Record auction prices expected at Ketterer auction – Munich

Ernst Ludwig Kirchner’s “Dance in the Varieté” is being auctioned in Munich at a Ketterer anniversary auction. It is not the only work with a spectacular history to go under the hammer – and certainly not the most expensive one.

The scars that this painting bears can only be seen on the back. When American soldiers found it in a box – hidden by its owner in a supposedly safe place from the violence and chaos of the Second World War – they are said to have shown little mercy to this work. “They shot one of the dancers – the second from the left – in the head, and stabbed the black dancer with a bayonet,” says auctioneer Robert Ketterer, referring to what he himself was told as an explanation. But he assures the crowd standing around: “These are two instances of damage, but they have been restored really well. Back in 1945/46.”

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