Press Release  August 5, 2017

Marc Chagall’s Circus Portfolio Tops Bonhams Prints and Multiples Sale

Le Cirque, a rare, complete portfolio of 38 lithographs by the Russian/French artist Marc Chagall (1887-1985) sold for £149,000 at Bonhams Prints and Multiple Sale in London today (27 June). The auction achieved £1,025,750, with 80% of lots sold by value.

Bonhams Director of Prints, Lucia Tro Santafe said, "Le Cirque is one of the finest examples of Chagall's printmaking, and I am not surprised that bidders were so keen to own such a vibrant and colorful collection. This was my first sale since joining Bonhams, and I look forward to building on this success at future Prints and Multiples auctions."

Chagall's fascination with the circus and its performers dates from his childhood in pre-revolutionary Vitebsk (then part of the Russian Empire; now in Belarus). The 38 lithographs that make up Le Cirque are joyous and exuberant. The scenes feature familiar circus characters, from acrobats to bareback riders – as well as some less familiar ones, including two-headed beasts and a female performer in a red dress sleeping on top of a lion.

Other highlights included:

  • Banksy's Balloon Girl Screenprint in black and red, 2004, achieved £65,000.
  • Two works by Andy Warhol, Flowers Screenprint in colors and Volkswagen, from Ads Screenprint in colors, sold above their estimates of £18,000-25,000, at £37,500 and £31,250 respectively.
  • The next Prints and Multiples sale will take place at 1pm on Wednesday 5 July at Bonhams Knightsbridge.

Subscribe to our free e-letter!

Webform

Latest News

How Folk Art Tells the American Story
To learn about any culture, one of our greatest resources is its art, and…
Zaha Hadid's Architecture of the Future
Dubbed the “queen of curve,” Zaha Hadid was an Iraqi-British architect who…
Italian Woman Wins Picasso Worth $1.1 million
This week, one lucky raffle winner is taking home her very own Picasso.
6 Sensational Viewing Room Shows Across the Americas
Nothing can compare to actually seeing art in person, but online exhibitions…
What's in a Name: 5 Retitled Paintings
Many famous paintings that have gone by different names over the years.