Sigismundus – Rex et Imperator

Art and Culture in the Age of Sigismund of Luxemburg

17 March 2006 - 17 April 2006

The exhibition dedicated to Sigismund of Luxemburg (1387-1437) and his time is a joint project of the Museum of Fine Arts, Budapest and the Musée National d'Histoire et d'Art, Luxembourg and is supported by the Luxembourgian and Hungarian heads of state. The exhibition to be held in 2006 will be on display first in Budapest, and then the same material will travel to Luxembourg. The project is organised by a team of art historians at the Museum of Fine Arts, Budapest with the scholarly support of an international board of advisors.

The goal of the exhibition is to present the personality and times as well as the artistic milieu of Sigismund of Luxemburg, the king of Hungary (1387), and king (1410/11) and later emperor (1433) of the Holy Roman Empire. The exhibit will centre on Sigismund's colourful personality, his political career and his patronage, although other objectives include the detailed presentation of the cultural and artistic phenomena and works associated with the emperor's lifework. Special emphasis will be given to those elements that place both the ruler's mode of thinking and Central Europe as a cultural region in new light. The great series of portraits of Sigismund of Luxemburg will be on display for the first time alongside the statues of Buda Castle and other artworks created for his residence. Also included in the exhibit will be the masterpieces of the famed goldsmiths of Transylvania as well as the precious works associated with the knightly Order of the Dragon, a community whose name was derived from the mythological beast defeated by St. George. The works associated with Sigismund and his immediate environment will be supplemented by artworks from other royal courts and artistic centers of the period.

The exhibition will present more than 350 artworks from approximately 100 great libraries, museums and treasuries throughout Europe, including, in addition to the principal Hungarian national collections, the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek and the Staatliche Graphische Sammlung in Munich, the Liebieghaus in Frankfurt, the British Museum in London, the Bibliotheque Nationale and the Louvre in Paris, the Metropolitan Museum in New York, the Brukental Museum in Sibiu, the Kunsthistorisches Museum and the Österreichische Nationalbibliothek in Vienna, and the Vatican Libraries.

A scholarly catalogue and an exhibition guide will accompany the exhibition. In addition, several smaller, related exhibitions and a series of cultural events are planned. As part of the preparatory phase, a conference will be held in June 2005 in Luxembourg, the lectures of which will be published in a separate volume along with the catalogue.

Chief curator:  Imre Takács
Curators: Zsombor Jékely, Szilárd Papp, Györgyi Poszler