Published: June 27, 2017
LONDON — “Le Cirque,” a rare, complete portfolio of 38 lithographs by the Russian/French artist Marc Chagall (1887-1985) sold for $190,000 at Bonhams prints and multiples sale on June 27. The auction achieved $1.3 million, with 80 percent of lots sold by value.
Bonhams’ director of prints Lucia Tro Santafe said, “’Le Cirque’ is one of the finest examples of Chagall’s printmaking, and I am not surprised that bidders were so keen to own such a vibrant and colorful collection. This was my first sale since joining Bonhams, and I look forward to building on this success at future prints and multiples auctions.”
Chagall’s fascination with the circus and its performers dates from his childhood in pre-revolutionary Vitebsk (then part of the Russian Empire; now in Belarus). The 38 lithographs that make up “Le Cirque are joyous and exuberant. The scenes feature familiar circus characters, from acrobats to bareback riders – as well as some less familiar ones, including two-headed beasts and a female performer in a red dress sleeping on top of a lion.
Other highlights included Banksy’s “Balloon Girl” screenprint in black and red, 2004, which achieved $83,000.
Two works by Andy Warhol, “Flowers,” screenprint in colors and “Volkswagen,” from “Ads,” screenprint in colors, sold for $48,000 and $40,000, respectively.
Prices reported include the buyer’s premium and were converted at press time from British pounds to US dollars.
For information, www.bonhams.com or +44 20 7468 8210.
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