renaissance frescoes & fountains, the Prints and Drawings Gallery & the Marble and Baroque halls. During WW2, the Museum of Fine Arts was heavily damaged (only opened again in 1949) and many of the finest works were taken out of the country in order to save them.
Museum Quiz: Museum of Fine Arts, Budapest
- Who is at the top of the entrance gate?
- Who painted The Sermon of St. John the Baptist?
- Who painted this portrait and who is the Petrarch-follower depicted on the oil canvas?
- When was this painting made?
- How many El Greco paintings can you see in the museum?
- Which collection is the basis of the world-renowned Old Painters Gallery and when was it bought?
Please don’t spoil the quiz by writing the answers in the comments. Thank you. Drop Anna a mail if any of the answers bug you at LuxuryBudapest [@] gmail [dot] com.