The authenticity of this work has kindly been confirmed by the Comité Chagall.
Pierre Matisse Gallery, New York Private Collection, New York (acquired from the above in 1946 and sold by the estate: Christie's, New York, November 4, 2004, lot 168) Opera Gallery, Paris Acquired from the above in 2005
Painted in 1940, Vase de fleurs is a striking example of the mesmerizing dream world that characterizes Chagall’s distinctive artistic vision. At the center of the composition is a glorious still life; flowers are part of the cornucopia of motifs that reoccur throughout Chagall’s oeuvre, and they carry a special significance, as André Verdet explains: "Marc Chagall loved flowers. He delighted in their aroma, in contemplating their colors. For a long time, certainly after 1948 when he moved for good to the South of France after his wartime stay in the U.S., there were always flowers in his studio. In his work bouquets of flowers held a special place… Usually they created a sense of joy, but they could also reflect the melancholy of memories" (quoted in Jacob Baal-Teshuva, ed., Chagall: A Retrospective, Fairfield, 1995, p. 347).
Executed on cream wove paper. The edges of the sheet are deckled and reinforced along the edges with strips of Japan paper. There is a matte stain around the perimeter of the sheet. The sheet is slightly time darkened overall. Scattered studio stains on the verso. This work is in overall good condition. 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.