Apr 16, 2018

By Michael Kramer

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A plan to sell a Marc Chagall painting “was not made lightly” – and will enable The National Gallery of Canada to buy an Old Master painting – which is key to growing its collection of French art.

That’s the word from Director and CEO Marc Mayer – who says the gallery is pursuing Jacques-Louis David’s neoclassical masterpiece, Saint Jerome Hears the Trumpet of the Last Judgment – painted in 1779.

The purchase would be funded with proceeds from the sale of  The Eiffel Tower by Marc Chagall – at Christie’s auction house in New York on May 15th.

The Chagall was acquired in 1956 and has spent many years in storage.

It’s estimated to sell for between C$7.5 million to C$11.3 million.

Mayer says more than 150 art museums across Canada were first offered the Chagall –  but didn’t respond.

He also says the gallery knows of another foreign museum that was “very interested” in purchasing Saint Jerome – which sparked the National Gallery to act.

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