Budapest stories

The most successful fine art exhibitions in Budapest over the past ten years

In 2024, the Museum of Fine Arts eagerly anticipates hosting “Munkácsy 180” from November 26, 2024, to March 9, 2025, commemorating a significant anniversary. This event is expected to draw a large audience to its iconic premises.

As reported by Magyar Nemzet, the Museum of Fine Arts has been the venue for several awaited exhibitions. However, which ones have been the crowd-pullers in the past decade, attracting hundreds of thousands?

Between April 14 and July 16, 2023, an exhibition showcasing a curated collection of Tivadar Csontváry Kosztka’s (1853-1919) masterpieces captivated over 200,000 art enthusiasts. Displaying forty-five pieces, it provided a thorough exploration of Csontváry’s major themes, motifs, and life story. Highlights included “The Ruins of the Greek Theatre in Taormina,” “The Fountain of Mary in Nazareth,” “The Waterfall at Jajce” and “Schaffhausen,” “The Lonely Cedar,” and “Pilgrimage to the Cedars in Lebanon.”

Similarly, an exhibition dedicated to El Greco (~1541-1614), showcased from October 28, 2022, to February 19, 2023, also attracted over 200,000 visitors. It was the first comprehensive presentation of El Greco’s work to the Hungarian audience, featuring nearly seventy works that spanned his formal innovation and stylistic evolution.

The Museum of Fine Arts also displayed five original El Greco pieces, and the exhibition was enriched with significant loans, such as “St. Sebastian” from Palencia Cathedral, and “The Exorcism of the Devils” from the National Gallery in London.

An exhibition focusing on Rembrandt (1606-1669), curated by Ildikó Ember, ran from October 15, 2014, to February 15, 2015, drawing 235,000 visitors. It presented twenty of Rembrandt’s masterpieces, segmented into seven thematic areas that illuminated the historical and portrait context of his era.

Drawing 252,000 visitors from April 9 to July 17, 2022, was an exhibition on Hieronymus Bosch (1450-1516), marking the most significant event of its kind in fifty years. Nearly ninety pieces brought to life the fantastical imagery Bosch is renowned for.

The Renoir exhibition, which attracted 283,000 visitors from September 22, 2023, to January 21, 2024, delved into Renoir’s (1841-1919) interactions with his muses through a series of paintings, prints, and sculptures, showcasing his evolution beyond Impressionism.

A standout moment for the Museum of Fine Arts was the “Van Gogh in Budapest” exhibit, attracting 483,000 visitors from December 1, 2006, to April 1, 2007, making it the 15th most attended exhibit globally that year. This exhibition, celebrating the museum’s centennial, featured nearly 80 works by Van Gogh from prestigious global collections, highlighting the enduring impact of his post-impressionist legacy.

Related events

Upcoming events in Budapest

Best attractions in Budapest