A large-scale exhibition presenting some 50 autograph paintings of Cretan-Spanish master El Greco opened in Budapest’s Museum of Fine Arts on Thursday.
Featuring altogether 70 works, it is the first comprehensive exhibition on the oeuvre of El Greco (1541-1614) ever organised in Budapest, László Baán, the director of the museum, said at the opening. “This show has been long overdue also because the Budapest Fine Arts Museum’s collection preserves the largest number of El Greco paintings in Europe after Spain,” he said. Baan noted that the newly acquired title, “Portrait of Saint Aloysius Gonzaga”, one of the first pictures El Greco painted after arriving in Spain, is also on display. Purchased at a Christie’s auction in June, the oil-on-canvas has been added to the five El Greco paintings preserved in the museum’s exceptional Spanish collection. János Csák, the minister for culture and innovation, told MTI that more than 40 titles are on loan from public, private and church collections in Europe and overseas. Leticia Ruiz Gomez, curator of the exhibition, said the first painting visitors encounter is Saint Sebastian, which was “an excellent allegory of Greco’s life and the exceptional journey that took him from Crete through Venice and Rome to Spain”. The exhibition will run until February 19 next year.