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Prints and Drawings
The Collection of Prints and Drawings preserves around 81 000 sheets created by Hungarian artists from the end of the 18th century to around 1960. The works fall into three units: the collection of drawings, the collection of prints and the collection of posters.
The 52,000 sheets of the collection of drawings were created in pencil, watercolour, ink, charcoal, tempera and pastel. The collection includes preparatory drawings for paintings, sketches, as well as autonomous works intended as independent compositions. Among the artists, we can find the excellent draughtsmen from the beginning and the middle of the 19th century (Károly Markó, the Elder, Miklós Barabás, Károly Lajos Libay, Sándor Kozina, Iván Forray), the masters from the second half of the 19th century with academic qualification (Károly Lotz, Bertalan Székely, Mihály Zichy), artists working at the turn of the century (László Mednyánszky, Aladár Körösfői Kriesch, Sándor Nagy, József Rippl-Rónai, Lajos Gulácsy, Anna Lesznai, Lajos Kozma), representatives of modernism from the beginning of the 20th century (Róbert Berény, Ödön Márffy, Béla Czóbel, Lajos Tihanyi, József Nemes Lampérth, János Vaszary, Aurél Bernáth, Béla Uitz) and the masters from the interwar period (Gyula Derkovits, Vilmos Aba-Novák, István Szőnyi, József Egry, Imre Ámos). An exceptional group within the drawings is the collection of fresco designs, which contains about 800 large sketches – mostly the works of Károly Lotz and Mór Than – made particularly for 19th century building decorations and wall paintings.
In the collection of prints, we preserve about 11,000 impressions, wood- or linocut, lithograph, etching, engraving. Among the artists, there are painters whose graphic works constitute a substantial part of their œuvres (János Mattis Teutsch, János Kmetty, Vilmos Aba-Novák, István Szőnyi, Pál Molnár C., Béla Uitz) along with graphic artists (Lajos Varga Nándor, György Buday, Kálmán Gáborjáni Szabó, Béla Gy. Szabó, Viktor Olgyai, Gyula Tichy).
The nearly 18,000 works of the collection of posters represent the period from the beginnings of the genre in Hungary, from about 1890 until today outstandingly: it contains posters by painters (József Rippl-Rónai, János Vaszary, Oszkár Glatz, Károly Ferenczy, Sándor Bortnyik, Róbert Berény) and works by artists engaging only in graphic design (Géza Faragó, Imre Földes, Tibor Pólya, Márton Tuszkay, Mihály Biró, István Irsai, Tihamér Csemiczky, András Máthé, István Balogh, Nándor Szilvásy, Árpád Darvas, György Kemény, Péter Pócs, István Orosz, Sándor Pinczehelyi). Besides posters, the collection preserves other printed designs, poster designs and works of graphic design.
Paper-based works are particularly fragile and sensitive to heat and light; hence they are not displayed at permanent exhibitions. The masterpieces of the Collection of Prints and Drawings are available to the public, apart from major temporary exhibitions, at smaller dossier exhibitions at the graphics cabinet.
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Eszter Földi, PhD
head of collection
Orsolya Hessky PhD
19th and 20th Century Paintings
The 19th and 20th Century Paintings Collection, currently comprising 10,000 items, holds Hungarian artworks dating from 1800 to 1945. Its origins reach back to the mid-19th century and the Founding Society of the National Picture Gallery. Based on continuous purchasing, the expanding collection was initially displayed in the National Museum.
Sculptures and Medals
Our collection preserves the most prized works of 19th- and 20th-century Hungarian sculpture along with coins, medals and plaques by Hungarian masters from the 19th to 21st centuries. In addition, it contains wax and plaster copies replacing original artworks, as well as coin works made by contemporary artists. Our holdings comprise some ten thousand items. The most outstanding works are displayed at our permanent exhibition.
The Contemporary Collection of the Hungarian National Gallery has been collecting Hungarian artworks from 1945 to the present day. It aims at becoming an assemblage that is capable of presenting, next to overall tendencies, styles and outstanding artists, artistic phenomenon that used to and still characterise the artistic life of Hungary in the last few decades.
International Art after 1800
The reunification of the Museum of Fine Arts and the Hungarian National Gallery has resulted in some major changes and challenges for the Collection of International Art after 1800. As the first of many steps in a process expected to last several years, the collection is moving out of the recently renovated building of the Museum of Fine Arts, which now serves as the home of art from antiquity until the year 1800.
The Hungarian National Gallery, established in 1957, uses the library that once belonged to the Metropolitan Picture Gallery, as its museum library. The holdings were later expanded with legacies of books left behind by some outstanding art historians (Dénes Radocsay, Gyula Szentiványi, István Genthon, and Gábor Pogány Ö.). The museum library’s volumes have also been augmented in recent years through purchases, domestic and international exchanges as well as donations.