A painting by Chagall stolen by the Nazis sold for 7.4 million dollars at auction!

An exceptional auction

Organized by the Phillips house in the upscale neighborhoods of Manhattan, this auction brought together the main companies in the sector. In a few days, several hundred works of art were offered to collectors around the world. In total, 46 works were sold for almost $140 million!

Sold for 7.4 million dollars, this work by Chagall continues to be talked about in the artistic sphere. Indeed, this painting is one of the works looted by the Nazis during the Second World War. Here is his story.

Back to its history

Marc Chagall, based in Paris in La Ruche, a city of artists, produced this oil on canvas in 1911. At the start of the First World War, the artist of Russian origin left France, which forced him to stay away from his studio, until 1922. During this period, all of his paintings made in France disappeared, including The father.

A few years later, the painting is found in Poland, under unknown conditions. It was then put up for sale by an art dealer from Warsaw, Abe Gutnajer. In 1928, the painting was purchased by a Jewish Polish musician and luthier, David Cender. Stripped of his property and forced to settle in the Lodz ghetto in 1940, David Cender was then deported to Auschwitz, where his wife and daughter were killed. But the musician, he survived.

In 1958, David Cender moved to France and where he ended his days, without ever recovering possession of his painting, despite numerous steps taken with the Federal Republic of Germany.

In the meantime, the painting reappeared in exhibitions in Europe. Marc Chagall, probably between 1947 and 1953, bought the portrait of his father himself. When he died in 1985, The father enters the national collections, then assigned to the Center Pompidou and exhibited at the Museum of Art and History of Judaism in Paris.

A law to restore works to looted families

At the beginning of 2022, Parliament passed a law to restore fifteen works of Jewish families looted by the Nazis during the Second World War. A “historic” law and “a first step” in the words of the Minister of Culture at the time, Roselyne Bachelot. Indeed, many works of art and books are currently still kept in public collections and should soon be returned to the heirs.

This is the case with this work, which was returned to the heirs of David Cender. Together they decided to sell the painting and split the sum, a common scenario. when a work is returned so long after ” , because ” there are multiple heirs and the work cannot be divided said Phillips Vice President Jeremiah Evarts.

Regarding the buyer, we have no information, as is customary for the Phillips house.

Did you know ? A painting by American artist Cy Twombly, Untitled (2005) sold 41.6 million! This painting was previously part of the collection of French businessman François Pinault.


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