The 19th and the 20th centuries witnessed the rapid development of painting and architecture in Hungary. International art centers, such as Vienna, Milan, Munich, Berlin, and Paris, shaped this process, but gradually and clearly a distinctly Hungarian art emerged. The important trends and events in the history of the country also influenced artistic expression. 19th and 20th century art has, therefore, special importance in the history of Art in Hungary.
The beginning of the 19th century - similarly to other nations all over Europe at the time - was the period of the rise of national art and architecture. The stylistic dualism of Classicism and Romanticism in connection with increasingly strong national sentiment gave birth to new genres and types in painting, not mentioning iconographic changes, new subjects. At the beginning the Academy of Vienna was the most important place for training Hungarian artists, may of whom made study tours to Italy. In the second half of the century the academy of Munich had an increasing importance and several Hungarian artists were working there as professors.
In architecture Neoclassicism prevailed, though Gothic in its naive form also appeared. The fountainhead of Neoclassicism was undoubtedly France, yet developments in Hungarian architecture occurred within the central European framework.
A very interesting period of Hungarian 19th century painting is historical painting, having its great period between 1848 and 1867. During this time painters were in close connection with their European contemporaries. The turn of the century witnessed the formation of art groups and colonies. These were the starting places of the spread of new artistic theories and solutions. In architecture certain building types with relevance to the emergence of a new, bourgeois society gained special importance Also the use of new materials (glass, iron) and the development of technology influenced the course architecture took in these years. After the turn of the century Hungarian architects tended to look into new directions and set out to find or create a Hungarian national style.
Following World War I architecture became extremely conservative, modern architecture gaining ground around 1930. Avantgarde tendencies were strengthened in painting giving several great artists to European art history. In the 1950s new „socialist Realist” art was imposed on the country by Soviet and Communist leaders. After the fall of Communism, trends such as organic architecture, practiced among others by the world-famous Imre Makovecz, have come to fruition.