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

Published on: December 1, 2008 02:45 PM
By: Bloomberg TV
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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.

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“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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Read Comments (19)  —  Post Yours »

1

 Dec 01, 2008 at 03:09 PM Anonymous Says:

Very strange, usually antiques are a very good and safe investment in troubling financial times. More than people losing money, people are afraid to spent money, get ready for severe deflation.

2

 Dec 01, 2008 at 03:29 PM Antiques maven Says:

Reply to #1  
Anonymous Says:

Very strange, usually antiques are a very good and safe investment in troubling financial times. More than people losing money, people are afraid to spent money, get ready for severe deflation.

The top end of antiques are always good sellers in bad as in good times, but the less then best, and surely the lower end of antiques, do fall in hard times, when people are more selective in their spending.

3

 Dec 01, 2008 at 03:39 PM Big Masmid Says:

I was so excited to read this post, wow, what a great Kiddush Hashem, we should be careful at what we look when we walk down the block, on the subway, Simchas, etc.

4

 Dec 01, 2008 at 04:25 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #2  
Antiques maven Says:

The top end of antiques are always good sellers in bad as in good times, but the less then best, and surely the lower end of antiques, do fall in hard times, when people are more selective in their spending.

An original Pissarro is definitely what you would call a "top end antique," certainly not "lower end" by any definition, so the fact that it sold for a relatively low price is of significance with the regard to the economic situation.

5

 Dec 01, 2008 at 05:09 PM shteig Says:

Pissaro is top of the line (and was Jewish) the low price reflects the economy

6

 Dec 01, 2008 at 05:19 PM Anonymous Says:

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

Kindly explain that to me .I realize thats the talking point of aish and all the other kiruv orgs. However thats not the reason,the reason is because apparently the frum world cant control themselves and make the women pay by having to cover up.
Its like some pyromaniac tries to ban matches and fires because he cant control himself..........................maybe thats a bad example but you get my point .Why dont men just get a grip and take responsibilty if theyve got uncontrollable desires

7

 Dec 01, 2008 at 06:19 PM YitzchokM Says:

Reply to #6  
Anonymous Says:

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

Kindly explain that to me .I realize thats the talking point of aish and all the other kiruv orgs. However thats not the reason,the reason is because apparently the frum world cant control themselves and make the women pay by having to cover up.
Its like some pyromaniac tries to ban matches and fires because he cant control himself..........................maybe thats a bad example but you get my point .Why dont men just get a grip and take responsibilty if theyve got uncontrollable desires

Interesting. Try explaining that to Go-d. According to the Torah, one is not allowed to drew/look at nude pictures. Selling them would defeat the purpose. Perhaps the real reason why Mr. Krief decided not to sell these pictures was not for the reason he stated. However, to say the “real” reason is our lack of self-control, is talking like a heretic.
If you don’t want to think like a “yid” fine. Don’t try to change MY Torah. Being Jewish doesn’t make you a spokesmen for the Torah.

8

 Dec 01, 2008 at 07:27 PM Anonymous Says:

Hey guys, if you have good antique art, maybe you should try to hold onto it for a while. Now might not be the best time to sell. This does not mean it was a bad investment. You'll probably fetch top dollar once the economy gets better.

9

 Dec 01, 2008 at 07:18 PM murray Says:

Please clarify-if they didn't Sell the nude pictures, then what are they going to do with them, burn them? Would it be permissible to sell them and give the proceeds to tzedakah, or would this be prohibitive gains similar to someone who steals money and then gives part of it to charity?

10

 Dec 01, 2008 at 06:50 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #6  
Anonymous Says:

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

Kindly explain that to me .I realize thats the talking point of aish and all the other kiruv orgs. However thats not the reason,the reason is because apparently the frum world cant control themselves and make the women pay by having to cover up.
Its like some pyromaniac tries to ban matches and fires because he cant control himself..........................maybe thats a bad example but you get my point .Why dont men just get a grip and take responsibilty if theyve got uncontrollable desires

Perhaps the term "proper respect" needs to be defined better. My understanding is that something beautiful is not always for public consumption and to publicize something private is no showing the proper respect. Besides, secular society has continuously remarked that the overt dramatization of "beautiful" women actually hurts and serves as an unfair comparison that women feel they have to live up to.

11

 Dec 01, 2008 at 08:43 PM merkin Says:

You may find this hard to believe, but I have seen Jewish art from Italy from the 1600s and 1700s that have drawings of semi-nude people. I saw a kesuba with a a drawing of a woman waiting in bed for her spouse. The text was in Hebrew, a standard kesubah. Standards do change and one generation and culture obviously looks at things differently. If we applied today's standards, much of Shas would be banned. And anyone who has learned in depth knows this.

12

 Dec 01, 2008 at 09:37 PM bigwheeel Says:

Reply to #9  
murray Says:

Please clarify-if they didn't Sell the nude pictures, then what are they going to do with them, burn them? Would it be permissible to sell them and give the proceeds to tzedakah, or would this be prohibitive gains similar to someone who steals money and then gives part of it to charity?

