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Fine Art/Pentelei oil painting


Hello Dolly,

I have an oil painting on textured art board measuring approx. 11 x 15. It is signed Pentelei, M G.  I an trying to determine if it is a reproducion or authentic. It shows age and has a small repair lower middle.  I opened the back. It was obviously put ito this frame years after it was painted as reverse of the painting certainly shows age. Has  34/45 h l1/8 in the top left corner. I am thinking auction #'s or denoting a repro being 30 out of 45
Has a foil sticker on the back  "GALLERIJA FRANCER DIMITRIJA TUCOVICA 6, SUBOTICA".  "IZRADA RAMOVA URAMLJIVANJE UMETNICIH SLIKA".  I believe the painting may have been on exhibition there.  Thank you for your opinion and advise in advance. I read and enjoy your questions and answers on a daily basis!

Sincerely, Gary

Dear Gary,

I hope this finds you well and thank you for your kind words. The artist of your painting is Janos Pentelei-Molnar (1878-1924), from Hungary. From the Biographical Encyclopedia of Hungarian Painters and Graphic Artists:

He studied in Munich, Paris and in Budapest. He achieved great success with his still lifes. He was the president of the Benczur Society. He won several prizes and medals. (Wahrmann-prize in 1908, Rudics-prize in 1909, State little gold medal in 1910, Gold medal of the Kunstlerhaus in Vienna, State big gold medal in 1915). He held a collected exhibition of his works in 1907 in the Konyves Kalman Saloon and in 1920 in the Ernst Museum. Several of his works are owned by the Hungarian National Gallery.

The signature you mention and can be seen in the photograph is consistent with some of his other recorded paintings I located online. I do not know what the numbers on the verso stand for, but they are unlikely to be edition numbers if the piece is an oil painting. The writing is Slavic and loosely (VERY loosely) translates that the painting is from a French gallery in Subotica, a good size city in Serbia. This is consistent with the artist and the former Hungary.

You have a beautiful example of his still life work and it appears you may have an original. Looking at previous auction prices on his work, it seems he was primarily known for his still life images. Most recent realized auction prices for his still life paintings of similar size to yours range from $300-600.

I hope this information is helpful.

Best regards,

Fine Art

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Dolly D Headley


I can assist with identification, acquisition, sell representation, and care of fine art prints and original paintings. Some of my artist specialties include Henri Toulouse Lautrec, California Artists, and the Modern Masters. I can also assist with information on getting professional appraisals and authentication.


Dolly D. Headley, owner of Headley Fine Art, LLC, has provided consultative art services to retail gallery clients in Sausalito, CA, and at since 1998. With over 14 years experience as a Senior Art Consultant, Gallery Director, and an extensive art research library; Ms. Headley has provided hundreds of people with her high quality personalized consultation services and solid guarantee of satisfaction. Dolly is a volunteer at Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art.

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