Marc Chagall’s Catskills house up for sale – for $US240,000
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Marc Chagall’s Catskills house up for sale – for $US240,000

Jewish artist Marc Chagall’s home can be yours.

Not the brick house where the artist grew up in Vitebsk, in what is now Belarus. Not his heavy stone villa in the south of occupied France, nor his New York apartment, nor the studio where he worked in Long Island.

A real estate agent in upstate New York is listing the two-bedroom, one-bath “hillside cottage” in Ulster County where Chagall lived and worked between 1946 and 1948.

Chagall shared the house with his much-younger lover, Virginia Haggard McNeil, an artist and British diplomat’s daughter who had been his housekeeper when he lived in New York City.

According to the local Poughkeepsie Journal, Chagall’s stay in the house was a productive one.

Working out of a smaller bungalow that served as his studio (which does not seem to be included in the asking price), he “created more than 100 paintings, lithographs and sketches”.

Chagall himself said the small house reminded him of his hometown, where he grew up in a Chasidic family before leaving for St Petersburg to study art. He eventually moved to Paris to make his living with the colour-soaked, gravity-defying images of rural Jewish life that became his signature. Chagall, who spoke French with Haggard but never mastered English, was able to chat with Yiddish-speaking neighbours.

JTA

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