An ‘icon of modern art’ goes on sale

The 1949 oil painting Composition is to be auctioned by Christie’s.

The 1949 oil painting Composition is to be auctioned by Christie’s.

The last known painting by Jewish artist Jankel Adler will be auctioned next week by Christie’s London, after being kept as a family heirloom for more than 60 years.

The work, entitled Composition, was bought by the modernist painter Pip Benveniste in 1950, shortly after Mr Adler’s death.

It was later inherited by her son Paul Vaughan, also a painter, who now lives in Tunisia.

Mr Vaughan said: “I always liked the Adler painting in our different homes through childhood because it was our only icon of modern art. I’ve decided to sell it because it was beginning to suffer a little, and Christie’s has some of the best experts in the world to do the small bits of restoration needed.”

He added that it was important for Adler’s followers to “see it up close and ponder on the last brush strokes ever made by this incredibly important Jewish painter”.

It is thought that the painting will fetch several thousand pounds when on sale on December 12.

Last updated: 11:45am, December 6 2013