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Treasures from Budapest - Royal Academy of Arts

Raphael. Esterhazy Madonna, c. 1507-08. Tempera and oil on poplar panel. 28.5 x 21.5 cm. Museum of Fine Arts, Budapest.

Exhibition preview

TREASURES from Budapest: European Masterpieces from Leonardo to Schiele, an exhibition of works showcasing the breadth and wealth of one of the finest collections in central Europe, will be on display at the Royal Academy of Arts from September 25 to December 12, 2010.

The exhibition will feature over 200 works and will include paintings, drawings and sculptures 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 Esterhazy collection, acquired by the Hungarian state in 1871. The collection began in the 17th century but expanded during the rule of Prince Nikolaus II Esterhazy (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 Esterhazy 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.

The exhibition will open with the dramatic St Andrew Altarpiece, 1512, from Liptoszentandras, 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 15th century devotional paintings by Jacopo del Sellaio, Liberale da Verona and Giovanni Santi. 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 80 Old Master drawings which will include works by Leonardo da Vinci, Durer, 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 16th and 17th 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, Zurbaran and Murillo.

Treasures from Budapest: European Masterpieces from Leonardo to Schiele will also include still lifes, landscapes and portraits by some of Europe’s finest artists, including works by Royal Academicians Sir Joshua Reynolds, John Constable and Angelica Kauffmann.

The exhibition will conclude with a showcase of 20th century artists including Monet, Chagall, Picasso and Schiele alongside works by Hungarian artists such as Karoly Ferenczy and Jozsef Rippl-Ronai.

The exhibition will be accompanied by a fully illustrated catalogue which will provide a forum for the exploration of a number of recent discoveries about particular works in the collection.

Treasures from Budapest Gallery

Admission: £12 full price; £10 registered disabled and 60+ years; £8 NUS/ISIC cardholders; £4 12 – 18 years and Income Support; £3 8 – 11 years; 7 and under free.

Times: Daily from 10am to 6pm (last admission 5.30pm), Fridays until 10pm (last admission 9.30pm).

Royal Academy of Arts, Burlington House, Piccadilly, London, W1J 0BD

Telephone (public information): 020 7300 8000

Sargent and the Sea continues at the Royal Academy of Arts until September 26, 2010.