Genazym, the leading auction house in Jerusalem specializing in Jewish artifacts, is set to make waves in the art world this High Holiday season. Slated to go live online on September 10 at 2:00pm EST, the auction boasts an array of treasures that promise to captivate collectors and connoisseurs alike.
Among the many remarkable items featured in the auction are early Hebrew prints from the 16th and 17th centuries, original Kabbalistic manuscripts, a variety of liturgical works spanning multiple centuries, and the crown jewel: an original painting by Marc Chagall, aptly named “La Visite de l’ange ou Juif à la Thora,” the angel’s visit to the Jew holding the Torah.
The painting depicts the world in somber, gloomy shades. The sun, bird and house are presented by the artist in muted colors. However, at the heart of the composition stands a Jew in vibrant colors, a Jew who despite his bleak surroundings is grasping the sefer Torah tightly. His eyes reflect fulfillment, as he strives to live in a realm of spirituality.
The Enduring Appeal of Marc Chagall
Born in 1887 as Moishe Shagal, Marc Chagall was a Russian-French artist with Belarusian-Jewish roots. His transformative impact on 20th century art cannot be overstated. Renowned art critic Robert Hughes labeled him “the quintessential Jewish artist of the twentieth century,” while art historian Michael J. Lewis called him “the last survivor of the first generation of European modernists.”
During his time in Paris, Chagall managed to seamlessly blend elements of Cubism, Symbolism, and Fauvism, paving the way for what would later become Surrealism. Despite his stylistic evolution, the artist remained anchored in his Jewish identity, often painting idyllic and dreamlike scenes of his hometown, Vitebsk. Picasso himself declared that Chagall had an unparalleled understanding of color.
A Solid Investment
Chagall’s artwork isn’t just an emotional investment; it’s a financial one as well. According to Sotheby’s Mei Moses, Chagall’s works have appreciated at an annual average of 6.8% between 2003 and 2017. An impressive 85% of his works saw a rise in value during that period of time.
As of 2021, Chagall was ranked 27th on the Artprice Top List of the world’s leading artists, and his market value continued surging through the pandemic, growing by 24% from 2020 to 2021. A £100 investment in a Chagall piece in 2000 would have grown to £261 by the end of 2021.
Genazym’s upcoming auction serves as a focal point for those interested in the broader landscape of Jewish culture and history. The full catalog is available online. The auction will be streamed live from Jerusalem at 2 P.M EST on Genazym’s website, offering every individual an opportunity to own your heritage.
This article was written in cooperation with Genazym