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Masterworks from Budapest. From the Renaissance to the Avant-Garde

From 18 February to 28 May 2017

Lucas Cranach, the Elder
Salome with the Head of Saint John the Baptist, ca. 1526-1530
Oil on panel. 88.4 x 58.3 cm
Budapest, Museum of Fine Arts

Thyssen-Bornemisza Collection

Vilmos Huszár
ca. 1955-60
Oil on cardboard
84.2 x 61.4 cm
Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza, Madrid
Numero de inventario
INV. Nr. 599 (1979.80)

More information about this work

The resemblance the present Composition by Vilmos Huszár bears to the geometric abstraction of De Stijl has led it to be dated erroneously to the 1920s in the past. However, the Hague exhibition catalogue by Sjarel Ex and Els Hoek, published in 1985, features a work dated 1955–60 that is very similar to that in the collection. Furthermore, Christopher Green, on the basis of the chemical analyses performed on the Thyssen-Bornemisza painting which reveal that the painter had used cadmium yellow, zinc white and lead white — pigments not sold in the Netherlands until after 1945 — considers the earlier dating to be incorrect. Given that Huszár abandoned abstract figuration in 1955 in favour of a pure non-objective language, it may be deduced that the work in the Thyssen-Bornemisza collection should be dated to these last five years in the painter’s life.

Paloma Alarcó

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