Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Budapest - Hungary - 12-14.4.1970

Budapest was a surprise, after almost 2 weeks in Yugoslavia, which we loved, especially it's natural beauty but there was often the presence of Military and there were photos of Tito in every home, shop, or public building.

Budapest was so sophisticated in comparison, it was under Communist Rule but it was so much freer than we thought it would be, we had a fair bit paperwork to fill out at the border and were only given 48 hours but the whole atmosphere was one of happy people in a free country.

From Wiki-
From the 1960s to the late 1980s Hungary was often satirically referred to as 'the happiest barrack' within the Eastern Bloc, and much of the wartime damage to the city was finally repaired. Work on Erzebet Bridge,  the last to be rebuilt, was finished in 1965. In the early 1970s, Budapest Metro's East West M2 Line was opened, followed by the M3 Line in 1982.

We met Margit in a cafe in Lenin Korut, her English was good, she was eager for a chat and we ended up spending most of the day with her as she took us to all sorts of interesting places in Budapest, she was absolutely delightful even taking us back to her home for a coffee.  Below is her photo of us! 

Nemzeti National Museum, The 'Exhibition' city where centuries of architectural styles sit together.

 We bought this painting from Margit, the painting itself is only 10cm X 13cm and it's been sitting on our bedroom wall for 40 years or so and I don't think I've ever cleaned it.  I took it down this morning to have a look inside and give it a good clean.  Margit said she'd painted this, (a copy of a Francois Boucher Portrait of Marie-Louis O'Murphy (Nude on a Sofa), 1752 which is found in the Alte Pinakothek, Munich, Germany.)  on a piece of 'ivory'!  Well we never believed that so we either didn't understand her or she got the words 'ivory' and 'plastic' mixed up or she actually said she'd painted it on 'ivory plastic'... anyway I took it apart today for the first time and it's painted on a piece of thick plastic!

I love Francoise Boucher's paintings and he certainly loved his voluptuous nudes!  He painted lots and lots of them as well as some Portraits of Madame de Pompadour who was his illustrious patron.

The original is below, Margit didn't do a bad job did she, although the head and face are different.   I cannot remember how much we paid for Margit's little painting but it wouldn't have been much and I've never regretted buying it for a minute.

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