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PROPERTY OF A GENTLEMAN

Marc Chagall
LES AMOUREUX DANS LE CIEL ROUGE
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Lots with this symbol indicate that a party has provided Sotheby’s with an irrevocable bid on the lot that will be executed during the sale at a value that ensures that the lot will sell. The irrevocable bidder, who may bid in excess of the irrevocable bid, will be compensated based on the final hammer price in the event he or she is not the successful bidder or may receive a fixed fee in the event he or she is the successful bidder. If the irrevocable bidder is the successful bidder, the fixed fee (if applicable) for providing the irrevocable bid may be netted against the irrevocable bidder’s obligation to pay the full purchase price for the lot and the purchase price reported for the lot shall be net of such fixed fee. If the irrevocable bid is not secured until after the printing of the auction catalogue, a pre-lot announcement will be made indicating that there is an irrevocable bid on the lot. If the irrevocable bidder is advising anyone with respect to the lot, Sotheby’s requires the irrevocable bidder to disclose his or her financial interest in the lot. If an agent is advising you or bidding on your behalf with respect to a lot identified as being subject to an irrevocable bid, you should request that the agent disclose whether or not he or she has a financial interest in the lot.
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Guaranteed Property. The seller of lots with this symbol has been guaranteed a minimum price from one auction or a series of auctions. If every lot in a catalogue is guaranteed, the Conditions of Sale will so state and this symbol will not be used for each lot.
2,000,0003,000,000
LOT SOLD. 3,132,500 USD
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40

PROPERTY OF A GENTLEMAN

Marc Chagall
LES AMOUREUX DANS LE CIEL ROUGE
Estimate
Irrevocable Bids
Lots with this symbol indicate that a party has provided Sotheby’s with an irrevocable bid on the lot that will be executed during the sale at a value that ensures that the lot will sell. The irrevocable bidder, who may bid in excess of the irrevocable bid, will be compensated based on the final hammer price in the event he or she is not the successful bidder or may receive a fixed fee in the event he or she is the successful bidder. If the irrevocable bidder is the successful bidder, the fixed fee (if applicable) for providing the irrevocable bid may be netted against the irrevocable bidder’s obligation to pay the full purchase price for the lot and the purchase price reported for the lot shall be net of such fixed fee. If the irrevocable bid is not secured until after the printing of the auction catalogue, a pre-lot announcement will be made indicating that there is an irrevocable bid on the lot. If the irrevocable bidder is advising anyone with respect to the lot, Sotheby’s requires the irrevocable bidder to disclose his or her financial interest in the lot. If an agent is advising you or bidding on your behalf with respect to a lot identified as being subject to an irrevocable bid, you should request that the agent disclose whether or not he or she has a financial interest in the lot.
Guaranteed Property
Guaranteed Property. The seller of lots with this symbol has been guaranteed a minimum price from one auction or a series of auctions. If every lot in a catalogue is guaranteed, the Conditions of Sale will so state and this symbol will not be used for each lot.
2,000,0003,000,000
LOT SOLD. 3,132,500 USD
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

Impressionist & Modern Art Evening Sale

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New York

Marc Chagall
1887 - 1985
LES AMOUREUX DANS LE CIEL ROUGE
Signed Chagall (lower left)
Oil, tempera and colored ink on canvas
39 3/8 by 25 5/8 in.
100 by 65.1 cm
Painted circa 1978.
Read Condition Report Read Condition Report

The authenticity of this work has kindly been confirmed by the Comité Chagall.

Provenance

Estate of the artist, Saint-Paul-de-Vence

Klabal Gallery, Connecticut

Acquired from the above in May 1997 

Catalogue Note

Painted circa 1978, Chagall’s Les Amoureux dans le ciel rouge is a quintessential example of Chagall's mastery in assembling an array of folkloric images in a dense and colorful composition. This work contains several of the most crucial elements in the artist's pictorial iconography: symbols of his agrarian roots and domesticity and a landscape evoking both the villages of his childhood home in Russia and the Mediterranean coastal towns in the south of France. Each figure is rendered through a matrix of intense colors and spatial experimentation that epitomizes Chagall's strongest work, reflecting his own very personal delight in the act of painting.

The journalist Alexander Liberman, who visited Chagall in Vence in the late 1950's, eloquently described the intricacy of Chagall's mature paintings: "Like a human being, a Chagall painting reveals its rich complexity only if one has lived with it and in it, in the way the artist has during its creation. One must look at his paintings closely to experience their full power. After the impact of the overall effect, there is the joy of the close-up discovery. In this intimate scrutiny, the slightest variation takes on immense importance. We cannot concentrate for a long time; our senses tire quickly and we need, after moments of intense stimulation, periods of rest. Chagall understands this visual secret better than most painters; he draws our interest into a corner where minute details hold it, and when we tire of that, we rest, floating in a space of color, until the eye lands on a new small island of quivering life" (A. Liberman, "The Artist in His Studio," 1958, reprinted in Jacob Baal-Teshuva, Chagall: A Retrospective (exhibition catalogue) 1995, p. 337). 

The central figures floating about the townscape of Les Amoureux dans le ciel rouge are a pair of lovers - a reference to the love of Chagall's youth, Bella. Love and marriage were an important part of Chagall's life, as well as a recurring theme in his painting. His first great love Bella Rosenfeld was also from the artist's native Vitebsk, and remained a powerful symbol of his homeland, while his second wife, Vava Brodsky, was always associated for Chagall with France, where he lived at the time and where the two met. These highly personal and romantic symbols of his life both in Russia and in France are harmoniously combined in Les Amoureux dans le ciel rouge.

Impressionist & Modern Art Evening Sale

|
New York