Event Date14 June 12:00 PM BST - 1 July 12:00 PM BST | Online auction 21556

Marc Chagall, Colour of Life: Prints and Artist's Books Formerly from the Artist's Estate

Marc Chagall, Colour of Life: Prints and Artist's Books Formerly from the Artist's Estate

Sale Overview

‘When I bent over a lithographic stone or a copper plate, it was as if I were touching a talisman. It seemed to me that I could hide in it all my sorrows and all my joys... Everything that has happened in the course of my life: births, deaths, marriages, flowers, animals and birds, the suffering of workers, parents, lovers at night, the biblical prophets, in the street, in the house, in the temple and in heaven. And with increasing age, the tragedy of life in and around us.’

Marc Chagall


Celebrating Marc Chagall’s life-long love of printmaking, Marc Chagall, Colour of Life: Prints and Artist’s Books Formerly From the Artist’s Estate features prints made over a period of sixty years, offered on the market for the first time, in remarkably fine condition.

Reflecting the artist’s exuberant palette and joyful subject matter, the sale includes many lithographs made at the legendary Parisian printshop Imprimerie Mourlot on rue de Chabrol, as well as several rare proofs extensively hand-coloured in gouache or pastel. Among the highlights are L’Auge, a charming depiction of peasant life made shortly after the artist’s move to Paris in 1924, and Le Magicien de Paris which was used as the motif for the poster of Chagall’s exhibition at the Grand Palais in 1969-70.

The sale also reflects Chagall’s profound interest in literature, with copies of all three publications originally commissioned by Ambroise Vollard, later published by Tériade, for which Chagall produced original prints as illustrations: Les Ames Mortes by Nikolai Gogol, 1923-27, Les Fables de la Fontaine, 1927-30, and La Bible, 1931-1956. Other artist’s books include the vellum bound copy of Psaumes de David, 1979; and Chagall’s epic cycle of lithographs in two volumes for Homer’s L’Odyssée, 1975.

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Auction times
14 Jun 12:00 PM (BST)

Our specialist’s selection

Brought to you by

Murray Macaulay

Murray Macaulay

Head of Department | Prints & Multiples

With almost two decades experience as a Print Specialist at Christie’s, Murray is a seasoned expert with an expansive knowledge of his field and of the print market. Murray qualified with a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Rhodes University, South Africa, where he trained as a printmaker, before joining Christie’s in 2000 as Head of Prints at Christie’s South Kensington. Murray moved to King Street in 2008, where he co-ordinated several record-breaking sales, including Contemporary Editions: Works from the Paragon Press (2008), Hockney on Paper (2012) and James Ensor Prints: The Mira Jacob Collection (2014). Of the many wonderful prints which have passed through his hands, some of Murray’s highlights include Albrecht Dürer’s Samson Rending the Lion (sold for £434,500 in 2015), Rembrandt’s The Three Trees (sold for £434,500 in 2013), Edward Wadsworth’s Turret ship in dry dock (sold for £114,000 in 2006), Picasso’s Buste de femme d’après Cranach de Jeune £410,500 in 2014) and David Hockney’s Fish and Chip Shop (sold for £18,750 in 2017). Before becoming Head of Department in London in 2016, Murray was the director of Multiplied, a fair hosted by Christie’s devoted to contemporary editions (2010 -2015). Murray travels widely in Europe with a special focus on France, Holland, Spain and Switzerland.

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