Marc Chagall (1887-1985)
No VAT will be charged on the hammer price, but VA… Read more PROPERTY FROM A FRENCH COLLECTION 
Marc Chagall (1887-1985)

Le filigrane violet

Marc Chagall (1887-1985)
Le filigrane violet
signed and dated 'Marc Chagall 945' (lower right)
goauche and watercolour on paper
24 x 19¾in. (61 x 51cm.)
Executed in 1945
Alex Maguy, Paris, thence by descent to the present owner.
Various Authors, Chagall, Peintures 1942-45, Paris, 1947 (illustrated pl. 16).
Basel, Kunsthalle, Marc Chagall, Werke aus den Letzten 25 Jahren, Aug.-Oct. 1956, no. 77.
Special notice
No VAT will be charged on the hammer price, but VAT at 17.5% will be added to the buyer's premium which is invoiced on a VAT inclusive basis.

Lot Essay

This work is sold with a photo-certificate from the Comité Chagall, confirming its authenticity.

Le filigrane violet is one of the gems of Chagall's most emotionally intense period: his solitary recovery from his wife Bella's death, in September 1944, just before of the family's return to France from America. During the first months of 1945, still shocked by the tragic loss of his beloved companion, Chagall turned all the pictures in his studio facing towards the wall, and resolved never to take a brush in hand again. It was only in the spring of 1945, after almost nine months of inactivity, that he felt capable of painting again. His first major composition was Autour d'Elle (fig.1), clearly conceived as a homage to Bella: a sort of cathartic celebration of her life, and, at the same time, a fabulous transfiguration of the woman into an archetypal figure - the Bride - which was to become the recurrent theme of Chagall's work in the mid 1940s.

Le Filigrane Violet has the striking compositional complexity of Autour d'Elle: surrounded by the mythical figures representing the couple's past and traditions (the cock, the goat, the ancestral village, the violinist, the moon), the ethereal Bride floats in a magic violet-mauve sky, still holding on to her memories of her life on earth, while facing the future with a limpid, firm gaze.
If the subject and the structure of the work are ambitious, the richness and opulent variety of the colours appear even more mature. Chromatically, this gouache reaches an unprecedented level of vibrancy. The interweaving of old and new motifs, painted in an exquisite combination of rich layers and light strokes of gouache, lead to a unique concentration of the painterly idiom, shared only by the oils of this period.

More from Impressionist and Modern Works on Paper

View All
View All