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Princess Viktória de Bourbon Parme opens exhibition ‘Dutch Old Masters from Budapest. Masterpieces from the Szépművészeti Múzeum’ in Haarlem

On Friday 11 November, HRH Princess Viktória de Bourbon Parme-Cservenyák opened the exhibition ‘Dutch Old Masters from Budapest. Masterpieces from the Szépművészeti Múzeum’ in the Frans Hals Museum.

Until 12 February 2017, this exhibition features over 80 works by Dutch masters from one of the finest collections in the world, the Szépművészeti Múzeum in Budapest. Princess Viktória is of Hungarian descent and married to the Dutch Prince Jaime de Bourbon Parme, son of Princess Irene.

The opening ceremony took place in De Nieuwe Kerk in Haarlem, where the Hungarian Ambassador to the Netherlands, Mr András Kocsis, the Dutch Ambassador to Hungary Mr Gajus Scheltema, both museum directors, Ann de Meester of the Frans Hals Museum and László Baán of the Szépművészeti Múzeum, addressed the public. Following the speeches, Princess Viktória officially opened the exhibition by tying two ribbons, resembling the Dutch and Hungarian flag, together. A musical intermezzo was provided by Valentina Tóth.

Thanks to the large-scale renovation of the Szépművészeti Múzeum, the Frans Hals Museum had the opportunity to bring extraordinary 17th century paintings to Haarlem. In contrast to top museums with comparable collections of Dutch Old Masters, such as the Louvre and National Gallery, the collection of the Hungarian museum is an undiscovered pearl.

The emphasis of the exhibition lies on Haarlem as the centre of innovation in seventeenth-century painting. To mark the 350th anniversary of Frans Hals’s death, two magnificent portraits are coming from Budapest to be reunited with his paintings in the Frans Hals Museum. Aside from the portraits by Hals, alluring portraits by Johannes Verspronck will be coming from Budapest, and there will be genre works by Jan Steen, Dirck Hals, Jan Miense Molenaer and Richard Brakenburgh.

The exhibition will also feature Haarlem landscapes by such artists as Salomon van Ruysdael and Jacob van Ruisdael and magnificent works by Haarlem still life painters like Willem Claesz Heda and Jan Jansz van de Velde. The exhibition draws a number of parallels between the collection from Budapest and that of the Frans Hals Museum; two Haarlem church interiors by Pieter Saenredam, for example, will enter into a dialogue.

As well as the artists from Haarlem, the Szépművészeti Múzeum’s collection covers every facet of paintings from the Low Countries in the Golden Age. The paintings by Dutch and Flemish masters have been selected to shed new light on the Haarlem works. Works by Dutch painters like Adriaen Coorte, Jan Lievens and Gerard Dou and Flemish masters such as Jan Brueghel and Anthony van Dyck will point up the relationship between painting in Haarlem and other towns.

All genres are represented: portraits by Nicolaes Maes and Bartholomeus van der Helst, a history painting by Karel Dujardin, a genre work by Pieter de Hooch, a winter landscape by Hendrick Avercamp and a still life by Willem van Aelst.

A selection of 25 seventeenth-century Dutch drawings completes the exhibition.

Photos: Wim Kersbergen, Most Magyarul

Source: Embassy of Hungary in the Netherlands