Lot 23
  • 23

MARC CHAGALL | Vase de fleurs, couple et coq

600,000 - 800,000 GBP
bidding is closed


  • Marc Chagall
  • Vase de fleurs, couple et coq
  • signed Marc Chagall (lower right)
  • oil on canvas
  • 65 by 54cm.
  • 25 5/8 by 21 1/4 in.
  • Painted in 1957.


Galerie Maeght, Paris Private Collection

Acquired from the above by the present owner in 1999

Catalogue Note

The subject of colourful bouquets of flowers fascinated Chagall since the late 1920s, and was endlessly explored throughout his career. The artist was first struck by the charm of flowers in Toulon in 1924; he later claimed that he had not known of flowers in Russia, and they came to represent France for him. In his dream-like paintings, he consistently drew from a vocabulary of personal symbolism: when painting a bouquet, it was like painting a landscape of his adopted country. Writing about the subject of flowers in Chagall’s work, Franz Meyer commented: ‘Many are simple still-lifes with a bunch of red roses and white lilacs; in others, pairs of lovers and air-borne fiddlers gambol through space. The atmosphere encompasses and pervades the flowers like a magically light airy fluid, vibrant with their vitality’ (F. Meyer, Marc Chagall. Life and Work, New York, 1961, p. 369). In Vase de fleurs, couple et coq a bouquet of red and white flowers in a vase looms large on a table top. Surrounded by a table, chair and a fruit bowl, the flowers rise from a domestic interior to an outdoor night-time setting, with the bright crescent moon and a couple flying on a large cockerel. Love and marriage were an important part of the artist’s life, as well as a recurring theme in his painting. In 1952, five years before the present work was painted, Chagall married his second wife, Valentina (Vava) Brodsky. Although she came from a similar Russian Jewish background as himself, Vava was always for Chagall associated with France, where he lived at the time and where the two met, and where they lived together until the end of the artist’s life. These highly personal and romantic symbols are harmoniously and joyously combined in the present composition.

The authenticity of this work has been confirmed by the Comité Chagall.