The authenticity of this work has been confirmed by the Comité Chagall.
Rudolf R. Bauer, Frankfurt
Private Collection (acquired from the above in 1929 and sold: Christie's, New York, May 8, 1991, lot 15)
Private Collection (acquired at the above sale and sold: Sotheby's, New York, November 16, 1998, lot 68)
Acquired at the above sale by the present owner
In the Spring of 1926 Chagall and his wife Bella took a house in Mourillon, a small fishing village near Toulon. This first contact with the Mediterranean and its southern light encouraged Chagall to lighten his palette, lending his compositions an element of transparency, as evident in Les deux bouquets.
Commenting on Chagall’s works painted in the summer of 1926, Franz Meyer noted how “Chagall was overwhelmed by the brightness of the sea. His Breton pictures were already permeated by over-bright, chalky-cool reflections. But the Mediterranean affected him differently, as a triumphal song of color in the vast, luminous space. He was also thrilled by the bunches of flowers Bella brought home from the market day after day; their dense, pure, bright colors served him as a link with the landscape. In many of his pictures a bouquet is silhouetted against the sea on a chair, a small table or the windowsill [such as the present work]. Delicate panicles, campanulas, and the great white calyces of arum lilies stand out against the foliage, bearers of light that also reflect the brightness of the distance. All is shot through with white – not like the blinding snow of the Double Portrait or the delicate cloudiness of the On the Donkey but like the primordial substance that illuminates the colors” (Franz Meyer, Marc Chagall, Life and Work, London, 1963, p. 348).
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