- Marc Chagall
- LE RÊVE DU PEINTRE
- signed Marc Chagall (lower right); signed Marc Chagall on the reverse
- oil on canvas
Private Collection, USA
Acquired by the present owner in 2007
Le rêve du peintre is a quintessential example of the fantastic, dream-like quality of Chagall's art, combining some of the key elements of his pictorial iconography. Chagall found a strong affinity between painting and dreaming, which is expressed in both the title and subject of this composition. Rather than representing a rational arrangement of different elements within the space of the painting, Le rêve du peintre is a compilation of the artist's favourite subjects, connected by an internal principle rather than by a logical spatial relationship. With its fanciful, dream-like composition, the painting becomes an expression of the artist's internal universe rather than and objective projection of the outside world.
This work is a bold example of the creative energy that remained undiminished in the last decade of Chagall's life. A vivid phantasmagorical composition, it is roughly divided into two areas: the upper left of the canvas depicts an open space dominated by the image of the artist in front of his easel, illuminated by both the sun and the moon. The lower right area is densely populated with numerous figures, representing the world of the painter's dream. Embracing artistic freedom of expression rather than following the logic of everyday appearances, Chagall renders his figures on unrelated scales, and two brightly coloured couples loom large over the rest of the crowd. This abandon to the joy of creation reflects the artist's confidence in his style and technique and his deeply individual and subjective approach to painting.