From Monday 16 May, rare paintings by key Hungarian artists can be seen for free before they go under the hammer at the Judit Virág Gallery in two weeks’ time. Among the works previously hidden away in private collections are a little-known oil painting by József Rippl-Rónai expected to fetch up to 300 million forints, and an impression of the Pest embankment by János Vaszary, only exhibited once in Nuremberg in 1929.

One of the main salons along gallery-lined Falk Miksa utca, the Judit Virág celebrates its 25th anniversary this year. Before its next exclusive auction on 31 May and 1 June at the Budapest Congress Centre, the showroom will be allowing the public to admire the rare works of Hungarian art due to be sold for significant sums of money.

One of the items eliciting most interest is by József Rippl-Rónai, the renowned realist painter of the early 1900s. His Interior had previously been kept in an almost unknown collection in Vojvodina, northern Serbia. Its original owner, Zsigmond Engelmann, probably bought the work from the painter himself, from the time when he lived in his native Kaposvár.

The picture Interior shows his wife, Lazarine, the family dog ​​Flox and the characteristic, bearded uncle Piacsek, all familiar from his other works, but it’s also probable that the fourth figure in the painting, the woman in the light-blue dress, is not other than the celebrated actress Emília Márkus. When it comes under the hammer, the oil painting will have a starting price of 120 million forints, and is expected to fetch something up to 200-300 million forints.

Until now, Danube Promenade by János Vaszary has only been exhibited once, in Nuremberg in 1929. The work is one of a spectacular series, and estimated to go for around 100-150 million forints from a starting price of 65 million.

Béla Kádár’s The Young Ones was taken to America by the artist himself when he fled Europe in the 1920s. Exhibited in New York in 1928, it has been in his family hands ever since, so this is the first chance to see it in Hungary since it was painted. This one has a starting price of 30 million forints and an estimated value of 60-90 million.

In addition, visitors can see works by Dezső Czigány, Lajos Tihanyi, Hugó Scheiber, László Mednyánszky, László Lakner, Ákos Birkás and Dóra Maurer. Admission is free.

Venue information

Judit Virág Gallery
1056 Budapest, Falk Miksa utca 30
Open: Daily 10am-6pm (Wed 18 May 10am-8pm)
Admission: Free