Along with documents linked with political events during the Reform Age, paintings and artefacts relating to the most significant personalities of the day – István Széchenyi, Chancellor Metternich, King Francis I, Palatine Joseph – faithful present the first half of the 19th century in Hungary. Visitors can follow Széchenyi’s modernising efforts (with the building of the Chain Bridge, which became a symbol of the Reform Age, at their centre), and also the work of the reforming diets (national assemblies). The salon furnishings reflect the lifestyle of nobles at this time; and the picture is made richer still by the inclusion of a nobleman’s attire.

Interesting facts:

The laying in 1842 of the foundation stone of the Chain Bridge was depicted only 22 years later, by the artist Miklós Barabás. A sketch placed in the glass cabinet underneath the painting helps us to identify the persons shown. Archduke Joseph, who served as palatine of Hungary, represented the country’s interests to the king and emperor Francis I. Archduke Joseph played a prominent role in supporting the creation of the Hungarian National Museum.