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MARC CHAGALL (1887-1985)

 
MARC CHAGALL - En Été - tempera on board - 15 1/4 x 18 1/4 in. MARC CHAGALL - En Été - tempera on board - 15 1/4 x 18 1/4 in. MARC CHAGALL - En Été - tempera on board - 15 1/4 x 18 1/4 in. MARC CHAGALL - En Été - tempera on board - 15 1/4 x 18 1/4 in. MARC CHAGALL - En Été - tempera on board - 15 1/4 x 18 1/4 in. MARC CHAGALL - En Été - tempera on board - 15 1/4 x 18 1/4 in. MARC CHAGALL - En Été - tempera on board - 15 1/4 x 18 1/4 in. MARC CHAGALL - En Été - tempera on board - 15 1/4 x 18 1/4 in. MARC CHAGALL - En Été - tempera on board - 15 1/4 x 18 1/4 in. MARC CHAGALL - En Été - tempera on board - 15 1/4 x 18 1/4 in.
En Été198315 1/4 x 18 1/4 in.(38.74 x 46.36 cm) tempera on board
Provenance
Estate of Chagall, Saint-Paul de Vence
Private Collection, New Hampshire
Private Collection, Florida
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“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.” – Marc Chagall

History

Few artists are as beloved and as acclaimed as Marc Chagall. His life and his art speak to us across time and across experiences. Born in 1887 in Vitebsk (present day Belarus), Chagall in his long life and career saw the upheavals of the first half of the 20th century. Some of these include the October Revolution of 1917 to World War II. It was only by the skin of his teeth that he escaped Nazi-occupied France with the help of Alfred Barr, director of the Museum of Modern Art in New York, and journalist Varian Fry. Chagall lived some of the most traumatic experiences, and yet, within his art, the joyous and sensual colors express a humble appreciation of life and all its possibilities.

Chagall’s work occupies the modernist style of the early 20th century, inhabiting styles and movements as disparate as Cubism, Symbolism, and Surrealism. What makes his work unique is his ability to filter these movements through his lens, combining traditional narrative and figuration with a radical sense of color. Moreover, his Jewish religion and identity, marked from within the community and by outsiders including the Russian Empire in which he lived, colored his art. This mixing and synthesizing is held together by emotions, particularly of love – love of his wife, love of his home, both natural and adopted, and love of painting.

March Chagall painted En Été toward the end of his life and in it there is an explosion of some of his most enduring symbols, themes, and hallmarks. Even in these twilight years, Chagall continued to push his art. Chagall scratched the surface of the painting, adding another layer of depth to the work.

More
  • Chagall_History_1
    Marc Chagall, “The Fiddler (Le violoniste)”, 1912-1913, Stedelijk Museum
  • Chagall_History_2
    Marc Chagall, “Study for Aleko’s Horse”, 1953-56, oil on canvas, 18 x 24 in., Seattle Art Museum
  • Chagall_History_3
    Marc Chagall, “Orphée”, 1969, stone and glass mosaic, National Gallery of Art, Washington
  • Chagall_History_4
    Marc Chagall in his studio
  • Chagall_History_5
    Marc Chagall in 1969
“Should I paint the earth, the sky, my heart? The cities burning, my brothers fleeing? My eyes in tears. Where should I run and fly, to whom?” – Marc Chagall

Top Results at Auction

“Les Amoureux” (1928), oil on canvas, 46.2 x 35.6 in. (117.3 x 90.5 cm). Sold at Sotheby’s New York: 14 November 2017 for $28,453,000 USD
“Les Amoureux” (1928), oil on canvas, 46.2 x 35.6 in. (117.3 x 90.5 cm). Sold at Sotheby’s New York: 14 November 2017 for $28,453,000 USD
“Le Grand Cirque” (1956), oil and gouache on canvas, 62.8 x 121.5 in. (159.5 x 308.5 cm). Sold at Sotheby’s New York: 14 November 2017 for $16,034,000 USD
“Le Grand Cirque” (1956), oil and gouache on canvas, 62.8 x 121.5 in. (159.5 x 308.5 cm). Sold at Sotheby’s New York: 14 November 2017 for $16,034,000 USD
“Anniversaire” (1923), oil on canvas, 31.8 x 39.5 in. (80.8 x 100.3 cm). Sold at Sotheby’s New York: 17 May 1990 for $14,850,000 USD
“Anniversaire” (1923), oil on canvas, 31.8 x 39.5 in. (80.8 x 100.3 cm). Sold at Sotheby’s New York: 17 May 1990 for $14,850,000 USD
“Les Trois Cierges” (1939), oil on canvas, 51.3 x 38.2 in. (130.2 x 97.1 cm). Christie’s New York: 15 May 2017 for $14,583,500 USD
“Les Trois Cierges” (1939), oil on canvas, 51.3 x 38.2 in. (130.2 x 97.1 cm). Christie’s New York: 15 May 2017 for $14,583,500 USD

Comparable Paintings Sold at Auction

“Les Amoureaux aux Bouquets Rouges” (1980), tempera, brush and ink, and pencil on board, 18.3 x 15 in. (46.4 x 38.1 cm). Sold at Sotheby’s New York: 13 November 2019 for $412,500 USD
“Les Amoureaux aux Bouquets Rouges” (1980), tempera, brush and ink, and pencil on board, 18.3 x 15 in. (46.4 x 38.1 cm). Sold at Sotheby’s New York: 13 November 2019 for $412,500 USD
  • Same size
  • Similar date and medium
  • Sold recently for over $400,000
“Bouquet sur Fond Bleu” (1983), tempera on board, 18.1 x 15 in. (46 x 38 cm). Sold at Sotheby’s London: 6 February 2014 for $592,417 USD
“Bouquet sur Fond Bleu” (1983), tempera on board, 18.1 x 15 in. (46 x 38 cm). Sold at Sotheby’s London: 6 February 2014 for $592,417 USD
  • Same size, medium, and year
  • Sold for $592,000 in 2014 and Chagall’s market has increased since then
“Cirque sur Fond Clair” (1980), tempera on board, 15 x 18.1 in. (38.1 x 46 cm). Sold at Sotheby’s New York: 6 May 2009 for $542,500 USD
“Cirque sur Fond Clair” (1980), tempera on board, 15 x 18.1 in. (38.1 x 46 cm). Sold at Sotheby’s New York: 6 May 2009 for $542,500 USD
  • Same size and medium
  • Similar composition
  • Sold for over $542,000 at auction 12 years ago, and the market has improved since then
“When Matisse dies, Chagall will be the only painter left who understands what color really is.” – Pablo Picasso on Marc Chagall

Additional Resources

See Chagall working in his studio and discussing his practice in this archival film from 1975
Explore how music influenced the art of Marc Chagall in this 2017 feature by CBS Sunday Morning

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