Pierre-Auguste Renoir’s oil-on-canvas painting The Swing was unwrapped on Tuesday at the Budapest Fine Arts Museum. The museum is getting ready to open its first-ever large-scale exhibition of the French master’s works, which is also the first such in Hungary.
‘We practically have an embarrassingly wide choice this time with the number of main titles we have managed to loan for the exhibition,’ László Baán, the director of the museum told reporters at the event.
Baán also spoke about the government support for the museum, with which it acquired Renoir’s 1903 work, the Reclining Nude for 12.3 million US dollars in 2019. The artist painted two additional versions of that work, which have never been seen together before, sparking the idea for the museum’s exhibition entitled ‘Renoir – The Painter and His Models’, Baán said. In addition to the other versions of Reclining Nude, on loan from the Musée d’Orsay and the Musée d’Orangerie in Paris, around 70 works from over 20 public collections will be on display at the Museum of Fine Arts from September 22. The works have been insured for around 400 billion forints (EUR 1bn), Baán shared. The Renoir exhibit will run until 7 January 2024.
The museum’s website highlights that it is also ‘the first ever exhibition in Hungary devoted to Renoir that presents his artistic development in chronologically and thematically arranged sections. The early portraits will reveal the change in Renoir’s approach depending on the status of his models (Impressionist friends and official clients). The exhibition will also explore the artist’s engagement in activities that were popular in Paris and its suburbs, while allowing us the opportunity to show how Renoir modernised the 18th-century tradition of the fête galante…One of the highlights of the show is comprised by Renoir’s nudes painted after the turn of the century.’
It interesting to note that The Swing arrived in Budapest in complete secrecy. According to press reports, not even the Budapest museum authorities knew when and by what route the heavily protected Renoir painting had left for Hungary.
Sources: MTI/Hungarian Conservative/Mandiner/Hungary Today/szepmuveszeti.hu