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Budapest Museum of Fine Arts - Budapest
The museum building
Address: 1146, Budapest Dózsa György út 41.
Phone number: (1) 469-7100
Opening hours: Tue-Sun 10-18
every even weeks Museum+: Thu 18-22
The exhibition has closed for visitors.
2011.10.27. - 2012.02.19.
El Greco, famous people, fine art, painting, Rippl-Rónai József, temporary exhibition
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Museum tickets, service costs:
Ticket for adults
(valid for the permanent exhibitions)
1400 HUF
/ capita
Ticket for students
(valid for the permanent exhibitions)
700 HUF
/ capita
Ticket for pensioners
(valid for the permanent exhibitions)
700 HUF
/ capita
Marcell Jánoshalmi Nemes (1866-1930) was perhaps the most significant Hungarian art collector of the early twentieth century and at the same time one of its most contradictory figures, whose large-scale art collecting and patronage made him into a legend in his own lifetime. During the course of his life he donated numerous valuable works to the Museum of Fine Arts including El Greco's The Repentant Magdalene and Ádám Mányoki's portrait of Rákóczi, which is regarded as a national relic, and he also made donations to numerous other domestic and foreign institutions such as the Museum of Applied Arts, the Berlin and Munich galleries and even the Prado in Madrid and the Louvre in Paris.

The exhibition provides an overview of Marcell Nemes' activities as an art collector and patron in two large sections. On entering the introductory part of the show visitors are welcomed by a portrait of Marcell Nemes painted by Oskar Kokoschka in 1928. Several pieces of antique furniture and other objects of applied art can also be viewed here, the majority of which entered the collection of the Museum of Applied Arts as donations by Nemes. Some portraits and caricatures made of Nemes were reserved a place in this section alongside a portrait drawn by the art collector, who cherished artistic ambitions, of Béla Lázár.

The first chapter of the exhibition showcases masterpieces of old Italian, German and Netherlandish painting selected from the Nemes collection. This part also includes a separate section of some prominent pieces of Nemes' Greco collection that inspired the art collector's contemporaries with the power of revelation, supplemented with some works by modern masters (Courbet, Cézanne, Maillol). Finally, the first part exhibits works by artists regarded as the classical moderns of Hungarian painting: Mihály Munkácsy, László Paál, Pál Szinyei Merse, Károly Ferenczy and Adolf Fényes, with the splendid series of oil sketches that entered the Nemes Collection being highlighted among these.

The second chapter of the exhibition presents Marcell Nemes' generous art patronage. A representative selection can be seen of the collection of paintings he donated to the city of Kecskemét in 1911, and of the valuable donations he subsequently made to the Museum of Fine Arts. In this section special emphasis is lent to the collector's most memorable donations: The Repentant Magdalene by El Greco and the emblematic Rákóczi portrait by Ádám Mányoki. An interesting dash of colour is inserted into the series of donations by the antique vases and glass objects that also entered into the possession of the Museum of Fine Arts and the Museum of Applied Arts at that time thanks to Marcell Nemes. Through his art purchases and the foundations he established Nemes supported contemporary Hungarian art on a large scale, which is documented by the closing section of the exhibition where numerous pieces from the collector’s famous Rippl-Rónai Collection and a work each by István Farkas, Béla Iványi Grünwald, Károly Kernstok, Jámos Vaszary and Béla Uitz are accorded a place.