He moved to Ascona, the Swiss town popular with many early 20th century avant-garde artists as a safe harbour in wartime.
Disillusioned by the barbarity of the war, Segal found faith and in 1915 executed three religious frescoes on a wall in Ascona’s cemetery building. Soon afterwards, he created the first of his multiple paintings, dividing the composition into several fields, each with a smaller motif.
On June 18, Ketterer in Munich is selling a 2ft 11in x 3ft 7in (89cm x 1.1m) canvas in a similarly painted frame, which combines a multiple composition with a biblical theme.
Cain and Abel, which is after all the original story of human conflict, was painted in 1918 and condenses the story of the two brothers into four scenes. Until 1970, when her legacy was auctioned by Sotheby’s in London, Cain and Abel belonged to Segal’s daughter Marianne. Since then, it has been in an unnamed private collection.
It is now expected to bring €60,000-80,000.