Ornamental Sky

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Baroque Hall, Museum of Fine Arts, Budapest, Hungary

Abstract ornamentation.

A simple skylight is turned into an extravagant display of scrolled arches, gold-trimmed sculpted faces, symmetrical accent moulding, and decorated glass. The colors are subdued, but every other aspect is ostentatious.

This is another example of an art museum itself being part of the artwork on display. The buildings play an important role in establishing that the items within are made with rare skill and artistry.

This is a place of creativity beyond functionality. When you step inside you can not escape the fact that you have left daily routine outside. Your senses should be stimulated, if not startled.

This is the ceiling of the Baroque Hall in the Museum of Fine Arts (Szépmûvészeti Múzeum) in Budapest, Hungary. This wide angle view creates an interesting abstract image of shapes and colors. It is a very large hall and the ceiling is impressive in person.

It took a while to photograph this hall. Actually it took a couple days to photograph at all inside the museum. The first time I visited the museum I chose to go on a Thursday since they were open late that day. I had spent the morning walking the streets of Budapest photographing street scenes. After I paid my entrance fee and the supplemental fee permitting me to photograph I went upstairs and started working my way through the 14th century paintings with a goal of reaching the impressionists before closing. Before an hour had passed they announced by loudspeaker that the museum was closing six hours early. It turned out that they were having a special meeting and were closing early that one day.

I went back two days later and was able to use my previous ticket and photo privileges, after considerable discussion. Eventually I was helped by a museum staff member who was curious about why I was taking so many photographs of the building. Her initial suspicion eventually turned into artistic curiosity about what I was trying to show. She guided me to the Baroque Hall.

I spent several hours taking photographs and it turned out to be a very interesting time. Several of the halls had skylights and as clouds passed over the light changed dramatically. The museum has an impressive collection but it is also dramatic architecturally.  For me it was still a place for active creativity.  You can view more interior abstract photographs from this museum in my Hungary gallery by following the Photography link above.

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