Halász Chateau

Markó, Mednyánszky, Munkácsy...

Date: 20/July/2019 - 10/November/2019
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Like all important private establishments of its kind, the Kovács Gábor Art Collection too has a distinctive character. The collector and patron of the arts has been purchasing artworks for two decades with the intention of building a collection that fittingly represents the history of modern Hungarian painting.

The collection encompasses the period from the early 18th century to the middle of the last century, and presently comprises some 400 works of art. Masterworks of naturalistic landscape painting constitute the backbone of this collection, to which the other pieces are harmonically related. The real gems of the collection are those twenty works by Károly Markó, Sr. and János Vaszary and some outstanding works from the ouvre of Béla Kádár, Menyhért Tóth, Tibor Csernus and Zsuzsa Péreli.
The collection offers an almost complete account of the development that began with the Romantic and Realistic landscape representations of the 19th century, continued with the plein air painting of the Nagybánya school, and ended with the “isms” of the first decades of the 20th century. The smaller works beautifully complement the chefs-d’oeuvre, and there are real treasures like pictures by Ádám Mányoki, Mihály Munkácsy, Lajos Gulácsy or Tivadar Csontváry Kosztka.
Continuously enlarged, the Gábor Kovács Collection is one of the most prestigious private art collections in Hungary. Following a number of exhibitions at home and a few abroad, the collection is now introduced in the Halász Castle in Kápolnásnyék with a special selection that guides the viewer through one of the most exciting centuries in the history of Hungarian painting. In Hungary the 19th century was a time when the national idea came into its own: it saw modernization efforts during the so-called Reform Period, the revolution and war of independence of 1848–49, national resistance against Austrian oppression, and the Austro-Hungarian Compromise, which ushered in decades of dynamic development. The political, economic and social changes were accompanied by a prosperity in culture, a flourishing of the visual arts. By the end of the century, the essential conditions for artist training and art trade had been established, and most of the artists returned home after their studies abroad, seeking a career in Hungary, and raising the quality of the country’s art to European standards.
This exhibition offers an overview of the painting of this complex and colourful period, presenting all important stylistic trends in the art of the 19th century, from the classicist beginnings, through Romanticism and realism, to the naturalism of the end of the century.

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