Mihály Munkácsy is one of the most highly regarded Hungarian artists around the world, and many of his works are displayed in museums and private collections worldwide. His style and technique are world-famous and have influenced many artists. His works are considered to be the peak of national painting.
Index found in Magyar Nemzet that one of Mihály Munkácsy’s oil paintings, titled A dajka (The Nurse), was recently sold for 1.7 billion forints ($5.4 million). The name of the owner of the 95 by 150-centimetre masterpiece was not revealed by the Fine Paintings Gallery in New York, as they said it was a business secret.
The article published in Magyar Nemzet also reveals why Munkácsy’s paintings are so popular overseas:
“In the West, the value of the works of painters from the second half of the 19th century has appreciated, and one of the era’s prominent figures was Munkácsy. The painting titled A dajka (The Nurse) was considered to be one of the last interior paintings of the Hungarian artist which was still for sale.
The truth is that there is not much of this kind of intimate and atmospheric painting on the market anymore. This is also typical of all the works of Mihály Munkácsy; the supply is more and more scarce, but the demand continues to grow.
This, in turn, makes prices go sky-high. We are at a point where people are willing to pay millions of dollars for a Munkácsy,” said gallery owner Julian Beck.
Of course, Munkácsy’s works are also sought after in Hungary. At the autumn auction of the Virág Galéria (Flower Gallery), the small painting called Fasor (Line of Trees) was bought for 108 million forints (~ $343,000).
According to a previous Hungarian poll, Munkácsy is by far the most popular Hungarian painter. This opinion is also shared by art collectors and art historians, as evidenced by the fact that millionaires around the world have quickly bought up all of his works that were for sale.