Lot 74
  • 74

Marc Chagall

600,000 - 800,000 GBP
770,900 GBP
bidding is closed


  • Marc Chagall
  • signed Chagall and dated 1979 (lower right); signed Marc Chagall on the reverse
  • oil, tempera and ink on canvas
  • 86.5 by 82cm.
  • 34 by 32 1/4 in.


Acquired from the artist by the present owner


Tel Aviv, The Tel Aviv Museum & Balingen, Stadthalle, Marc Chagall: 100th Anniversary of his Birth, 1987, no. 46, illustrated in colour in the catalogue
Breda, De Beyerd, Chagall: The Collection Marcus Diener, 1989, illustrated in the catalogue
Munich, Kunsthalle der Hypo-Kulturstiftung, Marc Chagall, 1991, no. 107, illustrated in the catalogue
Salzburg, Rupertinum, Salzburger Landessammlungen & Graz, Kulturhaus der Stadt Graz, Marc Chagall, 1992, illustrated in colour in the catalogue

Catalogue Note

Les Villageois of 1979 is a quintessential example of Chagall's mastery in assembling an array of folkloric images in a dense and colourful composition. The work contains several of the most important elements of his pictorial iconography: a family of villagers with the village in the background, the goat, the rooster and a bouquet of flowers. Each figure is masterfully rendered through a matrix of intense colour and spatial experimentation that epitomised Chagall's work. Forming a dynamic composition on a nearly square canvas, a format Chagall rarely used, these elements reflect his own very personal delight in the act of artistic creation. As Susan Compton wrote in the catalogue of the Royal Academy Chagall Retrospective: 'Throughout his life certain themes recur in the work of Chagall: the circus, lovers and peasants take their place beside more sombre scenes of suffering and death [...] For the themes in Chagall's art are timeless, not confined to a single epoch of history, but reminding man of the continuity of life for generation after generation, since the earliest days of recorded time' (S. Compton, Chagall, (exhibition catalogue) London, 1985, p. 14).