2008 is the Year of the Renaissance in Hungary. Commemorating the 550th anniversary of Matthias Corvinus (one of the most important Hungarian kings) accession to the throne, the program of the Renaissance Year 2008 encompasses a wide range of events in the fields of culture, science, gastronomy and others. Four big museums of Hungary, the Budapest History Museum, the Museum of Applied Arts, the Hungarian National Gallery and the National Széchényi Library have organized exhibitions with a common topic under the title “4 Times on Renaissance with the objective to show Matthias Corvinus and his age in a wider spectrum than ever before. The individual exhibitions supplement each other both in their topics and chronologically so that visitors may have a comprehensive insight on 15th-century Renaissance culture in Hungary. The exhibition entitled The Legacy of King Matthias – Late Renaissance Art in Hungary – is on view in the Hungarian National Gallery from 29 March to 27 July. The exhibition sets out to present the history of Renaissance art in Hungary and to interpret the era within the culture of the early modern age as a whole. It looks at how Renaissance art in Hungary which today is inextricably linked to the name of the great king subsequently developed. The period thus starts with the Jagiello Era (1490-1526) and ends at different times depending on which part of the by-then split kingdom we look at: the last third of the 17th century in the western half, and the end of that century in Transylvania. The exhibition displays 450 works of art borrowed mostly from Hungarian public and ecclesiastic collections, including recently restored panel paintings, codexes, goldsmiths works, ceramics and liturgical objects. Even in this rich selection, the series of panel paintings remnants of the most important and spectacular works of medieval art: winged altarpieces decorated with sculptures and paintings stand out as highlights. Some of these can be viewed for the first time, immediately after restoration.
The exhibition will be accompanied by a catalogue in Hungarian and English.