Bonhams auctions Marc Chagall 'monotype' art with Picasso and Modigliani

We couldn't resist another look at Bonhams' upcoming Impressionist & Modern Art auction on 7 February 2012. Highlights include rare pieces by Pablo Picasso, Amedeo Modigliani, Raoul Dufy and Marc Chagall.

This piece, La Musique au Village by Marc Chagall, is one of them. The work is a monotype, which Chagall only began to produce on the suggestion of his Swiss publisher, Gérald Cramer, in the 1950s.

This, and other works, were subsequently produced by Chagall, Cramer and printer Jacques Frélaut resulting in an outstanding group of etchings, aquatints, woodcuts and monotypes.

Greens, browns and purples dominate the piece - described as "richly nostalgic" and "dream-like" by Bonhams. Clearly visible at the image's higher right is a man playing a horn, with a bird to his right offering a sense of noise and activity.


Marc Chagall La musique au village
La Musique au Village by Marc Chagall - inspired by his childhood?

Analysts believe that many features in La Musique au Village may be inspired by folklores and traditions experienced by Chagall as a Jewish youth in Russia. Another inspiration may be Chagall's uncle, of whom he once said: "He played the violin like a shoemaker."

This work also boasts interesting provenance, being presently in the ownership of author Richard Adams whose best-known work is the classic heroic fantasy novel Watership Down, first published in 1972, and later adapted into a hit film and television series.

Chagall's La Musique au Village is estimated at £60,000-80,000 ($94,000-120,000), and will likely bring a significant addition to Mr Adams's retirement fund.

La Musique au Village is also autographed by Marc Chagall himself. But the good news is you don't need to spend five-figure sums to own a signed work by Chagall.

We have the above example - signed "Marc Chagall" - for sale at Paul Fraser Collectibles priced at just £895 ($1,475).

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