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The legacy of Mihály Munkácsy

Munkácsy Memorial HouseBékéscsabaGyula region

If you love painting or want to know more about Mihály Munkácsy, Békéscsaba is the place to be: with a museum and a memorial house dedicated to this artist, you will often “come face to face” with him on the streets as well.

When you visit Békéscsaba, you will quickly notice that the spirit of Mihály Munkácsy permeates the town and its every corner. Statues, memorial plaques, inscriptions and a painted tulip chest all pay homage to the artist’s greatness, but there is also a museum and a memorial house named after the world-famous painter.

Who was Mihály Munkácsy?

Mihály Munkácsy was born on 20 February 1844. At the age of eight, as an orphaned boy, he came to Békéscsaba, where he worked as a joiner’s apprentice and learned the basics of painting. His talent paved the way for him to become one of the outstanding figures of 19th century Hungarian painting. His most famous works include The Yawning Apprentice, The Woman Carrying Faggot and, last but not least, the Christ Trilogy.

The largest collection of Munkácsy’s works in the world

The Munkácsy Mihály Museum houses the largest collection of Munkácsy’s works in the world. Drawings, paintings, including the most valuable piece in the entire collection, the Weeping Women at the Foot of the Cross, as well as the artist’s personal effects, photographs and documents are on display. If you add it all up, you’d get a total of 579 relics – that’s how many you can see here.


But that’s not all: the institute (the winner of the Visitor-Friendly Museum Award) also houses 253,000 archaeological artefacts, 12,000 ethnographic artefacts, 12,000 fine art artefacts, 65,000 historical artefacts and documents and 33,000 natural history artefacts.

Twenty-one original paintings in Munkácsy Memorial House

In addition to the museum, Munkácsy Memorial House is also worth a visit. It opened on the 150th anniversary of the painter’s birth, in the neoclassical mansion where Munkácsy stayed with his relatives, the Reök family, as a child. Take a stroll through the mansion and discover the artist’s periods by admiring 21 original Munkácsy paintings, then head to the cellar for an intimate wine tasting.


If you’re visiting with children, however, they might be more interested in the experiential museum education sessions in the back building. These not only introduce children to the art of Mihály Munkácsy, but also give them an insight into 19th-century noble and bourgeois life.


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