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Museum day for Year 12 Hungarian students

07 March 2019

On Thursday, 28th February 2019, our Year 12 Hungarian students had their yearly Museum day trip. In the morning they visited the National Museum as part of their Hungarian historical studies where they received a guided lesson about the 20-30th years of Hungary called ’the Horthy-era’. They saw the famous historical relics and treasures such as the ’Red map’ which Pál Teleki designed before the peace treaty of Trianon in 1920. They also had the opportunity to try on dresses from that era.

  • National Museum visit
  • National Museum visit
  • National Museum visit
  • National Museum visit
  • National Museum visit
  • National Museum visit

After a long walk and a nice lunch in the city they went to the National Gallery where the guide showed them famous paintings from the 19th century. They admired the magnficient pictures of Munkácsy, the ’Nagybányai-school’ and Székely Bertalan’s wonderful historical paintings.

This enjoyable cultural experience contributes greatly to their literary knowledge. Words from the students:

„I was amazed by the size of the paintings, seeing them in real life was an authentic experience.” Vanda

„My favourite part was the Mihály Munkácsy’s hall because I enjoyed the style of his paintings.” Adam

„I quite enjoyed the deep analysis of the paintings, further underlining the history and meaning of it.” Bianka

„I enjoyed the presentation we got in the museum the most because it gave a new perspective of what we have already studied in class before.” Eperke

All of them chose a painting to analyse and Eperke has chosen ’The Mourning of László Hunyadi by Viktor Madarász (1859)’: 

„The story begins as Ulrich II, Count of Celje was killed by Hunyadi’s men in 1456 but the king pardoned Hunyadi and invited him to Buda. While there Hunyadi was arrested for plotting against the king and then beheaded even though the king has promised to keep the entire Hunyadi family safe. The painting shows Hunyadi’s body with his mother and fiancé by his side. The painting conveys a sense of melancholy and desperation. The dark colours in the background are juxtaposed with the white sheet covering Hunyadi. Even the tiles on the floor in the painting are black and white to highlight the juxtaposition that brings Hunyadi to the front of the picture. At the neck of his body there is a small pool of blood connoting to the way Hunyadi perished. Another detail in the painting that is related to his way of death is the candle that cuts the body at the neck separating the two and we can also see a blood smeared sword lying on the sheet as the weapon used to kill Hunyadi. These three clues were deliberately included by the painter to join the story of Hunyadi to the painting directly. The two women kneeling on the ground are the mother and Hunyadi’s fiancé: Erzsébet Szilágyi and Mária Garai. Their faces are mostly covered in shadows, hiding their expressions but their slouched positions convey their grief. The painting is a successful representation of the tale of László Hunyadi as it shows details from the story and emotions through colour, symbolism and placement.”

Anna Piry
Head of Hungarian Department