The Hungarian National Gallery was established in 1957 as the national art museum and is located in Buda Castle. Its collections cover Hungarian art in all genres, including the works of many nineteenth- and twentieth-century Hungarian artists who worked in Paris and other locations in the West. The primary museum for international art in Budapest is the Museum of Fine Arts.
The National Gallery houses Medieval, Renaissance, Gothic art, Baroque and Renaissance Hungarian art. The collection includes wood altars from the 15th century.
The museum displays a number of works from Hungarian sculptors such as Károly Alexy, Maurice Ascalon, Miklós Borsos, Gyula Donáth, János Fadrusz, Béni Ferenczy, István Ferenczy and Miklós Izsó. It also exhibits paintings and photographs by major Hungarian artists such as Brassai and Ervin Marton, part of the circle who worked in Paris before World War II. The gallery displays the work of artists such as Mihály Munkácsy and László Paál. The museum also holds paintings by Karoly Marko, Josef Borsos, Miklos Barabas, Bertelan Szekely, Karoly Lotz, Pál Szinyei Merse, Istvan Csok, Bela Ivanyi Grunwald, Tivadar Kosztka Csontváry (Ruins of Ancient Theatre, Taormina), József Rippl-Rónai (Models), and Károly Ferenczy.References:
The Château de Foix dominates the town of Foix. An important tourist site, it is known as a centre of the Cathars. Built on an older 7th-century fortification, the castle is known from 987. In 1002, it was mentioned in the will of Roger I, Count of Carcassonne, who bequeathed the fortress to his youngest child, Bernard. In effect, the family ruling over the region were installed here which allowed them to control access to the upper Ariège valley and to keep surveillance from this strategic point over the lower land, protected behind impregnable walls.
In 1034, the castle became capital of the County of Foix and played a decisive role in medieval military history. During the two following centuries, the castle was home to Counts with shining personalities who became the soul of the Occitan resistance during the crusade against the Albigensians. The county became a privileged refuge for persecuted Cathars.
The castle, often besieged (notably by Simon de Montfort in 1211 and 1212), resisted assault and was only taken once, in 1486, thanks to treachery during the war between two branches of the Foix family.
From the 14th century, the Counts of Foix spent less and less time in the uncomfortable castle, preferring the Governors' Palace. From 1479, the Counts of Foix became Kings of Navarre and the last of them, made Henri IV of France, annexed his Pyrrenean lands to France.
As seat of the Governor of the Foix region from the 15th century, the castle continued to ensure the defence of the area, notably during the Wars of Religion. Alone of all the castles in the region, it was exempted from the destruction orders of Richelieu (1632-1638).
Until the Revolution, the fortress remained a garrison. Its life was brightened with grand receptions for its governors, including the Count of Tréville, captain of musketeers under Louis XIII and Marshal Philippe Henri de Ségur, one of Louis XVI's ministers. The Round Tower, built in the 15th century, is the most recent, the two square towers having been built before the 11th century. They served as a political and civil prison for four centuries until 1862.
Since 1930, the castle has housed the collections of the Ariège départemental museum. Sections on prehistory, Gallo-Roman and mediaeval archaeology tell the history of Ariège from ancient times. Currently, the museum is rearranging exhibits to concentrate on the history of the castle site so as to recreate the life of Foix at the time of the Counts.