While the Old Master paintings sales in New York were getting all the attention, Colin Gleadell finds that Marc Chagall was making an impression in London:
London’s Bloomsbury Auctions conducted a complete sell-out in its first major sale of the year when it offered a collection of books with unique drawings and dedications made by the Russian artist Marc Chagall last Thursday.
The collection was formed by Irmgard and Alfred Neuman, who were Chagall’s neighbours in the South of France. The collection began when Irmgard Neuman asked Chagall to sign a book about his work. Not only did he oblige, but he added an illustration to the inside cover.
Over the 30-year friendship that developed, Chagall illustrated 49 texts for the Neumans, who left the collection to the Leo Baeck College in London, a training seminary for rabbis, in their will.
Subjects included archetypal Chagall images such as Self-Portrait with an Angel and Self-Portrait as a Clown. Estimated to fetch £250,000, the collection sold for £314,000 which will go towards the college’s training programme.