Description: Marc Chagall LE SONGE DU PEINTRE (M. 489)
Color lithograph, 1967, on Arches paper, signed and numbered 9/50 in pencil, with full margins, framed.
29 1/4 x 22 1/2 inches; 743 x 572 mm.
Sheet 34 1/2 x 26 inches; 876 x 660 mm
Marc Zakharovich Chagall (born Moishe Zakharovich Shagal 6 July 1887 – 28 March 1985) was a Russian-French artist of Belarusian Jewish origin. An early modernist, he was associated with several major artistic styles and created works in virtually every artistic format, including painting, book illustrations, stained glass, stage sets, ceramic, tapestries and fine art prints.
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 colour really is”.
There were also several major exhibitions of Chagall’s work during his lifetime and following his death.
- In 1967, the Louvre in Paris exhibited 17 large-scale paintings and 38 gouaches, under the title of “Message Biblique”, which he donated to the nation of France on condition that a museum was to be built for them in Nice. In 1969 work began on the museum, named Musée National Message Biblique Marc Chagall. It was completed and inaugurated on 7 July 1973, on Chagall’s birthday. Today it contains monumental paintings on biblical themes, three stained-glass windows, tapestries, a large mosaic and numerous gouaches for the “Bible series.”
- From 1969 to 1970, the Grand Palais in Paris held the largest Chagall exhibition to date, including 474 works. The exhibition was called “Hommage a Marc Chagall”, was opened by the French President and “proved an enormous success with the public and critics alike.”
- In 1973, he traveled to the Soviet Union, his first visit back since he left in 1922. The Tretiakov Gallery in Moscow had a special exhibition for the occasion of his visit. He was able to see again the murals he long ago made for the Jewish Theatre. In St. Petersburg, he was reunited with two of his sisters, whom he had not seen for more than 50 years.
- In 1982, the Moderna Museet in Stockholm, Sweden organized a retrospective exhibition which later traveled to Denmark.
- In 1985, the Royal Academy in London presented a major retrospective which later traveled to Philadelphia. Chagall was too old to attend the London opening and died a few months later.
- In 2003, a major retrospective of Chagall’s career was organized by the Réunion des Musées Nationaux, Paris, in conjunction with the Musée National Message Biblique Marc Chagall, Nice, and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.
- In 2007, an exhibition of his work titled “Chagall of Miracles”, was held at Il Complesso del Vittoriano in Rome, Italy.
- The regional art museum in Novosibirsk had a Chagall exhibition on his biblical subjects between 16 June 2010 and 29 August 2010.
- The Musée d’art et d’histoire du judaïsme in Paris had a Chagall exhibition titled “Chagall and the Bible” in 2011.
- The Luxembourg Museum in Paris held a Chagall retrospective in 2013.
- The Jewish Museum in New York City has held multiple exhibitions on Chagall including the 2001 exhibit Marc Chagall: Early Works from Russian Collections and the exhibit 2013 Chagall: Love, War and Exhile.