Monumental Csontváry-exhibition in the Buda Castle

The comprehensive retrospective show of the painter Tivadar Csontváry Kosztka is is open to visitors between July 5 and 31 December 2015 in the former Army Headquarters building of the Buda Castle.
The exhibition is presented in seventeen halls.  The show does not follow a chronological order; rather, it is made up of thematic units. The themes are connected with the characteristic motifs of Csontváry's works: the relationship between the built environment and nature, the heritage of antique ruins, the unfolding of light, the events of the sky, the path of the sun and the transubstantiation of man.
Apart from reading the printed information on the walls, one may also watch a series of feature film spots representing decisive aspects of Csontváry's life and work and a documentary film with artists, art historians and critics who studied Csontváry's oeuvre. The show is accompanied by a representative, album-like catalogue, and visitors are also helped by interactive devices.  There is an independent museum educational programme made specifically for the show.
Tivadar Csontváry Kosztka (1853–1919) is one of the most influential figures of Hungarian fine arts. The exhibitions he meticulously organised by himself practically never elicited any critical response from his contemporaries. His works did not arouse any public interest or critical acclaim in his lifetime. Yet, the first book-length study of his work was published as early as three years after his death, and the 1930 retrospective in Ernst Museum was a considerable success. In 1936 several new artworks of Csontváry were introduced to the Hungarian public, which showed a growing interest for the painter's work. In 1956 a large-scale exhibition was organised in Brussels, Fifty Years of Modern Art, where Csontváry's painting Horse Ride by the Sea (Tengerparti sétalovaglás) was presented side by side with the works of Van Gogh and Gauguin.
Most of Csontváry's works are kept in public collections, such as the Hungarian National Gallery, the Janus Pannonius Museum at Pécs, the Herman Ottó Museum in Miskolc, the Damjanich János Museum in Szolnok, the National Gallery of Bratislava (Pozsony), the Museum of Lucenec (Losonc) and the Budapest History Museum. About one third of the known Csontváry oeuvre remains hidden. This is a very high percentage, especially when one takes into consideration that both the artist and Gedeon Gerlóczy, the person saving the artworks, were determined to keep the works at one place, preferably in public collections. Some of these lost works were taken to the Soviet Union by the Red Army from the safes of the Hungarian National Bank as booty, but the majority of these works are probably kept in Hungarian private collections.
The exhibition venue is the former Army Headquarters in the Buda Castle. This is a symbolic building, erected in the late 19th century in order to embody Hungarian greatness. This was also the time when Tivadar Kosztka decided that it would be the guiding principle of his life to extend this national greatness by his own efforts and show it to the world. However, the four-storey neo-Renaissance building with its splendid towers could not stand in all its glory for long. It was hit by a bomb in the Second World War, after which it stood in ruins for several decades. It was only last summer, fifty years after the war's ruins were cleared away from the streets of Budapest that its gates opened again.
Having walked through the Csontváry show, one arrives at a small contemporary exhibition entitledContemporary Cedars, where seven Hungarian artists' works are presented: Imre Bukta, Eszter Csurka, László Lugossy, Áron Galambos, Ilona Keserü, Csaba Kis Róka and Attila Szűcs.
Opening hours: 10 to 18 each day, except Mondays. As the fire department limited the maximum number of visitors in the building to 200, entrance tickets are valid for specific time slots. Tickets are also available online. Prices and discounts are listed on the website.
2015. július 8.