325
325
Marc Chagall
L'ARTISTE AU CIRQUE
ACCÉDER AU LOT
325
Marc Chagall
L'ARTISTE AU CIRQUE
ACCÉDER AU LOT

Details & Cataloguing

Impressionist and Modern Day Sale Afternoon session

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Londres

Marc Chagall
1887-1985
L'ARTISTE AU CIRQUE
signed Marc Chagall (lower left)
oil on canvasboard
33 by 24cm., 13 by 9½in.
Painted in 1980-82.
Lire le rapport d'état Lire le rapport d'état

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

Provenance

Contini Galleria d'Arte, Mestre
Acquired from the above by the present owner on 3rd March 2005

Description

The circus was a continuous source of inspiration for Chagall throughout his life: a magical dreamland that transported him into the parallel world of the subconscious. This fascination dates back to his childhood in Vitebsk and indeed he also frequently attended the circus in Paris with Ambroise Vollard. The circular ring was certainly suited to the dynamic atmosphere that is such a dominant feature across all of his œuvre, and indeed the viewer is thrust into the centre of the drama to take a seat in the audience. In the artist's own words, 'it is a magic world, the circus, a timeless dancing game where tears and smiles, the play of arms and legs take the form of a great art' (Le Cirque (exhibition catalogue), Pierre Matisse Gallery, New York, 1981, n.p.).

L'artiste au cirque combines many of Chagall's most iconic artistic elements: the lovers, the artist at work, and even a couple of violin players. The characteristic blue tones give the work a wonderfully magical atmosphere, which shows off the vibrant areas of red, yellow and green to great effect. The scene is imbued with a palpable energy and buzz, deriving from the circus's ambiguous identity as simultaneously fun-loving and tragic. The work - with its lively cast of animals, musicians and acrobats - is extraordinarily emotive and life-affirming, just as any visit to the circus should be. As Venturi explains, 'the importance of the circus motif in modern French literature and painting is well known; in painting it suffices to recall the names of Seurat and Rouault. As always, Chagall's images of circus people [...] are at once burlesque and tender. Their perspective of sentiment, their fantastic forms, suggest that the painter is amusing himself in a freer mood than usual; and the result is eloquent of the unmistakable purity flowing from Chagall's heart. These circus scenes are mature realisations of earlier dreams' (Lionello Venturi, Marc Chagall, New York, 1945, p. 39).

Impressionist and Modern Day Sale Afternoon session

|
Londres