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Latest Articles - Luxury

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Mark Chagall: Paintings at World Auctions and Private Collections

Monday, 01 June 2009

Mark Chagall PaintingsMark Chagall has been recognized nearly in every part of the world. Chagall was born to a Jewish family in Vitebsk, Belarus. In 1920 Chagall moved to Moscow, and two year later he left for Berlin and afterward to Paris where he spent almost all the rest of his life.

Mark Chagall is an amazing phenomenon in the artistic world of XX century. He is a sculptor, a potter, a master of mosaic and tapestry, the master of vitrage works and on the top of it, he is an artist. He created a huge number of masterpieces in a range of genres and images. The images created by him are unspeakably romantic, wonderful and unforgettable. These are Chagall paintings. Chagall's use of vibrant colors was his signature.

Marc Chagall paintings have recently enjoyed a strong surge in popularity, which comes as no surprise to people concerned in artworks. His abstract post-impressionist style with biblical undertones embodies a deep passion for life, while still maintaining a zest for the whimsical, and at times, childish. Mark Chagall works of art while the price range varies; it especially concerns non-production artworks and painting. Some of his works are available only for wealthy investors though there are masterworks affordable to common consumers. In spite of a range of works by Chagall, the cost of his paintings never goes down. Quite the contrary, the prices steadily go up, yet all through the crisis times. This factor is beneficial for Chagall's paintings and his works turn more attractive and desirable to collectors and investors since it is all kudos to have a painting by Chagall. Second of all, this is a steadfast investment of the funds where the stable growth of prices should reimburse inflation rate and crisis losses.

The works by Chagall made in the late '60s and early '70s are often put to auctions. These works are not deemed as valuable things, though. All the same, the prices go higher to heavens. The point is that these works of art were created by Chagall when he was in his solid years, almost over his 80s. This fact proves that the painter lost his tenderness, reverie and splendid energy of his previous masterpieces. Nevertheless, he retained the technique and adherence to innovative ideas. His late works miss charisma of young Chagall, though this does not belittle their artistic value, though the prices are lower as well as the importance for museums.

Thus, «Birthday» by Chagall is one of his works created in 1923. In the year 1990 it was sold for $13,5 million and has never been put to auctions. «Birthday» is the unique work of art. The love coming from the painting is so penetrating and remarkable that all the bright colors and life, hope and youth, nice lace-curtain life and even the trivial carpet over the sofa and the old gramophone on the table do not overwhelm the feeling and message of the painter.

«The Big Circus» painted by Chagall in 1956 was put to auction at Sotheby's in 2007 and sold for $12,25 million considering the inflation rate and rise of cost for Chagall's works per annum. «The Big Circus» is not that famous as «Birthday», however the painting is also splendid.

The story of one of Chagall works is curious. «Muse. Phenomenon» was owned by Zinaida Konstantinova Gordeeva in 1988. What is amazing is that this picture by Chagall was offered to Michail Gordeev in the late 50s when he was buying the painting by Ilya Mashkov from the widow to the artist. «Muse. Phenomenon» dates back to about the year 1915 and valued for $15 million. The canvas is strikingly pure and monochromic matching blue and white colors. An artist and a Muse is the plot so classic in this genre though in Chagall work it was expressed in his own way. The painting gone for the years was presented at the exhibition named «Russian avant-garde in private collections. 1904-1934» and held in 1988 at the Palazzo Reale di Napoli in Milan. The exhibition was a success.

Today Chagall works of art often appear at various auctions. The only thing to secure and not to acquire the fake is reception of Chagall's Committee Certificate. The Committee is governed by the granddaughter to Meret Meyer Graber. The Committee delivers certificates upon examination of art works and thorough study of archives. The Committee experts are reputed and their services are demanded by the biggest museums of the world.

The practice of rendering assistance by the Committee experts was violated in Belarus in 2005 when Paragis Auction House put Mark Chagall's Cock to auction. The painting was sold for $650 thousand though the Committee acknowledged it as the fake and reported to the management of the Auction House. There was no response, and the painting was auctioned again. Chagall's «Cock» drew attention of the Committee experts to Belarus which resulted in conclusion of the treaty between the French Association on Copyright on Artworks (Societe des Auteurs dans les Arts Graphiques et Plastiques - ADAGP) and Byelorussian Copyright Community on assignment of dividends to heirs of painters, in particular to Chagall's heirs, when their artworks are sold and re-sold.

Once you come to a decision to invest in Chagall's artworks, you need to consider the real authenticity of the proposed work where it is surely verified by the Committee of Chagall's works only. Pre-war period works by Mark Chagall are more appreciated either.

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