A London Gallery's Secret Chagall Acquisition Revealed

Marc Chagall, Jewish Museum of Art, Ben Uri Gallery
"Apocalypse in Lilac, Capriccio" (1945) by Marc Chagall was recently acquired by Ben Uri Gallery.

LONDON — It was kept on the down low for a while, but a small London gallery has finally revealed one bargain of an acquisition. By not drawing attention to a certain Paris auction last fall, Ben Uri Gallery, a Jewish Museum of Art in London, scored a fantastic deal; they paid a mere $43,000 for an obscure Marc Chagall gouache painting worth an estimated $1.6 million.

The gallery's silence also avoided any potential hassles with French officials preventing the rare piece from leaving their country.

The 20"x14" artwork, Apocalypse in Lilac, Capriccio (1945), depicts a crucifixion to represent the persecution of Jews during the Holocaust. Chagall kept the piece in his personal collection until his death in 1985; the artist's son sold it to a private French collector a couple of years later.

The painting is scheduled to go on display this week at London's Osborne Samuel Gallery.

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