Lot 141
  • 141

Marc Chagall

250,000 - 350,000 USD
610,000 USD
bidding is closed


  • Marc Chagall
  • Le Violoniste bleu
  • Signed Marc Chagall (lower right)
  • Gouache on paper


Mme Maurice Raynal, Paris
Sale: Christie's, New York, November 12, 1992, lot 165
Private Collection, Montreal
Thence by descent


London, The Leicester Galleries, Marc Chagall, 1935, no. 14

Catalogue Note

The poetic image of a violinist beneath the moonlight is derived from the expansive lexicon of images that populate Chagall's most captivating canvases. Rich with intense color, this composition was executed during a period of sentimentality, nostalgia and an appreciation of all things beautiful. Indeed, the passages of vibrant color and harmony of images that Chagall presents does call to mind the soaring crescendos and temperate interludes of an engaging musical composition.

Performances of music, dance and the circus played an important role in Chagall's universe and provided an infinite source of inspiration for his painting. The theme was of great significance to him as a poetic, visionary experience a transcendental parallel to real life which indulged his imagination and an inclination towards pure, lyrical escapism. The harmonious atmosphere inherent to this subject certainly appealed to the artist's colorful, life-affirming vision, and he translated this sense of energy and movement into bold, lively compositions.

Musicians were among Chagall's favorite subjects since the early days of his career. Most frequently, he returned to the theme of the violinist, a figure that in his mind belonged to the world of circus and street entertainment, and was a strong symbol of Russian rural life. The figure of the violinist has now come full-circle, representing not only memories of his boyhood but of his own identification with the artistry of this richly symbolic character.