Lot 347
  • 347

Marc Chagall

Estimate
800,000 - 1,200,000 USD
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Description

  • Marc Chagall
  • Le Soir
  • Stamped Marc Chagall (lower left) 
  • Oil, tempera and gouache on canvas
  • 36 1/8 by 28 5/8 in.
  • 91.7 by 72.7 cm

Provenance

Mme Ida Chagall, Paris
Acquavella Galleries, New York
Private Collection, Switzerland (and sold: Sotheby's, New York, November 11, 1988, lot 50)
Private Collection
Russeck Gallery, Palm Beach
Acquired from the above

Condition

This work is in very good condition. The canvas is unlined. The surface is clean and presents a lovely and textured impasto in places, especially in the central male figure. There is a small area of craquelure in the central figure's hat. A few tiny scattered pin dots of loss near the center of the bottom edge. Under UV light no inpainting is apparent.
In response to your inquiry, we are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Sotheby's is merely a subjective qualified opinion.
NOTWITHSTANDING THIS REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING CONDITION OF A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD "AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF SALE PRINTED IN THE CATALOGUE.

Catalogue Note

Le Soir was executed between 1964-71, during Marc Chagall’s second period in France, whence he returned from the United States in the late 1940s after being in exile throughout the war. During Chagall’s years in France, his subjects were divided between those which were inspired by his adopted country and those that were reminiscent of his native Russia, with the two often combined in his phantasmagorical compositions. In the present work, the large figure of a Rabbi dominates the canvas, accompanied by a violinist hovering in the sky, and a floating couple. Walking through a snow-covered village street the central figure appears to find solace in his faith, whilst the houses in the background are reminiscent of the artist’s native Vitebsk; an iconic subject in the artist’s oeuvre which recurred frequently within his work throughout his life.

The atmosphere of Le Soir is charged with emotions and memories from the past. In the background, a crowd holding red flags evokes the massacre of Vitebsk during World War II. Chagall uses somber colors to depict his tragic vision of the war and the pillage of his home town.  However, salvation is offered by the presence of the maternal figure in the foreground, seemingly providing a hint of nurturing and reassurance, whilst the lovers symbolize hope. Ultimately, in its harmonious unification of these highly personal and romantic symbols of the artist’s life, both in Russia and France, the present work is a wonderful example of Chagall’s ability to combine dream and reality.