Museum of Fine Arts (Szépművészeti Múzeum) is located at the Heroes’ Square opposite the Art Gallery. It was built as part of the commemoration of the thousand year anniversary of the settlement of the seven Hungarian tribes in the Carpathian Basin in 896.
It was built in an eclectic-neoclassical style between 1900 and 1906, based on the plans of Albert Schickedanz and Fülöp Herzog, the architects designing the Art Gallery and the Heroes Square as well.
The main facade has three classical Greek temples connected by colonnades. The temples represent the grove of muses, a place of relaxation. The Greek influence is further incorporated with the Corinthian columns and sculpture in the pediment.
Reopening of the Museum of Fine Arts
After reconstruction work lasting over 3 years, the Museum of Fine Arts, Budapest will open its doors once again in October 2018. It is not only the building that has undergone renovation. Thanks to the museum’s reunification with the Hungarian National Gallery, visitors can now enjoy revamped permanent exhibitions that have been devised according to a totally new concept.
The museum’s exhibition concept has been radically transformed: after an absence of more than four decades, Hungarian art is making a comeback in the Museum of Fine Arts. From now on, alongside Egyptian and Classical art, the history of universal and Hungarian art until the end of the eighteenth century will be presented together, side by side.
The new galleries will be opened to the public in two stages: the lower ground floor and the newly restored Romanesque Wing will open, after 70 years, on October 31, 2018, while the remaining permanent exhibitions are due to open in mid-2019.
The ground floor halls of the Museum of Fine Arts were originally intended to house the institution’s collection of plaster casts from classical antiquity, the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, and to present the different styles of architecture. The Romanesque Hall was designed in a style best suited to accommodate large medieval plaster casts.
During World War II, Romanesque Hall suffered bomb damage that exposed it to the elements for a prolonged period. After 1945, all the damaged plaster copies that had been left to their fate on the ground floor of the museum were cramped into the Romanesque Hall, which was permanently closed off to visitors and used as a convenient warehouse.
Although the idea of restoring the hall was proposed on countless occasions, it is only now that these plans have come to fruition. The restoration of the Romanesque Hall is an emblematic component of the reconstruction works carried out between 2015 and 2018, the most comprehensive ever in the history of the Museum of Fine Arts.
The interior of the hall is a true masterpiece of turn-of-the-century decorative painting. The walls are adorned with figurative depictions, heraldic elements and intricate ornamentation.
For photos of the Romanesque Hall please check the facebook page of MyLittleHungary.