The painting, Fleurs, was knocked down over its £750,000-£1m estimate after a battle between two phone bidders and helped make last Wednesday’s sale the most successful Modern and Contemporary art auction in Dorotheum’s history. Overall a total of €5.91m (£5.05m) was achieved including buyer’s premium.
The painting at Dorotheum was previously part of a private European collection and last came to auction in 1989. It is the Viennese saleroom’s fourth highest selling lot of 2016.
Chagall (1887-1985) painted Fleurs, in 1924, the year after his move from his native Russia to the more artistically active city of Paris. Flowers often were the focus of Chagall’s efforts in future years, but this painting is among his earliest on the subject.
Other leading results at the sale included Alfons Walde’s Einsamer Berghof, an oil on canvas from 1935 which took a total of €344,600 (£294,100) over a €750,000-1m estimate and Giacomo Balla’s Valori Plastici, c. 1929, which took €320,200 (£273,276) over a €150,000-180,000 estimate.