Marc Chagall, (Russian/French, 1887-1985), "Les Maries dans le Ciel", 1981, tempera, ink and crayon on masonite board, 13-7/8" x 10-...
Estimate: US$500,000 - US$800,000
Price realised: n. a.
Marc Chagall (Russian/French, 1887-1985) "Les Maries dans le Ciel", 1981 tempera, ink and crayon on masonite board signed upper right, the reverse with Christie's and French framer labels; accompanied by a letter of authenticity from the Comite Marc Chagall. Framed. 13-7/8" x 10-5/8", framed 19-3/8" x 16" Provenance: Hotel Drouot, Paris, December 21, 2000, lot 49; Christie's, New York, New York, May 7, 2008, lot 453. Notes: In our life there is a single color, as on an artist's palette, which provides the meaning of life and art. It is the color of love… Perhaps my art is… a blue soul breaking in upon my pictures. --Marc Chagall "Les Maries dans le Ciel" embodies the magical, dreamlike poetry of Marc Chagall's work. It is a symphony in blue, the color of love that saturated his soul, and it celebrates three of the most recurring themes painted by the artist: lovers, musicians and the crowded rooftops of his childhood village in Vitebsk, Belarus (then part of the Russian Empire), where Chagall met his young bride Bella Rosenfeld. All three are harmonized in a wash of ultramarine, cerulean and green beneath a pale moonlight and bridal trellis accented by the brilliant red of its canopy and by the bouquet of the flower bearer. Bella was Chagall's endless muse and ultimate raison d'etre as an artist. She represented a purity of love that spilled forth in his paintings, defying gravity and perspective, causing figures to soar through the skies and objects to dance in tandem in a kaleidoscope of colors and forms. As Chagall stated in his autobiography My Life: All I had to do was open my window and in streamed the blueness of the sky, love and flowers with her [Bella]. …she has long been haunting my paintings, the great central image of my art." Long after Chagall's native village was destroyed in the Russian Revolution, two world wars and its Jewish population almost halved; long after Bella died suddenly in America as a war emigre in 1944, the song of Bella and his beloved Belarus live on as the leitmotif of "Les Maries dans le Ciel." Painted nearly forty years later when Chagall was well over ninety years old, their memory persists in recurring symbols and images that bear witness to the past in vignette-like psalms that sing of life; the cadence of the ensemble further visualized by the celestial cellist and courtyard flutist. As Chagall once wrote, "Color is all. When color is right, form is right. Color is everything, color is vibration like music; everything is vibration." References: Chagall, Marc. My Life. London: Peter Owen Publishers, 1965; Wullschlager, Jackie. Chagall: A Biography. New York: Knopf, 2008; Chagall, Marc. Marc Chagall on Art and Culture, edited Benjamin Harshav. Stanford University Press, 2003.
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