In 1950, Chagall settled permanently in the South of France following several years of exile in New York, and the vibrant Mediterranean light had an immediate and transformative effect on his art. In reference to Chagall’s output from this period, Walter Erben notes that: ‘The Southern French landscape had astonished Chagall with its wealth of colours and its lyrical atmosphere had captivated him with the beauty of its flowers and foliage. These impressions found their way into his paintings of that period, refined their peinture and lent them a hitherto unknown radiance’ (Walter Erben, Marc Chagall, London, 1957, p. 134).When the French Tourist Office commissioned Marc Chagall to design a poster to promote Nice and the Côte d'Azur in 1962, Chagall's thoughts turned immediately to the earlier Sirène au pin for inspiration. The present work thus became the starting point for a related series of gouaches and the celebrated 1967 portfolio of prints Nice et la Côte d’Azur.
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