An introspective pantheon: the picture gallery of the Hungarian National Museum in the nineteenth century

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Colleges, School and Institutes


The Hungarian National Museum was founded in 1808 with an encyclopaedic scope, and its art collection – the Picture Gallery – was originally formed within this cross-disciplinary framework. The acquisition of objects classified as art was often motivated by historical interest or political significance, rather than aesthetic value. Nineteenth-century efforts to reshape this assemblage of objects as a fine art collection were hampered by the persistence of its historical context, especially in the case of the collection of Hungarian art. This article examines how this complex process was reflected in the permanent exhibitions of the Picture Gallery from the 1850s to the 1880s.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)453-469
JournalJournal of the History of Collections
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2 Nov 2017


  • museum studies, Hungary, nineteenth century, national museum, art galleries, Ferenc Pulszky, Austria-Hungary

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