MARC CHAGALL (1887-1985)
MARC CHAGALL (1887-1985)
MARC CHAGALL (1887-1985)
2 More
PROPERTY FROM A PRIVATE ASIAN COLLECTION
MARC CHAGALL (1887-1985)

La mariée au bouquet devant la fenêtre

Details
MARC CHAGALL (1887-1985)
La mariée au bouquet devant la fenêtre
signed 'Marc Chagall' (lower right); signed again 'Marc Chagall' (on the stretcher)
oil, tempera and brush and India ink on canvas
14 1⁄2 x 11 7⁄8 in. (36.8 x 30.2 cm.)
Painted in 1957
Provenance
Acquired by the family of the present owner, circa 1990.
Post lot text
The Comité Marc Chagall has confirmed the authenticity of this work.

Brought to you by

Sarah El-Tamer
Sarah El-Tamer Vice President, Specialist, Head of Day Sales

Lot Essay

Painted in 1957, La mariée au bouquet devant la fenêtre is a richly worked canvas brimming with many of Marc Chagall's most favored and iconic motifs. At the center of this densely filled composition, a bride and her lover, who extends to her a bouquet of flowers, are seen floating over a village. The couple, surrounded by imagery drawn from Chagall's personal symbolic lexicon, is masterfully--and characteristically--combined with folkloric iconography. The motifs that populate this dream-like world contain a wealth of visual references and meanings. Rural life is reflected in the rustic dwellings, which bear a striking resemblance to those of Chagall’s native Vitebsk, where he was born, grew into early manhood, and became an aspiring artist. “The fact that I made use of cows, milkmaids, roosters and provincial Russian architecture as my source forms is because they are part of the environment from which I spring and which undoubtedly left the deepest impression on my visual memory of the experiences I have,” Chagall explained (quoted in B. Harshav, ed., Marc Chagall on Art and Culture, Stanford, 2003, p. 83).
The central characters in many of Chagall's paintings are lovers or newlyweds, people caught up in the early excitement of love, who have abandoned themselves to love, and have completely surrendered themselves unto each other. For Chagall and his first wife Bella, who were married in 1915 and lived together for almost three decades until she prematurely passed away in 1944, this experience of love took a shared intensity that appeared to never falter or fade. La mariée au bouquet devant la fenêtre is a pictorial representation of Chagall's belief in the idea of love, which for him was both motivation and motif. As he explained in 1958: "In it lies the true Art: from it comes my technique, my religion... All other things are a sheer waste of energy, waste of means, waste of life, of time... Art, without Love—whether we are ashamed or not to use that well-known word—such a plastic art would open the wrong door" (quoted in J. Baal-Teshuva, ed., Chagall: A Retrospective, New York, 1995, p. 179).
Chagall's adoration for Bella grew even greater following her passing, and he continued to celebrate her impact on his life in numerous paintings, despite an extended liaison with Virginia Haggard McNeil and finding a second love with Valentine ("Vava") Brodsky whom he married in 1952. The pleasant reality of his renewed daily domestic intimacy, however, could never upstage the power of the mythic eternal moment that Chagall had created around the memory of Bella, or diminish those feelings now permanently fixed within the artist's mind, which had become the central vault in the great storehouse of his boundless imagination. In La mariée au bouquet devant la fenêtre, painted thirteen years after Bella's death, Chagall and his beloved bride are unmarked by death or the passing of time.
As befitting the mysteries of human love, and so characteristic of Chagall's work generally, there is rarely a straight-forward or clearly logical narrative behind these paintings. Time has been compressed, and events seem to take place in the haze of memories or dreams. Susan Compton has written: “It was a vision of 'real' love, that love which the artist was to share with his wife Bella...this celebration by the lovers is equally fantastic, for their joy has levitated them from the ground. Their faces are real enough, but now their position is imaginary. Yet by this device Chagall has conveyed the magic carpet of human love, borrowed perhaps from the world of folk-tale, where the hero and heroine live happily ever after” (Chagall, exh. cat., Royal Academy of Arts, London, 1985, pp. 15-16).

More from Impressionist and Modern Works on Paper and Day Sale

View All
View All