Vaszary János: Calvary of Budapest III. ©Museum of Fine Arts – Hungarian National Gallery
On display at the Hungarian National Gallery until 2 April, 2023
For Budapest, the panorama along the Danube is to the city what the Eiffel Tower or Concorde Square is to Paris. It’s a sight to be seen on an anzix card, evoking the atmosphere of the city. It was this postcard character that inspired Vaszary to paint his thoughts on Budapest. In his pictures, the fashionable crowd of the Danube embankment strolls peacefully, contemplating, passing the time pleasantly. People’s faces are barely visible, mostly sitting with their backs turned or turned away, not paying much attention to each other. Like the staffage figures on a colourful greeting card, they enliven the cityscape. Nothing can distract them from the calm of everyday idleness. Absurdly, they don’t even notice the appearance among them of the painful Christ crouching under the cross.