Chagall painting sets new Asian record

By Jennifer Lipman, October 6, 2010
Chagall's Jerusalem Windows

Chagall's Jerusalem Windows

A painting by Jewish artist Marc Chagall has been sold in Hong Kong for an unprecedented sum.

The 1969 masterpiece Bestiaire et Musique was auctioned for £2.7 million to an unnamed buyer.

Although modest in comparison with global art sales – a Modigliani sculpture went for £35.8m in June - the bid set a new record in the Asian art world.

The impressionist work, of a bride and a fiddler floating in a night sky, is typical of the modernist painter’s recognisable style.

Born in Russia in 1887, Chagall went to St Petersburg to study art at the age of 20. He spent most of his life in France, but fled during the Holocaust to America.

His dreamlike paintings, of Jewish village life, biblical scenes, lovers flying over rooftops, rabbis and violinists, are displayed in galleries around the world. His famous Jerusalem Windows, each one featuring a different tribe of Israel, are on show at the Hadassah hospital in Jerusalem.

In January the Ben Uri Gallery in London bought a rare Chagall painting for £26,600, a fraction of its value.

Last updated: 2:53pm, October 6 2010