Marc Chagall Lot 429 Imp Mod Day
Marc Chagall (1887-1985)
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Artist's Resale Right ("Droit de Suite"). Artist's… Read more PROPERTY FROM A PRIVATE ITALIAN COLLECTION
Marc Chagall (1887-1985)

Le nu au bouquet

Marc Chagall (1887-1985)
Le nu au bouquet
signed ‘Chagall Marc’ (lower right); signed ‘Marc Chagall’ (on the reverse)
oil on canvas
31 3/4 x 25 5/8 in. (80.7 x 65.1 cm.)
Painted in 1978-1981
Private collection, United States.
Acquired by the present owner in July 2003, pursuant to an agreement with the estate of the above in February 2015.
Special notice
Artist's Resale Right ("Droit de Suite"). Artist's Resale Right Regulations 2006 apply to this lot, the buyer agrees to pay us an amount equal to the resale royalty provided for in those Regulations, and we undertake to the buyer to pay such amount to the artist's collection agent.

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Veronica Scarpati
Veronica Scarpati

Lot Essay

The Comité Chagall has confirmed the authenticity of this work.

Painted during one of the most prolific creative periods of Marc Chagall’s career, Le nu au bouquet showcases the artist’s unique ability to transform even the most everyday of subjects into a magical, otherworldly scene. Focusing on a traditional still-life motif, in which a large bouquet of freshly cut flowers towers over a typical lunchtime tableau, the artist lends the scene a unique, Chagallian air, as the table top and its contents appear to float above the skyline of the peaceful walled town of Saint-Paul-de-Vence.

Further heightening this fantastical effect is the presence of an ethereal female nude wearing a diaphanous veil, who levitates above the bouquet of flowers, echoing its shape with her gentle curving form. The prominence of the bride and the flowers, both key leitmotifs within the artist’s oeuvre, lends the painting a distinctively romantic air, perhaps alluding to the happiness, love and contentment that Chagall felt at this time, as he enjoyed an idyllic life in the South of France with his second wife, Vava.

Indeed, Le nu au bouquet highlights the profound impact the Côte d’Azur had on the artist, and the manner in which the tranquil atmosphere and beautiful landscapes of the South of France came to influence his painting. He had first moved to the area in the early 1950s, settling in the historic walled town of Vence, and described his life there as ‘a bouquet of roses’ (Chagall, quoted in S. Alexander, Marc Chagall: A Biography, New York, 1978, p. 492). As Franz Meyer, Chagall’s biographer and son-in-law, explained: ‘The light, the vegetation, the rhythm of life, all contributed to the rise of a more relaxed, airy, sensuous style in which the magic of colour dominates…’ (F. Meyer, Marc Chagall: Life and Work, London, 1964, p. 519).

In Le nu au bouquet Chagall uses a luminous, effervescent blue to evoke the bright, azure light that filled the town, while the lush vitality of the grand bouquet highlights the sense of abundance and plenitude that radiated from the Provence landscape. With their colourful blooms and verdant foliage, executed in a heavy impasto, the flowers appear ready to spill over the edges of their vase. Chagall most likely drew the inspiration for these blossoms straight from life, as bouquets of freshly cut flowers were brought daily to his studio during these years, filling the space with their vibrant colours and heady scent.

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