MARC CHAGALL 1887-1985
[Shagal, Mark, Zakharovich, Moses]
Vitebsk, Belarus 1887-1985 Saint-Paul-de-Vence (Russian/French)
Title: Chloe is Carried off by the Methymneans, from: Daphnis and Chloe | Enlèvement de Chloé, 1961
Technique: Original Hand Signed and Numbered Lithograph in Colours on Arches Wove Paper
Paper size: 53.6 x 75.5 cm. / 21.1 x 29.7 in.
Image size: 42.7 x 64 cm. / 16.8 x 25.2 in.
Additional Information: This original lithograph in colours is hand signed in pencil by the artist “Marc Chagall” at the lower right margin.
It is hand numbered in pencil from the edition of 60, at the lower left margin.
This is one of the 42 plates that are part of the Daphnis and Chloe series of Marc Chagall.
Our impression is from the deluxe edition of 60 hand signed and numbered impressions.
There was a further book edition (not signed, not numbered and without margins of 250 impressions).
It was published by Tériade Éditeur, Paris in 1961.
The paper bears the Arches watermark.
The story of Daphnis and Chloe, a pastoral elegy attributed to the 3rd century Greek poet Longus, dates from the second century A.D.
It is a classical romance involving the adventures of two foundling children raised by adopted parents who are humble shepherds in the idyllic setting of the Isle of Lesbos.
The discovery of the infants who have been left exposed takes place at different times, but in both circumstances their clothing and rich tokens found with them suggest the foundlings may be of noble birth. In each instance the shepherd who finds the baby is alone and tempted to steal their treasure and leave them to fate, but instead bows to the paternal instinct to nurture and raise the child as his own.
As Daphnis and Chloe grow to be young adults tending their adopted parents’ sheep and goats on the sun-drenched Grecian hillsides and pastures, they discover that their friendship is turning to love but, in their innocence, they do not know how to proceed.
Together they experience many trials and tribulations, protected throughout by the god Pan, before finally realizing their true fate.
Daphnis and Chloe have served through the ages as the inspiration for nearly every love story that has followed including Romeo and Juliet.
In 1959 Efstratios Tériade, the publisher of the vastly influential 20th century art review Verve, approached Chagall suggesting to him that he undertake a new project, illustration of the prose romance Daphnis & Chloe.
The idea of reviving and illustrating this story, which had been widely popular primarily in France and England throughout the 17th and 18th centuries, is one that greatly appealed to Chagall.
He began his preparation by making two trips to Greece, traveling there to absorb the inspiration of the Greek landscape. Over the course of three years Chagall worked on this project creating forty-two lithographs. These has since been heralded as one of Chagall’s greatest graphic achievement. In the introduction to the set in the Mourlot catalogue raisonné it is referred to as “the most important graphic work that Marc Chagall has created thus far.”
Provenance: Private New York collection.
1. Mourlot, F. & Sorlier, C. (1998). Chagall: The Lithographs (Catalogue Raisonne). D.A.P./Distributed Art Publishers, Inc.
Reference: Mourlot 327
2. Cramer, P. (1995). The Illustrated Books of Marc Chagall. Geneva: Galerie Cramer.
Reference: Cramer 46
Condition: Excellent condition.