Jerusalem – At Art Auction Orthodox Jew Praised For For Not Selling Nude Photos


    Jerusalem – An 1877 painting by French impressionist Camille Pissarro, “Peasant with a Donkey, Pontoise,” set a record last night for a painting sold at auction in Israel, fetching $580,000.

    Rosette Antebi Pascal, sales director of the Matsart auction house, said she was happy to get that price even though it fell short of the work’s presale low estimate of $700,000.

    “The market is very difficult right now, and the Pissarro would probably have fetched more than a million dollars before the financial crisis,” Pascal said.

    She said that of the 230 lots on the block at Jerusalem’s King David Hotel, heavy with works by such Jewish and Israeli artists as Reuven Rubin, Marcel Janco and Moise Kisling, more than 60 percent were sold, for a total of $3.2 million.

    A painting by Rubin had set the previous Israeli auction record for a painting, at $545,000.

    The auction did not include any works featuring nudes, because Matsart owner Lucien Krief, a French-born veteran Jerusalem art dealer, is an Orthodox Jew.

    “Such paintings are considered by me and many of my regular clients as not showing proper respect for the female form,” Krief said.

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