MARC CHAGALL (1887-1985)
MARC CHAGALL (1887-1985)
MARC CHAGALL (1887-1985)
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Artist's Resale Right ("Droit de Suite"). Artist's… Read more
MARC CHAGALL (1887-1985)

L'inspiration du peintre au chevalet

MARC CHAGALL (1887-1985)
L'inspiration du peintre au chevalet
stamped with the signature 'Marc Chagall' (lower right)
gouache, pastel, coloured crayon, brush and India ink and pencil paper
25 7⁄8 x 19 1⁄3 in. (66.2 x 49.2 cm.)
Executed in 1977
The estate of the artist, and thence by descent.
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. This lot has been imported from outside of the UK for sale and placed under the Temporary Admission regime. Import VAT is payable at 5% on the hammer price. VAT at 20% will be added to the buyer’s premium but will not be shown separately on our invoice.
Further details
The Comité Marc Chagall has confirmed the authenticity of this work.

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Michelle McMullan
Michelle McMullan Head of Evening Sale

Lot Essay

'There is no such thing as progress, there is nothing to regret. There is only your life, which you put into your work.'

-Marc Chagall (quoted in Marc Chagall: Paintings and Temperas 1975-1978, exh. cat., New York, 1979, n.p.).

For Marc Chagall, his art and his life had always been inextricably intertwined. In every period of his career, his paintings, drawings, and prints were powerfully informed and shaped by the events of his life, with different moments and experiences leaving an indelible mark on his creative vision. Nowhere is this more evident than in the prevalence of the self-portrait in his art, a subject which he returned to time and again over the course of his long and productive career, each composition providing a revealing insight into his developing sense of artistic and personal identity at important junctures in his life, reflecting the ways in which he wished to be seen by the wider world.

Often rich in biographical information, these diverse images reveal different moods and aspects of the artist’s character: we watch him smile, grimace or stare at us with serious eyes; he becomes the beguiling lover, the endlessly creative painter, the devoted family man. Chagall also enjoyed finding a variety of guises under which to represent himself, whether it be as an acrobat, clown, or musician, fantastical creature or weightless, floating figure. Indeed, few artists have found so many different ways of integrating their own face, as well as their private and professional personas, into their pictorial universe, reaching into their own life to create an intensely autobiographical oeuvre.

In his later life, the artist at the easel would act as an important statement of identity, such as during the late 1930s and early 1940s when the threat of conflict loomed on the horizon and the Nazi regime denounced Chagall as a Degenerate artist and forcibly removed his works from German museums. Shocked by these attacks, the self-portraits from these years may be seen as a way for Chagall to counter the accusations made towards his art, and instead emphasise his place as a creator, a painter, an artist, in the face of such persecution. During the final decades of his life, Chagall returned repeatedly to this theme once again, depicting himself at the easel, as he looked back on his lifetime’s achievements and considered the path of his creativity, while also thinking about the legacy he was leaving.

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