Lot 48
  • 48

Marc Chagall

2,000,000 - 3,000,000 USD
Log in to view results
bidding is closed


  • Marc Chagall
  • Les Fleurs de Vence 
  • Signed Marc Chagall (lower center); signed Marc Chagall (on the reverse)
  • Oil on canvas 
  • 39 1/2 by 29 3/4 in.
  • 100.3 by 75.5 cm


Pierre Matisse Gallery, New York

Catalogue Note

Painted circa 1979-80, Les fleurs de Vence evokes a time when the artist was nostalgic for his youth while celebrating the joyful and tranquil life he made in Saint-Paul-de-Vence with his wife Vava. In reference to Chagall’s output from this period, the artist’s biographer Franz Meyer writes, “The light, the vegetation, the rhythm of life all contributed to the rise of a more relaxed airy, sensuous style in which the magic of colour dominates more and more with the passing years. At Vence he witnessed the daily miracle of growth and blossoming in the mild, strong all-pervading light—an experience in which earth and matter had their place” (F. Meyer, Marc Chagall, London, 1964, p. 519).

The present composition depicts an embracing young couple floating above a bouquet of flowers, set against the same distinctive view of Saint-Paul-de-Vence that Chagall often turned to in his later work. The view of the town, dominated by the church at its top, is surrounded by Chagall’s characteristic iconography, including the floating lovers and budding floral arrangement, all set against a shimmering multi-colored background. By juxtaposing this imagery, Les fleurs de Vence combines Chagall’s love of his Mediterranean home with his characteristic dream-like pictorial vision. With its free-flowing style and bright, translucent colors, the present work is a magnificent example of the effect that the south of France had on Chagall’s art. “The Southern French landscape has astonished Chagall with its wealth of colours and its lyrical atmosphere, had captivated him with the beauty of its flowers and foliage. These impressions found their way into his paintings of that period, refined their peinture and lent them a hitherto unknown radiance” (W. Erben, Marc Chagall, London, 1957, p. 134).