MARC CHAGALL (1887-1985)
MARC CHAGALL (1887-1985)
MARC CHAGALL (1887-1985)
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MARC CHAGALL (1887-1985)
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MARC CHAGALL (1887-1985)


MARC CHAGALL (1887-1985)
signed 'Marc Chagall' (lower right)
pastel, colored wax crayons and sanguine on paper
20 ¼ x 26 ¾ in. (51.3 x 68 cm.)
Drawn in 1976
Galerie Maeght, Paris (by 1988).
Anon. sale, Bonhams, London, 24 June 2002, lot 33.
Anon. sale, Christie's, London, 10 February 2005, lot 626.
Private collection, United Kingdom (acquired at the above sale).
Private collection, Greenwich, Connecticut.
Heather James Fine Art, New York.
Acquired from the above by the present owner.
Fécamp, Palais de la Bénédictine, Marc Chagall, Le pays de mon âme, June-September 2004, p. 26 (illustrated).
Further details
The Comité Marc Chagall has confirmed the authenticity of this work.

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Lot Essay

Filled with exuberant detail, L'Atelier shows the artist in the process of painting one of his celebrated still life paintings of flowers, and is an enchanting and intriguing window into his life and mind. Here, we see the swirling powers of inspiration, themselves almost intoxicating, peopling the studio. The artist shown is undoubtedly intended to represent Chagall himself, and L'Atelier is a lyrical invitation into his unique world.
As is clear in this image, the process of artistic creation in much of Chagall's work involved poetry, possession, but most of all, fun. The figures surrounding the artist are those from his own work, the almost mythological cast of creatures and characters that appear in some of his greatest pictures. There are elements of love, circus and magic. These characters are not confined to other pictures in the studio, but are instead the rapturous visions come alive of an artist in the process of making art. The intense facial expression of the artist in L'Atelier is a combination of happiness and extreme concentration. With the contrast between the relatively terrestrial subject of the picture-within-a-picture and the phantasmagoria of the studio, Chagall reveals the depth of feeling with which he creates every work. Like old images of St. Luke painting the Madonna, we see the angels whispering in his ear, guiding his hand, and lending him inspiration.

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