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

Couple dans le profil d’âne

MARC CHAGALL (1887-1985)
Couple dans le profil d’âne
stamped with signature ‘Marc Chagall’ (lower right)
oil and tempera on masonite
14 3⁄4 x 13 in. (37.5 x 33 cm.)
Painted circa 1980
Estate of the artist.
Anon. sale, Galerie Kornfeld, Bern, 17 June 2005, lot 22.
Private collection, Switzerland (acquired at the above sale); sale, Christie's, New York, 12 November 2018, lot 442.
Acquired at the above sale by the present owner.
Osaka, Kyoto, Yokohama and Tokyo, Takashimaya Art Gallery, Marc Chagall, March-June 2012, p. 51 (illustrated in color).
Okayama, Prefectural Museum of Art and Gifu, Prefectural Museum, Marc Chagall, July-October 2012, p. 54 (illustrated in color).
Post lot text
The Comité Marc Chagall has confirmed the authenticity of this work.

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Lot Essay

From the outset of his career, Chagall established himself as a colorist, manipulating with mastery both harmony and contrast so that color became an essential element of his work in its own right. However, it was not until the latter part of his life that his color achieved its full radiance and plenitude in his work. In Couple dans le profil d'âne, Chagall has definitively separated color into three fields, but allows the composition to overflow and transcend its boundaries, much as Raoul Dufy did when exploring his notions of couleur-lumière. The combination of color and form creates a strong sense of circular movement and a powerful, vibrant composition.
This juxtaposition of strong fields of color recalls something of the enormous canvas Chagall completed in 1964 for the ceiling of the Paris Opéra, as well as closely mirroring the structure of stained-glass windows, an art form that had occupied Chagall for much of the 1960s and 1970s. Since the unveiling of his Jerusalem Windows in Paris in 1961, Chagall had been hailed as the most influential designer of stained-glass windows of the 20th century, and he received many large-scale public commissions for architectural decorations both in Europe and America. Chagall saw his work in stained-glass much like painting in light: "the light is the light of the sky, it is that light that gives the colour!" (quoted in C. Sorlier, ed., Chagall by Chagall, New York, 1979, p. 212). Couple dans le profil d'âne goes one stage further and translates the inherent light of the stained-glass into separate fields of pure painted color.

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