On Wednesday we went to Szépmûvészeti Múzeum, Budapest’s Museum of Fine Art. It’s a fabulous, huge building and they have a special exhibit called “Boticelli to Titian” that we went to see. They had paintings on loan from museums all over the world, all showcasing the Italian Renaissance. The most interesting part to me was to see the development of 3 dimensional space. It’s probably kind of obvious and amateurish, but I thought it was interesting to compare the earlier paintings and their flatter, stylized figures and space with the later paintings that gave a definite impression of depth. Ivan was so convinced by one painting that he thought it really extended past the wall it hung on. He was a little shocked when he went around the corner and the wall behind it was flat.
Some highlights: the most publicized painting there was DaVinci’s “Lady with an Ermine,” although it wasn’t really my favorite. I liked Bellini’s “Angel of the Annunciation and Virgin Annunciate” and another by a name I looked at three times so I would remember it and still forgot. Boticelli’s “The Story of Virginia” was interesting.
The painting I keep thinking about the most was a kind of scary painting at first. I can’t remember the title unfortunately, but it pictured a woman sitting on a throne. The woman is very dark and has almost freakish coloring, and Ivan and I both were fairly repulsed by her. The interesting part is the difference in style between how she is painted and how the throne she is sitting on is painted. She’s very dark and one dimensional, while the throne seems to leap out of the painting around her. The plaque next to the painting described the effect a lot better, but it was an interesting contrast between the gothic and renaissance styles.
After the museum we went and took a look at Hősök Tere where there’s a huge memorial of the “coolest” Hungarians I guess you could say. Apparently it used to be the coolest Hungarians on the left and then the coolest Hapsburgs on the right, but after some damage to the monument during WWII the Hungarians found an opportunity to replace the not-so-cool-anymore Hapsburgs with some more popular Hungarians.