MARC CHAGALL 1887-1985
[Shagal, Mark, Zakharovich, Moses]
Vitebsk, Belarus 1887-1985 Saint-Paul-de-Vence (Russian / French)
Title: Circus Woman | Femme de Cirque, ca. 1960
Technique: Hand Signed and Numbered Colour Lithograph and Pochoir on Arches wove Paper
Size: 79.2 x 63.7 cm. / 31.2 x 25.1 in.
Additional Information: This work is hand signed in pencil by the artist “Marc Chagall” at the lower right margin.
It is also hand numbered in pencil “57/150” at the lower left margin.
The work was printed circa 1960 in a limited edition of 150 impressions and published by Guy Spitzer.
The paper bears the stamp of the publisher “Guy Spitzer. Éditeur, Paris” verso, as well as the Spitzer blind stamp in the lower right corner of the image.
It bears an inkstamp verso, which states, ‘GUY SPITZER, ÉDITEUR, PARIS 8, MARC CHAGALL , “FEMME DE CIRQUE”, Tirage signe par l’artiste, Numeroté et limité d 150 exemplaire, Cette épreuve porte le No 57.
The lithograph is based on an earlier gouache painted in the late 1920’s.
The paper bears the Arches watermark in the right margin.
Note: After Chagall finished the Fables of La Fontaine project, Vollard proposed yet another one, this time a suite of gouaches based on the theme of the circus.
Vollard moreover offered him free use of his season box at the Cirque d’Hiver, of which the artist happily availed himself, “because the circus was a lovely place to take his daughter,” Sidney Alexander has written. “Marc was as childishly delighted with it as Ida” (Chagall: A Biography, New York, 1978, p. 292).
Chagall painted his circus series in two sets, nineteen gouaches in all, which became known the Cirque Vollard (Meyer, nos. 481-501; fig. 2).
The artist based many of these works on sketches he drew while enjoying the spectacle of the Cirque d’Hiver. The sheer exhilaration of these pictures, their unalloyed joy and life-affirming spirit, contrasts sharply with the somber clowns and circus queens of Rouault, another artist who produced illustrations on the circus theme for Vollard.
The circus subjects that Chagall developed in 1926-1930 would continue to bear fruit for the next half century of this artist’s amazingly long life.
“For me a circus is a magic show that appears and disappears like a world. A circus is disturbing. It is profound.”
Condition: Very good condition. The sheet slightly toned. Colours very slightly attenuated.