This September the Royal Academy of Arts
will present an exhibition of works which will showcase the breadth and wealth of one of the finest collections in Central Europe. The exhibition will feature over 200 works and will include paintings, drawings and sculpture from the early Renaissance to the twentieth century. Selected works by artists including Leonardo da Vinci, Raphael, El Greco, Rubens, Goya, Manet, Monet, Schiele, Gauguin and Picasso will be on display, many of which have not previously been shown in the UK. The exhibition comprises works from the Museum of Fine Arts, Budapest, with additional key loans from the Hungarian National Gallery.
The Museum of Fine Arts, Budapest houses the state collection of international art works in Hungary and includes the Esterházy collection, acquired by the Hungarian state in 1871. The collection began in the seventeenth century but expanded during the rule of Prince Nikolaus II Esterházy (1765 1833) who was responsible for developing the fine collection of Old Master paintings and drawings which will be showcased in the exhibition. One of the highlights of the exhibition will be Raphael's Virgin and Child with St John the Baptist, 1508 (known as The Esterházy Madonna).
The show will be organised chronologically, with thematic sections which will consider the richness of the collections in relation to religious works, mythological subjects, portraiture and landscape paintings. The exhibition will open with the dramatic St. Andrew Altarpiece, 1512, from Liptószentandrás, drawing attention to the wealth of skill and sophistication of early wood carving in Hungary. The work will reflect the influence and exchanges of culture with Northern European painters, sculptors and carvers.
Key works from the early Italian School will include rare and exquisite Renaissance bronze sculptures attributed to Leonardo da Vinci and Andrea Riccio as well as fifteenth century devotional paintings by Jacopo del Sellaio and Liberale da Verona. The Northern European Schools will be represented through paintings by Lucas Cranach and Maarten van Heemskerck. At the heart of the exhibition will sit a selection of over eighty Old Master drawings which will include works by Leonardo da Vinci, Dürer, Altdorfer, Carracci and Tiepolo and will range from preparatory studies to presentation drawings.
The Italian School will remain prominent throughout the galleries dedicated to the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries and will include religious and mythological paintings by artists including Tintoretto and Guercino whilst works by Poussin and Laurent de la Hyre will highlight the French school. Large scale paintings by Rubens and Jacob Jordaens will showcase the Flemish school and the exceptional Spanish collection will be displayed through works by El Greco and Murillo.
Treasures from Budapest: European Masterpieces from Leonardo to Schiele will also include still lifes, landscapes and portraits by some of Europes finest artists, including works by Royal Academicians Sir Joshua Reynolds, John Constable and Angelica Kauffmann. The exhibition will conclude with a showcase of twentieth century artists including Monet, Chagall, Picasso and Schiele alongside works by Hungarian artists such as Károly Ferenczy and József Rippl-Rónai.