Unseen Chagall sketchbook to auction in NY
Tuesday 14 June 2011
A notebook containing 85 pages of sketches by Marc Chagall, until now never seen in public, will be auctioned June 17 in New York.
The work is being sold by a European collector and is expected to bring in anywhere from $600,000 to $900,000. It has never been on display before, auction house Sotheby's said.
The burgundy leather-bound book originally belonged to Chagall's wife Bella, who filled the first eight pages with Yiddish translations of French poetry.
After Bella Chagall died in the United States in 1944, the painter continued to work in the notebook, filling it with ink, pencil or watercolor sketches. The notebook reflects a "virtual catalogue" of the artist, according to Sotheby's.
Many pictures depict Chagall with his late wife. Others reflect his lifelong interest in drawing Jewish and Christian imagery and scenes of peasant life from his native Belarus.
Several striking self-portraits appear, one of them showing Chagall as a satyr and another as a drinker staring at a bottle inscribed with his own initials, "MC."
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