As part of its continuing bridge-building and profile-raising programme of lending exhibitions to museums in the West, the Budapest Museum of Fine Arts has sent 43 15th- to 18th-century Italian paintings from its collection, including what is perhaps its “Mona Lisa”, the Esterházy Madonna by Raphael (the visible underpainting of which gives clues to Raphael’s method of composition). There are, in addition, works by artists such as Lorenzo Monaco, Sassetta, Filippino Lippi, Bernardino Luini, Titian (the portrait of Doge Marcantonio Trevisano), Sebastiano del Piombo, Lotto, Il Pordenone, Tintoretto, Veronese, Bernardo Strozzi, Annibale Carracci, Cavallino , Johann Liss (whose “Judith with the head of Holofernes”, about 1622, is shown below), Sebastiano Ricci, Bellotto and Giovanni Battista Tiepolo. Apart from the criteria of “Italian”, “masterpiece” and the terminus a quo and ad quem, the works, selected by the Montreal museum’s curator Hilliard Goldfarb in collaboration with the Budapest museum’s general director, Miklós Mojzer, are not otherwise linked together. They display a wide range of subjects: devotional works, official and private portraits, State commissioned history pictures, mythological scenes domestic, and monumental, genre and ecclesiastical works. The catalogue, which has been written by the Budapest curators, Vilmos Tátrai and Ildikó Ember, illustrates each work in colour. The exhibition (24 April - 4 August) is funded by La Presse and the Ministère de la culture and des communications de Québec, with support from the museum’s exhibition fund and the Paul Desmarais Fund.
Originally appeared in The Art Newspaper as 'Three centuries of Italian masterpieces from Raphael to Tiepolo'