This work is sold with a photo-certificate from the Comité Marc Chagall.
La famille et le coq rouge was created by Marc Chagall in 1952, an eventful year for the artist. In this picture, Chagall shows a family against a night sky, riding a red rooster. The wisp-like outline of an angel appears to be flying past the dark moon. While the majority of the surface of La famille et le coq rouge is dark, as befits a nocturnal scene, a closer inspection reveals the many techniques that Chagall has used to heighten the impact of the colours. Around the black moon, a halo of various colours can be discerned, while the overall darkness serves to thrust the intense red of the cock, the aquamarine of the woman's clothing and the blue of the man's top into bold relief. These colours are granted an incredible intensity through these techniques.
The family in La famille et le coq rouge is an extension of one of Chagall's most common themes: lovers. Chagall often revisited the relationship with Bella, his childhood sweetheart, in the works that he created even after her death, filling his pictures with both romance and nostalgia. During the time that he made La famille et le coq rouge, though, Chagall was coming to the end of another relationship, that with Virginia McNeil, his partner for several years and the mother of his son. It was perhaps the uncertainty and tension of this period that resulted in the more sombre palette of pictures such as this, and indeed those events may be reflected in the figures of the family who dominate the composition. At the same time, gone is the light of the South of France, where he was again living, replaced by a darker vision that recalls some of his pictures from before the Second World War. This, then, is a more expressionistic vision, filled with an ambience that is more contemplative than many of the lighter works that emerged following his marriage, later in the same year, to Valentina Brodsky, or 'Vava.'