Louvre Abu Dhabi had a busy pandemic year, making 27 new acquisitions including the purchase of a rare painting by Georges de la Tour and a poignant work by Marc Chagall.
Cologne auction house Lempertz has revealed that last December the museum bought De La Tour’s work The Brazier Girl (Girl blowing on a Braizer) for a record amount of €4.3 million with fees ($5 million), making it the most expensive work sold at auction in Germany in the Old Masters category. It also had Germany’s highest hammer price for 2020.
“Our universal museum is proud to see such a strong collection taking shape, despite the fundamental challenges of our time,” Louvre Abu Dhabi director Manuel Rabate told the UAE newspaper. The National.
De la Tour’s chiaroscuro scene, dated between 1646 and 1648, shows a young woman leaning over a lit brazier, and once belonged to the late German airline owner Hinrich Bischoff, who purchased the work in 1975.
The museum also bought Chagall Between dog and wolf, which depicts two figures merging together in a flash of color on an otherwise drab street. The work, produced in 1943, speaks of the death, destruction and displacement caused by the Second World War. The French-Russian artist of Belarusian Jewish descent completed the painting after moving to New York, and one of the figures appears to be a painter holding a palette.
“Each work of art entering Louvre Abu Dhabi as a new acquisition is selected as a contribution to building a semi-permanent exhibition and a national collection,” said Souraya Noujaim, Scientific Director, Curator and collection management, in a press release.
Other acquisitions over the past year include another by La Tour and two bronze sculptures by Auguste Rodin, Monument of Victor Hugo and The call to arms.
The museum has also recently borrowed 18 works from the Center Pompidou in Paris which could be exhibited in the coming year, including Henri Matisse The Algerian (Algerian woman), a 1901 portrait; a portrait by Alberto Giacometti of a prostitute known as Caroline; and Francis Bacon Portrait of Michel Leiris.
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