The Comité Marc Chagall has confirmed the authenticity of this painting.
Marc Chagall was one of the most celebrated masters of colour of the Twentieth Century, and this is clear to see in his painting Les amoureux dans la nuit d'hiver : in this picture from circa 1978, he has created a nocturnal scene against which the intense colours of the flowers and the hovering lovers form a rich, dramatic contrast. The coloured petals in particular, with the white, yellow and mauve, look like fireworks against the dark backdrop.
Many of Chagall's works explore the theme of love, and this is clearly the case in Les amoureux dans la nuit d'hiver . Here, the lovers are suspended above a town which appears to have many domed roofs. This may be a nostalgic image of Vitebsk, where he spent much of his childhood, which had been celebrated for the many domes of its churches and synagogues. Meanwhile, the buildings also recall the architecture Chagall would have seen when visiting the Levant, not least Jerusalem. This allows Les amoureux dans la nuit d'hiver to become a tapestry of evocations, memories and allusions. This is heightened by the dream-like quality of the composition, with the animals floating around with the lovers. Even the presence of the flowers is mysteriously dream-like, as is the moon, which appears largely blue, as though it had perhaps been eclipsed: a glimmer of light peeks out from its side.
Flowers and lovers were two of Chagall's most favoured themes, appearing in many of his greatest works, allowing him to explore colour and lyricism alike. The notion of the floating lovers in Les amoureux dans la nuit d'hiverr itself recalls pictures from much of Chagall's career. At the same time, the subject had been made more poignant for him after the death of his first wife, Bella: his lovers often appeared to be impossibly reunited. Later in his life, Chagall remarried, and the lovers in his pictures often became more engaged with each other. This may the case in Les amoureux dans la nuit d'hiver Here, the man is painted in an incredibly vibrant red that
is filled with energy, while his lover is shown as a cool blue. This results in a rich contrast between the two: they appear hot and cold, the embodiments of extremes. The union of these seemingly opposing people, with their opposing colours and associations, reveals them as
ultimately complementary, like the Yin and the Yang.