Part 4 of my wandering through Budapest’s Hungarian National Gallery, and something of an addendum. Not so long ago I was completely down with Renaissance and Baroque art. Mediæval art has spoiled me. It had been three hours by the time I got to this collection, and having been this route before in several other museums, I found I didn’t have the patience for how white the art gets. Not merely an absence of North and Sub-Saharan Africa, of Semitic, Near East, Muslim and all the peoples who have been in Europe for as long as there’s been people in Europe, but simultaneously a whitening of the skin of the subjects. As the representation moved away from the stylism of the middle ages towards naturalism, simultaneously it became concerned with an artificial whiteness. Luckily it wasn’t all that.
The Portrait of Zsuzsanna Römer particularly for the formalism of the fabric which repeats in differently in her dress, fan, the vase of flowers, her ruff, and the strange edging on the fabric of her sleeves, almost like fire. The Catafalque Painting of Mátyás Tarnóczy also similar (and this was an almost life-size portrait), and I especially liked it for the tattoos on his hands (ok probably not tattoos on a 17th century Bishop). And in The Foundation of Carthago for the blue of his robes.
More than three hours later I’m being kicked out. They’re following me, locking doors in my presence and generally acting like it’s sod off to the pub time, making a bit more noise to encourage my exit-ways progression. I need a drink also. It’s dark outside and the city is lit up.