352
352
Marc Chagall
LE CIRQUE, UN CHEVAL CABRÉ
Estimate
600,000800,000
LOT SOLD. 732,500 USD
JUMP TO LOT
352
Marc Chagall
LE CIRQUE, UN CHEVAL CABRÉ
Estimate
600,000800,000
LOT SOLD. 732,500 USD
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

Impressionist & Modern Art Day Sale

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New York

Marc Chagall
1887 - 1985
LE CIRQUE, UN CHEVAL CABRÉ
Signed Marc Chagall (on the reverse)
Oil on canvas
13 by 7 1/2 in.
33 by 19 cm
Painted circa 1930.
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The authenticity of this work has kindly been confirmed by the Comité Chagall.

Provenance

Pierre Matisse Gallery, New York (acquired in 1938)
Daniel Malingue, Paris
Private Collection
Wally Findlay Galleries, New York
Private Collection, Michigan (acquired from the above and sold by the estate: Sotheby's, New York, May 4, 2011, lot 195)
Acquired at the above sale by the present owner

Literature

Franz Meyer, Marc Chagall, New York, 1964, no. 565, illustrated n.p.

Catalogue Note

The subject of the circus first appeared in Chagall's work in 1927, in a series of gouaches entitled Cirque Volard, which were inspired by the artist's visits to the Cirque d'hiver in Paris. The subject remained a leitmotif throughout the artist's work, and appeared frequently in his paintings, particularly at times fulfilled by personal happiness. In the present work this mood is achieved through bright, energetic colors and the cheerful, towering display of the central figure atop an obstinate horse.

Chagall himself commented on the theme of the circus in his work: "For me a circus is a magic show which appears and disappears like a world. A circus is disturbing, it is profound... It is a magic word, circus, a timeless game where tears and smiles, the play of arms and legs take the form of great art... These clowns, bareback riders and acrobats have made themselves at home in my visions. Why? Why am I so touched by their make-up and their grimaces? With them I can move toward new horizons. Lured by their colours and make-up, I dream of painting new psychic distortions... The circus seems to me like the most tragic show on earth... I would like to go up to that bareback rider who has just reappeared, smiling; her dress, a bouquet of flowers. I would circle her with my flowered and unflowered years. On my knees, I would tell her wishes and dreams, not of this world" (Marc Chagall, Le Cirque (exhibition catalogue), Pierre Matisse Gallery, New York, 1981).

In the present work, Chagall focuses his attention on depicting the overall mood of the circus scene through iconic symbols such as the violin and bouquet, as well as pictorial elements of color and form, achieving a lively and highly colored composition which expresses his timeless game of life, art and masquerade.

Impressionist & Modern Art Day Sale

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New York