One of the main aims of our gallery is to effectively fight against forgeries that appear with increasing frequency in Hungary and abroad as well, and to assist our clients in matters regarding the authenticity and value of paintings.
I have been working for twenty years as an art historian on the Hungarian market of artworks and have been doing legal paintings evaluation for the Ministry of Justice, too. I regularly offer expert advice in what regards Hungarian paintings to various action houses like Dorotheum, Erste Wiener, Sotheby's and Christie's. I am often invited as court-appointed expert to authenticate and evaluate paintings in various civil lawsuits, and I also teach classes as part of KOGART's specialisation course for painting evaluators.
I have been organising and managing auctions for several private galleries and for Bizományi Áruház Vállalat (BÁV – Central Commission Shop, Hungary) since 1988. This period was extremely important for me, and had a defining character as well, since the total transformation and reorganisation of Hungarian and foreign private collections went hand in hand with the emergence of the auction market in Hungary. In this period, high quality paintings were sold and bought in an unprecedented quantity. In 1997, together with István Törő, we founded our own gallery and auction house. Since then, we have organised 37 auctions and several exhibitions. Some of the latter were thematic, while others were long overdue and were meant to fill gaps in what concerns artistic life in Hungary. For all exhibitions we organised, we published a professional catalogue as well.
During the last decades, I have had to decide on the faith of several paintings on a daily basis. However, the development of the auction market and the raise in the price of paintings generated an increase in the number of fakes and forgeries as well. Therefore, we invested more professional research into our work and used much more caution.
I held my first lecture to my clients, on forgeries that appeared on the market in 2003. My goal was to make them aware of this increasing risk.
Since the foundation of our company, our clients – sellers and buyers alike – and sometimes even our fellow art dealers have often asked for our opinion on the authenticity and value of their paintings. We have been, and still are, gladly at their disposal because we want to prevent them from buying a painting of uncertain origin.
Our work is largely facilitated by the fact that since the establishment of our gallery we have elaborated documentations on all the paintings that were hosted by us. When doing research, we can rely on our own photographic library, our own professional library, our own archive of art catalogues and on all on-line databases.
If necessary, we can ask for the expert opinion of art historians who are the most knowledgeable in what regards the work of a certain painter; moreover, when deciding certain issues, we appeal to professional restorers as well.
In cases when special equipment or laboratory tests are needed to assess the age or the authenticity of a certain painting, we take the painting to a professional, who possesses adequate equipment or we ask for the services of a laboratory. Tests using infrared or ultraviolet light, X-ray images, analysis of pigments or test done by microscope are extremely helpful in deciding contentious issues.
Dr. Virág Judit
If you have any questions, please call the Gallery by dialling 312-2071 or write to the following e-mail address: firstname.lastname@example.org