The Comité Chagall has confirmed the authenticity of this work.
Executed in 1949-50, this intensely lyrical gouache is a summation of Chagall's icons and symbols, finding their most striking expression through the powerful use of the gouache.
The composition pivots about the married couple, one of the fundamental themes in the artist's repertoire, whilst the lower right corner focusses on the poetic epiphany of the coq and the goat, the mythical animals of Chagall's imagery. Surrounded by an explosion of mauve flowers, the lovers are lost in their embrace: the vibrant strokes of colour mirror the artist's rediscovery of the exquisite Southern light he had missed so long, and his passion for flowers, whose natural glory was once again a revelation, after his long stay in the northern part of New York State. In January 1949, Chagall stayed in Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat, in Southern France, for the first time after the War. As F. Meyer wrote 'Ever since his return to France Chagll had felt the lure of the south. Now that he had renewed contact with light and flowers at Orgeval, he longed for more and fuller experience of it. This need was particularly strong in winter. So in January, 1949, he traveled by car to Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat, the narrow peninsula half way between Nice and Monte Carlo where his friend Tériade lived for part of the year. Chagall took a few rooms in the pension Lou Mas de la Mer, from where he could see the harbor and the fishing boats. Though he was enchanted by his drive through France, now that he had reached Saint-Jean the new impact of sky, vegetation, and sea thrust all else into the background' (Marc Chagall, New York 1963, p. 494).