| How do we appraise

How do we appraise

Several paintings are brought into our gallery, which we carefully and thoroughly appraise. Our aim is that all our clients, sellers, buyers and collectors as well as people just simply being interested receive comprehensive, correct information on a piece of art.

We carry out authenticity appraisal, condition assessment as well as value appraisal.

How do we appraise?Authenticity appraisal

The foremost important thing is to find out, is whether the piece of art brought into the gallery is authentic.

At the same time as we establish the creator of the painting and the technique, the art piece is analysed from the style critic’s perspective.

This methodology compares the piece with the style of the artist, especially other pieces from the same artistic period.

In the course of the style critic analysis, we employ our unique photo and document archive, which has been built up over several decades in the course our gallery’s art trading activity; as well as archive catalogues, and other documents available in databanks and libraries.

One of the main aims of the Gallery is to combat forgeries that keep appearing in Hungary and abroad and to support our clients concerning the authenticity and value of an art piece.

Judit Virág has been working as an art historian and an expert witness on the Hungarian art market. She regularly provides her expert opinion on Hungarian paintings for the Dorotheum, the Erste Wiener, Sotheby’s and Christie’s auction houses, and is frequently invited as a dedicated court expert in connection with court cases concerning the appraisal and authenticity of paintings. Furthermore, she is a lecturer at the painting art appraiser course at KOGART.

She gave her first presentation on forgeries appearing on the market to her clients in 2003, in order to draw their attention to this growing risk.

Judit Virág participated at the organisation and implementation of auctions held by private galleries and by BÁV for ten years, starting in 1988. This period was especially important and defining, since parallel to the establishment of the auction market, the complete restructuring of the Hungarian and foreign private collection took place. Quality painting in quantities never experienced before, made their way to the market. She founded her own gallery and auction house in 1997 together with István Törő. Since then, she has organised 40 auctions, and several thematic and long-awaited exhibitions that were always accompanied by a professional catalogue.

How do we appraise?In the past decades, several paintings have been brought into the Gallery, about which decision had to be made. With the intensification of the auction market, and the increase in price for paintings, the number of forged paintings has also increased. Therefore we carry out our appraisal even more carefully, supported by thorough research.

Since the foundation of our gallery, our clients, sellers and buyers, and often our art trader colleagues have sought advice in connection with the authenticity or value of paintings. We have always been more than happy to offer our advice, in order to avoid them purchasing a questionable picture.

Our work is facilitated by the fact that, since the establishment of the Gallery every picture we have dealt with has been documented. For our research, our photo gallery, library archive catalogue, as well as all accessible internet databases are employed.

If necessary, we request the opinion of an art historian expert more familiar with the oeuvre of a particular painter; furthermore, in some cases, a decision is made with the involvement of an expert restorer.

If the decision on the authenticity or the age of the painting requires analysis in a laboratory or with certain equipment, the painting will be delivered to an expert or a lab having the necessary tools. Analyses in ultra and infrared light, X-rays, the analysis of the pigments as well as microscopic analysis significantly contribute to the clarification of uncertainties.

How do we appraise?Condition analysis

The creator and the technique of the art piece are defined, possible corrections or overpainted layers are explored under ultraviolet light. If necessary, infrared and X-rays, and other chemical and physical material assessments are carried out in appropriate laboratories. The state of the piece of art is defined, along with its exact age, and the extent of previous restorations. The back of the painting is also carefully examined, looking for exhibition labels, and other data.

Art history research

Beyond the style critic analysis, the art piece is placed in the oeuvre, and we research further art history and cultural history connections. As a result, the sort of accompanying pieces this painting may have been was made together with can be defined, and its art history context. Furthermore, our analysis includes research on whether the painting has been exhibited before, where it was reproduced, or referred to in art literature, and also on the importance of the piece within the artist’s oeuvre. The painting’s provenance is researched, that is, who owned the picture and when, and whether the art piece has ever appeared on the art market.

Value appraisal

The painting’s value will be defined. In case the painting is to be sold in an auction, we provide a recommendation for the starting price; and the estimated value is also defined. Furthermore, information is provided to the seller on the expected hammer price.

We are at our clients’ disposal, providing an overview of Hungarian and international art trade achievements, supported by examples.

E-mail: info@viragjuditgaleria.hu
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