Yom Kippur War-inspired Chagall painting to be auctioned in Israel

"Jacob's Ladder" depicts a Biblical scene in colors inspired by the Yom Kippur war.

Marc Chagall Gallery 390 (photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)
Marc Chagall Gallery 390
(photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)
An painting by Marc Chagall with resonances of the Yom Kippur war is going up for auction in Israel in January, the first painting by the artist to be offered for auction in Israel for more than 20 years.
'Jacob's Ladder' is a vibrant, alarming painting; it's red sky over a muted cityscape before which angels ascend a ladder echoing the colors of war. 
“The painting depicts one of the most important biblical stories, symbolizing the history of the Jewish people and the Land of Israel,” said Amitai Hazan Tiroche, managing director of Tiroche Auction House, the Jewish News Syndicate has reported. 
“The ladder links the earth with heaven, and the angels rise and fall, alluding to the Divine prophecy descending upon human beings,” he added.
A similarly themed painting by Chagall completed in the 1950s used a similar palate, but the Yom Kippur war seems to have impacted his color choices in the latter artwork.
“Chagall chose not to depict the scene in utopian colors," he added, according to JNS, "but rather to use dramatic colors according to the painting period of 1973 to 1974, near the difficult time of the Yom Kippur War.”
The painting gained some notoriety as it was stolen from Gordon Auction House in 1996, days before it was set to go on sale. 23 years later it resurfaced, and following a short legal process was bequeathed to the insurance company that had underwritten it by the Israeli courts.
It is expected to reach a guide price of between US$150,000 and US$200,000 when it goes on sale on January 25 at the auction house in Herzliya Pituach, north of Tel Aviv. The painting is being offered as part of the 'Israeli and International Art Auction,' which also features artworks from other notable Jewish artists.
Reuven Rubin’s “The Musicians of Safed” and Nachum Gutman’s “Synagogue,” are among the offerings, as are a number of pieces by Yochanan Simon from his Kibbutz period, including “Figures in the Kibbutz.”
Contemporary abstract pieces by Lea Nikel, Joseph Zaritsky, and Ori Reisman are also among the notable offering, which includes art works from one of the greatest collections amassed in Israel, by the late Ami Brown and his wife Gabi.
“While contemporary art continues to dominate the international market, the Israeli masters still see strong and increasing interest across the art world, with new bidders and acquisitions from the United States over the last three to four years,” Tiroche said.
Marc Chagall was born in 1887 to Hassidic parents in Lithuania. The eldest of nine children, he was driven to document Jewish life, particularly shtetl life in Russia. Despite this he spent much of his time in France, reveling in its Golden Age of artistic movements, before fleeing Europe for the United States in 1941. He later returned to France, living and working there until his death in 1985, aged 97.
Noted for his use of color, Chagall worked in both in oils and in stained glass, the windows at Hadassah Hospital in Jerusalem being a notable example of his use of the latter medium.