NEW YORK – This Fall, the Sotheby's Impressionist and Modern Art Day sale is proud to offer eleven works by Marc Chagall. Spanning his eighty-year career, these works illustrate many of the themes central to the artist’s oeuvre.
Chagall was born in 1887, near the small town of Vitebsk, Russia, in present day Belarus. He grew up as the eldest of nine children in a large Hassidic Jewish family. This Russian heritage and his Jewish ancestry would serve as frequent inspiration for his art. It is also in his native Russia that he met his sweetheart Bella, whom he married in 1915. Their thirty-five year romance lasted until 1944, when she died tragically young while they were exiled in the United States. Chagall’s love for Bella was profound, and the imagery related to their union featured prominently in his artistic output for the duration of his career. As the artist himself once said: “If I create from the heart, nearly everything works; if from the head, almost nothing” (Jacob Baal-Teshuva, ed., Chagall: A Retrospective, Paris, 1995, p. 16).