MARC CHAGALL (1887-1985)
MARC CHAGALL (1887-1985)
MARC CHAGALL (1887-1985)
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MARC CHAGALL (1887-1985)
4 More
Property from a Private European Collection 
MARC CHAGALL (1887-1985)

Confidence dans le paysage bleu

MARC CHAGALL (1887-1985)
Confidence dans le paysage bleu
signed 'Chagall' (lower right), signed again and dedicated 'Pour Vava Chérie Marc' (lower center); signed again 'Marc Chagall' (on the reverse)
oil on canvas
39 3⁄8 x 31 3⁄4 in. (100 x 80.7 cm.)
Painted circa 1978
Valentina "Vava" Chagall, France (gift from the artist).
Private collection, Europe (acquired from the Estate of the above, May 1997); sale, Sotheby's, London, 23 June 2003, lot 33.
Louis Stern Fine Arts, Los Angeles.
Acquired from the above by the family of the present owners.
Post lot text
The Comité Chagall has confirmed the authenticity of this work.

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Emily Kaplan
Emily Kaplan Senior Vice President, Senior Specialist, Co-head of 20th Century Evening Sale

Lot Essay

Painted circa 1978, Confidence dans le paysage bleu emerged during one of the most creative periods of Marc Chagall’s career. At this time, the artist was enjoying a halcyon existence in the South of France, living in the picturesque Provençal town of Saint-Paul de Vence with his second wife, Valentina Brodsky. Amidst this idyllic natural setting, Chagall experienced a period of great happiness and contentment, describing his life during these years as “a bouquet of roses,” as he spent his days engrossed in the creation of new work, reveling in the brilliant sunshine, vibrant colors and luscious vegetation of the Midi (quoted in S. Alexander, Marc Chagall: A Biography, New York, 1978, p. 492). In particular, the light of the Côte d’Azur had an enormous impact on Chagall’s paintings, imbuing his unique visions with radiant, intense color. As the title highlights, Confidence dans le paysage bleu is dominated by rich hues of varying shades of blue, from cobalt to sapphire, azure to indigo, showcasing Chagall’s belief that color was “the pulse of a work of art” (quoted in J. Baal-Teshuva, Marc Chagall: 1887-1985, New York, 1998, p. 180).
At its heart, Confidence dans le paysage bleu is filled with an overwhelming sense of love and romance that had its roots in the artist’s own personal life. Chagall had long spoken of the triumph of love as the ultimate human experience, revering it as his inspiration. At the center of the composition, a pair of lovers appear in deep communion with one another, their bodies joined in an embrace that speaks to their closeness. Most likely intended as a symbolic self-portrait of the artist and Valentina, whom he affectionately knew as “Vava,” Chagall celebrates the profound connection that underpinned their relationship, adding a personal dedication to her along the bottom edge of the canvas. Chagall’s daughter Ida had initially introduced the pair when she arranged for Vava to look after the artist, running his house and taking care of his day-to-day affairs. The pair soon became inseparable and were married shortly thereafter. His new relationship with Vava brought renewed sustenance, harmony and joy to Chagall’s life, and infused his paintings with a sensuality and happiness that would come to define his mature oeuvre.
Chagall often used flowers as a symbol of romantic love in his paintings, incorporating the motif into his compositions in order to evoke the intense feelings of passion that absorbed him. In the present canvas, he adds several bouquets to the dream-like scene—one is carried by the small figure to the left of the embracing couple, while two more stand proudly atop the small table to the right of the composition. The artist 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 colors and heady scent. With their bright red blooms and verdant foliage executed in short staccato brushstrokes and rich impasto, the trio of bouquets in Confidence dans le paysage bleu are clearly interconnected, despite their difference in size, adding bursts of bright color at varying points within the scene. The largest of the bouquets is so enormous that it dwarfs the other items that sit alongside it on the table, its towering presence reaching up towards the sky in a great cloud of lively brushwork.

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