A Year-long Celebration in Békéscsaba

To commemorate the 180th anniversary of the birth of painter Mihály Munkácsy, the Municipality of Békéscsaba (eastern Hungary), alongside the cultural institutions of the Munkácsy Quarter, is organizing a year-long series of festive programs.

Over the past decade, the city has honored the painter with a series of large-scale events. The construction of the Munkácsy Quarter, initiated in 2020, is slated for completion this autumn. Notably, the permanent Munkácsy exhibition at the Munkácsy Mihály Museum has been renovated, and the museum’s two buildings have been connected. Additionally, the painter’s memorial house underwent renovation, while the Beliczey Mansion, presently housing the Napsugár Puppet Theater, has been refurbished and expanded.

Tamás Varga, deputy mayor, emphasized,

Nowadays, if you come to Békéscsaba, you cannot leave without having seen Munkácsy’s heritage.”

Gábor Bácsmegi, director of the Munkácsy Mihály Museum, announced that the commemorative year commenced on February 7 with the unveiling of the second edition of the Munkácsy carpaccio volume. On February 13, the judging of the Munkácsy cake competition will take place to determine the “dessert of the quarter.” Additionally, on February 20, Munkácsy’s birthday, a temporary exhibition entitled “Patriotic Painting on the Square – Mihály Munkácsy’s Honfoglalás” (Hungarian conquest of the Carpathian Basin)  will debut and can be visited until the end of October. The exhibition will spotlight the half-sized sketch and charcoal drawing of his work, “Honfoglalás,” originating from Szeged. Bácsmegi noted that an expanded virtual edition of their permanent exhibition will be available later this year.

On February 23, the musical “Munkácsy, the Prince Painter” will premiere at the Jókai Theater in Békéscsaba. Collaborating with the museum, an exhibition of photographs featuring the painter’s sketches will be showcased in the theater’s lobby. Additionally, in autumn, Tibor Zalán’s drama depicting the hypothetical encounter between Munkácsy and his contemporary, the writer Mór Jókai will be presented, said theater director Zoltán Seregi.

The inaugural Munkácsy Academy will commence on March 22, focusing on the theme of forgery. A “special art” series will be introduced, incorporating street art, slam poetry, henna painting, and tattooing to present the painter and his era. At the National Meeting of Noble Homes, attention will be directed towards the culinary legacy of Munkácsy’s era.


Mihály Munkácsy (1844-1900) was an internationally renowned figure of 19th century Hungarian painting. He began his career as a carpenter apprentice and fought his way up the ranks of professional painters. His canvases mainly depict Hungarian and European rural and middle class life with ‘sociographic accuracy.’ His romantic-realist style was greatly influenced by the French painter Gustav Courbet (1819-1877). Munkácsy’s main work is the Christ Trilogy of three panneaus, showing Christ in front of Pontius Pilate, on the Golgotha hill, and in front of the people of Judea (Ecce Homo).

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Via MTI; Featured Image:Facebook / Munkácsy Negyed

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