CODART, Dutch and Flemish art in museums worldwide

Szépművészeti Múzeum

Museum of Fine Arts


The Museum of Fine Arts in Budapest has one of the largest Dutch collections in the world outside the Netherlands: the Dutch Golden Age is represented by more than 500 paintings. Although the Old Masters Gallery cannot boast any paintings or Rembrandt and Vermeer, it presents all styles, genres, and local schools in a nuanced and versatile way, from late Mannerism to the development of Dutch realism to the idealizing and decorative styles of the end of the century. There is a wide range of secular genres, with portraits by Frans Hals, Bartholomeus van der Helst, Nicolaes Maes, and E.N. Pickenoy), genre scenes (Willem Buytewech, Jan Steen, Pieter de Hooch, Adriaen van Ostade, Jan Miense Molenaer, and Dirck Hals), landscapes (Hendrick Avercamp, Aelbert Cuyp, Jan van Goyen, Salomon, Jacob van Ruysdael, Simon de Vlieger) and still lifes (Abraham H. van Beyeren, Pieter Claesz., Adriaen Coorte, Willem Claesz. Heda, Jan van der Heyden, etc.). The collection also has many unique works by lesser-known masters.

The seventeenth-century Flemish collection of approximately 230 pieces – besides masterpieces by the great Flemish triad, Peter Paul Rubens, Anthony van Dyck, and Jacob Jordaens – also contains paintings by masters such as Jan Brueghel the Elder, David Teniers the Younger, Frans Snijders, and Jan Fijt. Two works that merit special attention for their rarity and quality are the impressive pronkstilleven by Andries Benedetti and the monumental camp scene by Robert van den Hoecke. The rich collection of Dutch and Flemish art from the seventeenth century is complemented by around 150 early works by masters such as Petrus Christus, Hans Memling, Gerard David, and Barent van Orley and most notably the sixteenth-century work The Sermon of St. John the Baptist by Pieter Bruegel the Elder. The museum also has a very rich collection of almost 800 Dutch and Flemish drawings from the sixteenth to eighteenth centuries, including a very sensitive portrait of Rubens’s little son, Albert.

The collection is constantly being expanded with new acquisitions: it was recently enriched with a late masterpiece by Anthony van Dyck, the Wedding Portrait of Mary Henrietta Stuart – one of the most valuable purchases in the history of the museum.

Dr. Annamária Gosztola, Chief Curator (November 2023)

Collection catalogues

Rubens and His Colleagues. 17th-Century Flemish Masterpieces in the Museum of Fine Arts (in Hungarian)
Annamária Gosztola
Budapest 2022

17th-Century Dutch and Flemish Drawings in the Budapest Museum of Fine Arts. A Complete Catalogue.
Teréz Gerszi
Budapest 2005

Early Netherlandish Painting in Budapest. Old Masters’ Gallery Catalogue Szépmüvészeti Múzeum
Zsuzsa Urbach, Ágota Varga, András Fáy
Budapest, 2015

Museum of Fine Arts Budapest: Old master’s gallery: summary catalogue. Volume 2: Early Netherlandish, Dutch and Flemish Painting
Ember, Ildikó, Zsuzsa Urbach, Annamaria Gosztola
Budapest, 2000

Delights for the senses: Dutch and Flemish still-life paintings from Budapest
Ember, Ildikó, István Barkóczi
Wausau WI, 1989

Related CODART publications

Júlia Tátrai, “Szépművészeti Múzeum”, CODARTfeatures, October 2013.

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