The Foxes by Franz Marc is predicted to break records when it goes up for sale at auction in March, according to Christie’s in London.
The Foxes, a poignant expressionist painting by German painter Franz Marc, was sold under duress by German-Jewish collected Kurt Grawi before he and his family fled Nazi Germany. After the war, the painting was given to the Kunstpalast Museum in Düsseldorf, who just last year returned it it to Grawi’s descendants.
Marc was a stunning painter, but he died at only 36 in the trenches of World War One, leaving behind a small body of work. Only 45 paintings by him survive, and only four are in private collections. The Foxes is widely considered to be one of his best works, a cubist study of two intertwined foxes, a blaze of red against greens.
“It’ll be an amazing moment for the art world because Franz Marc’s important pictures are incredibly rare,” Jussi Pylkkänen, Christie’s global president, told Reuters as the artwork was put on display.
“The picture was restituted [sic] to the family last year after a long process, and they had already made the decision that when they got it back, that it would be put onto the open market for the next great collector to have the opportunity to own it,” Pylkkänen said. “This is a masterpiece that has been on show in a museum in Germany since 1962, so it really is a moment which several generations of collectors have been waiting for.”
The painting is predicted to auction for around 35 million pounds, or $47 million, the highest yet price tag on a Marc painting. It will tour in Hong Kong and New York in February before the auction in London, and will be the centrepiece of Christie’s 2022 international season.
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