The core of the Collection of Prints and Drawings in the Museum of Fine Arts, Budapest came from the Esterházy collection, which was purchased by the Hungarian state in 1870. The world-famous assemblage of several hundred paintings and thousands of prints and drawings was accumulated by Prince Nikolaus Esterházy (1765–1833). Besides acquiring paintings and prints, the prince also wished to bring together a well-balanced collection of high-quality drawings representing every art historical period and almost all the art schools of Europe. Three quarters of the drawings in this catalogue come from the princely collection. In the first decade of the nineteenth century, Esterházy managed to lay his hands on several outstanding groups of drawings from first-class art collections. Where German drawings are concerned, his most important purchase was made in Nuremberg around 1804 from the art dealer Johann Friedrich Frauenholz (1758– 1822). Originally belonging to Paulus II Praun (1548–1616), a silk merchant in Nuremberg, this ensemble of several hundred, mainly sixteenth century drawings was made up mostly of German and Italian works, with some Netherlandish pieces included. More than half of the works discussed in this volume share their provenance from the Praun collection. Many works of exceptionally high quality are among them: for example compositions by Albrecht Dürer, Hans BaldungGrien, Hans Schäufelein, Hans Süss von Kulmbach, Lucas Cranach the Elder, Albrecht Altdorfer, Wolfgang Huber, Hans Leu the Younger, Jörg Breu the Elder, Augustin Hirsvogel, and Hans Hoffmann. The fifteenth- and sixteenth-century German drawings from the Esterházy collection are fortunately complemented by a group of works that once belonged to the painter Stephan Delhaes (1843–1901). Born in Pest, the artist later worked in Vienna as a painting restorer, and in his will he left his diverse collection to the Hungarian state. A few works have been acquired by the Museum through purchase and some drawings came to the Budapest collection as donations.
|Kiadó||Museum of Fine Arts, Budapest|
|Múzeumi kollekciók||Szépművészeti Múzeum|
|Oldalszám és illusztrációk||434 pages with colour illustrations|