The Museum of Fine Arts, Budapest (Szépművészeti Múzeum)1 was established on the occasion of Hungary’s millennial celebration in 1896, to house Hungarian and European works of art, mainly old master paintings and graphic art, from nearly all the most significant periods.
The Collection of Prints and Drawings is the largest at the museum in numerical terms, consisting of around 100,000 items, of which the number of drawings has risen to approximately 9,000. The collection of old master drawings represents almost all the major artists and schools of European art, the Italian school being one of the most comprehensive and most valuable of all, numbering about 1,200 sheets. In regard to both their quantity and quality, the Museum of Fine Arts’ eighteenth-century Italian drawings, comprising more than 350 sheets, can be considered one of the most important collections in Central Europe.
The present volume contains 353 entries for 356 drawings.
The entries are organised alphabetically by the name of the artist, followed by the thirty-six anonymous sheets, arranged by region from the North to the South of Italy. The place and date of the artists’ birth and death figure at their first entry only. When an artist is represented by more than one work, entries are organised in chronological order, if it is possible to date the drawings. For larger groups of works, brief introductions are included to characterise the series, as in the case of the Bibiena family, Giuseppe Cades, Donato Creti, Alessandro D’Anna, Gaspare Diziani, Filippo Giuntotardi, Agostino Masucci, Pietro Antonio and Francesco Novelli, Antonio Zucchi, and the Tiepolos and their followers.
The entries are preceded by an introduction on the research work carried out in connection with the drawings, their provenance, and the character and the significance of the collection, and followed by the bibliography and indexes. The volume ends with the index of artists, including the catalogue numbers of their drawings.