Szinyei’s Lost Landscape returns to Hungary after 80 years

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A small painting, The Sailboat on Lake Starnberg painted in 1867 by Pál Szinyei Merse, is back in Hungary after 80 years and will be shown in a full exhibition at the Hungarian National Gallery (MNG) on November 12, the gallery noted Wednesday.

The painting belonged to the Museum of Fine Arts in Budapest but disappeared around the turn of 1944-1945 when the museum’s collection was secured in the West, Deputy Director General György Szűcs told reporters. It was recently discovered in a private collection in the United States by Mihály Szarvasy, a Hungarian-born art collector from New York, who purchased it and donated it to the Fine Arts Museum for his MNG collection. He delivered the painting to Hungary with the help of the Hungarian Consulate General in New York, Szűcs said.

The painting’s value on the art market is estimated at between 20 and 30 million forints (56,000 to 83,600 euros), he said.

Szinyei painted the landscape while studying in Karl von Piloty’s class at the Academy of Fine Arts in Munich. He spent much of his time at nearby Lake Starnberg, said curator Orsolya Hessky. She added that the next exhibition will feature a collection of 120 Szinyei paintings.

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Featured photo by Lajos Soós / MTI

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