Published: December 01 2023
A masterpiece by Hungarian artist Rippl-Rónai, often referred to as the Hungarian Mona Lisa, is set to go on auction. The painting, titled "Woman with a Birdcage," is a significant work in Hungarian modern painting and has a rich history.
The History of the Painting
The painting was acquired by the owner of the Ernst Gallery 23 years ago. It is a secessionist work that showcases the influence of English Pre-Raphaelite artists and American painter James Whistler. Rippl-Rónai's full-length paintings were initially met with amusement and derision but are now recognized as modern and contemporary works of art. The painting depicts Lazarine Baudrion, the future wife of Rippl-Rónai, and is considered one of the artist's major works.
Journey and Ownership
The painting was likely first exhibited in Paris before being sold to Hungarian Mór Mayer in 1906. It was later taken to the United States in 1947 and became the property of Dezső Bánóczi. It eventually ended up in the possession of Ernst Wastl, an Austrian art collector who owned the Ernst Gallery. The Kieselbach Gallery, tasked with identifying and examining the painting, estimated its value to be between HUF 240-380 million (EUR 631,000-999,700).
Significance and Auction
The painting holds great significance in Hungarian modern painting and is considered a real sensation in the art world. Its appearance at the Winter Auction of the Kieselbach Gallery is highly anticipated. The bidding for "Woman with a Birdcage" will commence at the Hotel Marriott in Budapest on December 17 at 6 pm.
Rippl-Rónai's works have gained recognition internationally, with paintings like "Slender Woman with Vase" being part of the collection at the Art Institute of Chicago. In recent years, his paintings have attracted attention due to their high prices at auctions, such as the sale of "Elegant Lady in the Garden" for HUF 95 million (EUR 250,000) in 2021.
Questions & Answers
What is the painting referred to as the 'Hungarian Mona Lisa'? The painting referred to as the 'Hungarian Mona Lisa' is a work by Hungarian artist Rippl-Rónai. It depicts a standing female figure holding a cage and is considered one of the painter's major works.
What is the history of the 'Hungarian Mona Lisa' painting? The painting was acquired by the owner of the Ernst Gallery 23 years ago. It is a secessionist work influenced by the dreamy-faced ideals of beauty of the English Pre-Raphaelite artists and the colors and mood of the full-length portraits of American painter James Whistler. The painting was first exhibited in Paris, then sold to its first owner, Hungarian Mór Mayer, in 1906. It was taken to the United States in 1947 and eventually became the property of Austrian art collector Ernst Wastl.
Where is the full-length version of the 'Hungarian Mona Lisa' currently displayed? The full-length version of the 'Hungarian Mona Lisa' is still on display at the Hungarian National Gallery.
What is the value of the 'Hungarian Mona Lisa' painting? The 'Hungarian Mona Lisa' is currently valued at HUF 240-380 million (EUR 631,000-999,700) by art dealers.
Are there other notable works by Rippl-Rónai? Yes, Rippl-Rónai has other notable works, such as the 1894 painting Slender Woman with Vase, which is now in the collection of the Art Institute of Chicago.
When and where will the bidding for the 'Hungarian Mona Lisa' take place? The bidding for the 'Hungarian Mona Lisa' will start at the Winter Auction of the Kieselbach Gallery on December 17 at 6 pm at the Hotel Marriott in Budapest.