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

Esquisse pour tableau "L'arbre de Jessé"

MARC CHAGALL (1887-1985)
Esquisse pour tableau "L'arbre de Jessé"
stamped with signature 'Marc Chagall' (lower right); signed 'Chagall' (on the reverse)
oil on canvas
13 x 9 1/2 in. (33 x 24.1 cm.)
Painted in 1960
Estate of the artist.
MK Fine Art, Inc., New York (acquired from the above, circa 2001).
Acquired from the above by the present owner, January 2018.
Post lot text
The Comité Marc Chagall has confirmed the authenticity of this work.

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Lot Essay

The present work relates to the medieval iconography of the Tree of Jesse. Jesse was the father of King David, from whom Christ was said to be descended. Christian imagery illustrated Isaiah's prophesy showing a tree growing out of, or in, the hand of Jesse: “And there shall come forth a shoot from the stump of Jesse, and a branch shall grow out of his roots” (Isaiah 11:1). In 1960, Chagall executed a painting titled Larbre de Jessé, for which the present work is a study.
Throughout the 1950s and 1960s, Chagall created monumental canvases on biblical themes but these were, he emphasized, to be understood as poetic expressions of universality rather than as religious images: “Ever since early childhood, I have been captivated by the Bible,” Chagall said. “It has always seemed to me and still seems today the greatest source of poetry of all time. Ever since then, I have searched for its reflection in life and in art. The Bible is like an echo of nature and this is the secret I have tried to convey” (quoted in “The Biblical Message,” J. Baal-Teshuva, ed., Chagall: A Retrospective, New York, 1995, p. 295).

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