Private Collection, Stockholm (acquired from the above)
Thence by descent to the present owners
Le baiser or Les amoureux en bleu is a tender portrait of a young couple caught in a loving embrace. The lovers are enveloped in a typically rich, deep blue, which seems to transport both the azure of the Mediterranean and the milky spectrum of twilight to a semi-abstracted interior. In 1930, the year in which Les amoureux en bleu was painted, Chagall was living in France with his wife Bella. The intensity of the artist's feeling for his companion manifested itself regularly in the works he produced in the years following their marriage in 1915.
Chagall frequently portrayed lovers floating in an oneiric state through a landscape, a fluid space often replete with dream-like imagery from the artist’s personal symbolic cosmos of male and female figures, animals and objects. The present work, however, focuses more deeply on the two central characters. In foregrounding their faces and figures, Chagall crystallises their devotion to one another; a maelstrom of indigo shadows and porcelain skin speaks to the profundity of their love, a lingering gaze holds the promise of an eternity together.
The couple is depicted with extraordinary sincerity. Such tenderness is only compounded by the presence of two of the artist’s most favoured motifs: a small, vibrant posy of flowers and a large window. While the flowers are depicted as a token of affection amongst lovers, a distant, lucid window seems to signal the permeable boundary between inside and outside, between the world of the couple's love and the world around them.
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