Lot 311
  • 311

Marc Chagall

800,000 - 1,200,000 EUR
907,500 EUR
bidding is closed


  • Marc Chagall
  • Le Bouquet blanc
  • signed Marc Chagall and dated 1980 (lower right); signed Marc Chagall (on the reverse)
  • oil & tempera on canvas


Jean-François Gobbi, Neuchâtel/Geneva
Acquired from the above by the present owner in April 1997

Catalogue Note

Painted in 1980, Le Bouquet blanc was made at the height of Chagall's art and represents a synthesis of the most fundamental motifs of his work.

Chagall definitively moved to his Vence studio in 1966. In the background of the Bouquet blanc painting, the Saint Paul de Vence village bell tower can be perceived. The motif of the flower bouquet was often used by Chagall in his paintings to symbolize the image of the couple or newlyweds and was identified by Breton as being a "metaphor of pleasure". Oversized, as majestic as it is voluptuous, the white bouquet symbolically occupies a primary position in the composition. This eminent place is reinforced by the classicism of the choice of flowers in a unique colour. Presiding over the rest of nature, the white rose opens in its wake a series of less solemn colours: the pinks of a small bouquet on the right, the undisciplined yellows and oranges of the hills of Saint-Paul in the background.

As a structuring element, the white bouquet emerges from the blue and green tints of a cloudless sky. Joy is suspended but none the less palpable. On the left, an intertwined couple floats naturally and softly in the air. This motif is most assuredly the most magnificent of Chagall's repertory. He painted floating figures very early on in his career, upon his arrival in Paris in 1910 and they seem thus to evoke the perpetual wanderings of a people in exile (the Jewish people in particular). In the late paintings they acquire an absolutely independent value, that of the gravitation of the heart. In Le Bouquet blanc they are surrounded by a cockerel flying under their feet, a donkey and a musician whose silhouettes glide in the upper right-hand corner of the painting, all compose and complete the emblematic procession.

Concentrated in one unit of time, place and action around the white bouquet, the scene is deprived of all folklore. A perfect, elegant and happy synthesis of Chagall's favoured motifs, Le Bouquet blanc is one of the most beautiful examples of diffuse, allegorical and timeless elation.