Kandinsky masterpiece sells for nearly 42 million euros at auction, a record for the artist

Kandinsky’s masterpiece, Murnau and the Church IIrecently recovered by the heirs of its owner, a German Jew killed by the Nazis, sold the 1 on Wednesday for nearly 42 million euros.Well In March, in London, according to Sotheby’s, a new auction record for the artist.

“Very few of Kandinsky’s early works have been brought to market, and most of them are collected by major museums around the world.”, which highlights the auction house. The painting sold for £37.2 million (€41.9 million).

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This painting by Vassily Kandinsky, measuring about one meter by one meter, shows the colorful scene of the village of Murnau in Germany, its spiers and church spiers stretching out like the peaks of the Bavarian Alps Come. Painted in 1910, this oil on canvas is a pivotal moment in the Russian painter’s oeuvre, which has long adorned the founders of a prosperous textile company, Johanna Margarethe and Siegbert Siegbert Stern’s restaurant.

owner victim of the nazi

The couple were at the center of Berlin’s cultural life in the 1920s, frequented Thomas Mann, Franz Kafka or Albert Einstein, and they had an impressive collection of around a hundred paintings and sketches to decorate their interiors. Had Siegbert Stern died of natural causes in 1935, his wife Johanna Margarethe would have had to flee persecution and Germany, eventually becoming part of the Nazi extermination of Jews at Auschwitz in May 1944 of victims.

Just nearly ten years ago, Murnau and the Church II It has been found in a museum in Eindhoven, the Netherlands, since 1951. It was returned to Stern’s heirs last year, and their 13 survivors will share in the auction proceeds. “While there is nothing to undo past wrongdoingemphasizing the heir, Returning this painting that meant so much to our great-grandparents means a lot to us because it is an acknowledgment that partially closes a wound that has been open for generations. »

A 4-meter painting by Edvard Munch was also auctioned tonight, dancing on the beach (1906), sheltering from the Nazis in a barn in the heart of a Norwegian forest, the subject of a restitution agreement. In the foreground of the canvas are the artist’s two great loves, two liaisons that ended in pain. The painting sold for £16.9 million (€19 million).

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A painting by Frantisek Kupka, complicated (1912), owned by actor Sean Connery, sold for £4.6m (€5.2m). Proceeds will go to the Connolly Foundation, which operates in Scotland and the Bahamas. The sale is part of the Modern and Contemporary Art Series in London. At Christie’s, paintings by Cézanne, Magritte or Picasso, estimated to be worth millions of euros, must also be put up for auction.

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