The Circus(45 views)
The Circus (M. 289) Original color lithograph, 1960 100 numbered impressions + c. 2000 unsigned impressions for Chagall Lithographe I. There were also 40 signed and numbered impressions reserved for the artist. Illustrated in the 1988 Moscow Chagall Exhibition.
Image size: 325x250mm.
Marc Chagall on The Circus For me, a circus is a magical spectacle, a passing and dissolving like a little world. There is a disquieting circus, a circus of hidden depths. These clowns, riders, acrobats are imprinted on my sight.
Why? Why am I moved by their make-up and their grimaces? With them I travel on toward other horizons. Their colors and their painted masks draw me toward other, strange, psychic forms which I long to paint. Circus!
A magical word, a centuries old entertainment parading before us, in which a tear, a smile, a gesture of arm or leg takes on the quality of great art. And what do circus people receive in return? A crust of bread. Night brings them solitude and sadness stretching on to the following day until evening, amid a blaze of electric light, heralds a renewal of the old life.
For me, the circus is the most tragic of all dramatic performances. Throughout the centuries, its voice has been the most shrill heard in the quest for the amusement and joy of man. Often it takes on a high poetic form. I seem to see a Don Quixote tilting at windmills, like the inspired clown who has known tears and dreams of human love. My circus pitches its Big Top in the sky. It performs among the clouds, among the chairs, Or in the moon-reflecting windows. In the streets a man goes by. He puts out the lights and lamps of the town. The show is over.
Marc Chagall, Circus (1967)
Catalogue Raisonné & COA: This work is fully documented and referenced in the below catalogue raisinés and texts.
1) "Chagall Lithographe 1957-1962", 1963 by Fernand Mourlot. pg 96 - 97 Plate Number M289 2)
2) A Certificate of Authenticity will accompany this work.
About the Framing:
This work is framed to museum-grade, conservation standards, presented in a black and silver moulding and rag mats, fillet and UV protection Plexiglas.
6 July 1887 - 28 March 1985
Marc Chagall was a Russian-French artist. An early modernist, he was associated with several major artistic styles and created works in virtually every artistic medium, including painting, book illustrations, stained glass, stage sets, ceramic, tapestries and fine art prints.
Art critic Robert Hughes referred to Chagall as the quintessential Jewish artist of the twentieth century (though Chagall saw his work as not the dream of one people but of all humanity). According to art historian Michael J. Lewis, Chagall was considered to be the last survivor of the first generation of European modernist's. For decades, he had also been respected as the world's preeminent Jewish artist. Using the medium of stained glass, he produced windows for the cathedrals of Reims and Metz, windows for the United Nations, and the Jerusalem Windows in Israel. He also did large-scale paintings, including part of the ceiling of the Paris Opra.
Before World War I, he traveled between St. Petersburg, Paris, and Berlin. During this period he created his own mixture and style of modern art based on his idea of Eastern European Jewish folk culture. He spent the wartime years in Soviet Belarus, becoming one of the country's most distinguished artists and a member of the modernist avant-garde, founding the Vitebsk Arts College before leaving again for Paris in 1922.
He had two basic reputations, writes Lewis: as a pioneer of modernism and as a major Jewish artist. He experienced modernism's Golden Age in Paris, where he synthesized the art forms of Cubism, Symbolism, and Fauvism, and the influence of Fauvism gave rise to Surrealism. Yet throughout these phases of his style he remained most emphatically a Jewish artist, whose work was one long dreamy reverie of life in his native village of Vitebsk. When Matisse dies, Pablo Picasso remarked in the 1950s, Chagall will be the only painter left who understands what color really is.
Provenance: Elliott Gallery, New Orleans
Dimensions: 12.5" x 9.5"
Medium: Original Lithograph
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