There are other examples, too! Which are best not enumerated!!!

13

 Dec 01, 2008 at 09:36 PM bigwheeel Says:

Reply to #6  
Anonymous Says:

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

Kindly explain that to me .I realize thats the talking point of aish and all the other kiruv orgs. However thats not the reason,the reason is because apparently the frum world cant control themselves and make the women pay by having to cover up.
Its like some pyromaniac tries to ban matches and fires because he cant control himself..........................maybe thats a bad example but you get my point .Why dont men just get a grip and take responsibilty if theyve got uncontrollable desires

Wow! What line of "Reasoning". What "Train of thought"! I have [quite] a lot to say to you. But, I'd rather not say it here!!!

14

 Dec 01, 2008 at 09:48 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #6  
Anonymous Says:

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

Kindly explain that to me .I realize thats the talking point of aish and all the other kiruv orgs. However thats not the reason,the reason is because apparently the frum world cant control themselves and make the women pay by having to cover up.
Its like some pyromaniac tries to ban matches and fires because he cant control himself..........................maybe thats a bad example but you get my point .Why dont men just get a grip and take responsibilty if theyve got uncontrollable desires

#6, i'm going to be dan likav zichus and aassume this was some sort of lame joke, not sheer stupidity.

15

 Dec 01, 2008 at 10:13 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #14  
Anonymous Says:

#6, i'm going to be dan likav zichus and aassume this was some sort of lame joke, not sheer stupidity.

Wrong assumption-next time youre trying to refute a point,say something intelligent not some lame brush-off.....

16

 Dec 01, 2008 at 11:51 PM Perele Says:

Reply to #7  
YitzchokM Says:

Interesting. Try explaining that to Go-d. According to the Torah, one is not allowed to drew/look at nude pictures. Selling them would defeat the purpose. Perhaps the real reason why Mr. Krief decided not to sell these pictures was not for the reason he stated. However, to say the “real” reason is our lack of self-control, is talking like a heretic.
If you don’t want to think like a “yid” fine. Don’t try to change MY Torah. Being Jewish doesn’t make you a spokesmen for the Torah.

you cracked me up, you're joking, right? Where in the Torah does it say that "nude" pictures are forbidden? When I was a kid, my brother broke all the noses off my dolls because it was "assur".

17

 Dec 02, 2008 at 02:29 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #11  
merkin Says:

You may find this hard to believe, but I have seen Jewish art from Italy from the 1600s and 1700s that have drawings of semi-nude people. I saw a kesuba with a a drawing of a woman waiting in bed for her spouse. The text was in Hebrew, a standard kesubah. Standards do change and one generation and culture obviously looks at things differently. If we applied today's standards, much of Shas would be banned. And anyone who has learned in depth knows this.

I think if the Torah were given today, it would be banned. Imagine publishing a sefer that promotes nudity in Gan Eden; speaks of incestual relationships between Lot and his daughters etc etc. - this would be much worse than a Lipa concert!

I can picture the Cherem signed by many Rabbonim as they forbid the sale and ownership of this "book".

And then the Tanach gets published - oy! Would the rabbonim call for a book burning?

Thank God the Torah was given years ago, before the days of cherems and bans!!

18

 Dec 02, 2008 at 08:27 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #6  
Anonymous Says:

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

Kindly explain that to me .I realize thats the talking point of aish and all the other kiruv orgs. However thats not the reason,the reason is because apparently the frum world cant control themselves and make the women pay by having to cover up.
Its like some pyromaniac tries to ban matches and fires because he cant control himself..........................maybe thats a bad example but you get my point .Why dont men just get a grip and take responsibilty if theyve got uncontrollable desires

The secular world DOES control their desires????

19

 Dec 02, 2008 at 11:11 AM J.E. Says:

There were paintings at this auction that were sold at a loss because the seller needed the money. On the other hand some pieces were sold at higher than the seller paid for them, just last year.

Its best to be buying art these days vs. selling them... that is likely true for equities, real estate etc.

Actually "Torah is the best sechora" so "chap arein".

Regarding the price of the Camille Pissarro (Jewish-French 1830-1903) which went for abit less than $600,000 - I do not think that it indicates a sign of these depressed times ( although there is no denying it is depressed times). It wasn't his best work (which can go for over $1,000,000) and the estimate of $700,000 was just an estimate. In fact Christies had two paintings by Pissarro for sale recently at this estimate and they didn't sell at all. So the fact that someone actually shelled out $580,000 plus auction fees off $116,000 in very impressive

Collecting art is not foreign to Jewish families. In Europe paintings were widely collected by Yidden. In America and in Israel there are many charedish, heimish yidden buying art. Paintings are investments that can also be enjoyed while they go up in value. For beginners its best to follow the Judaica auctions and/or speak to people you know who collect art.

20

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