Hungary is one of the oldest and most venerated nations in Europe. A long millennium of historical alternatives, oscillating between tragedy and redemption as is the case for all nations, have contributed to forging a singular cultural continuity which is reflected in the magnificent artistic treasures preserved in its archives.
The Museum of Fine Arts, Budapest and the Hungarian National Gallery are home to fundamental works from the patrimony of the nation and also that of universal art history.
On this occasion—a milestone in the history of the cultural ties between our two countries—Argentina’s Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes receives with the highest of honors this exhibition of works by old masters from the Renaissance and Baroque periods from these two European institutions.
Many of art’s key founding moments from these periods of history are being made available to the local public today, granting them the opportunity to contemplate unfamiliar Works by artists of such importance as Peter Paul Rubens, Lucas Cranach the Elder, Giorgio Vasari, El Greco, Giambattista Tiepolo, Guido Reni, Raphael and Francisco Goya, along with the great master Leonardo da Vinci, whose work will be on exhibit for the first time in this country.
At the same time, renowned works can be appreciated by Hungarian artists such as Mihály Kovács, Károly Markó, Jakab Bogdány, János Donát and József Borsos, who comprise a highly relevant visual panorama of early modernity. The Renaissance and Baroque periods unfold splendidly in this exhibition, allowing us a glimpse of one of the most impressive apogees ever attained by universal art.
This exhibition is possible thanks to Hungarian authorities’ decision to allow part of their archive to be presented in other museums throughout the world during the time required for the renovation and expansion of the Museum of Fine Arts,
Budapest, scheduled to reopen in October of this year. Accordingly, different selections from their collection have been exhibited in London (Royal Academy of Arts, Paris (Luxembourg Museum) and Madrid (Museo Nacional Thyssen-Bornemisza). Buenos Aires is the only city on the American continent that will host this initiative, and it is the last stop on its itinerary before the works will return to their home country to rejoin the narrative of the permanent collection at the Museum of Fine Arts – Hungarian National Gallery.
In this regard, I extend my very special thanks to the authorities involved and to the teams working at both Museums, to Director László Baán, Judith Tóth, Tamás Végvári, and to Argentina’s Ministry of Culture.
It is an enormous source of pride for the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes to be able to offer this exhibition to its visitors, which, in the hands of curators Ángel Navarro and Florencia Galesio, marks a veritable apex in the history of our institution.
Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes de Argentina