In 1944, Chagall's beloved wife Bella suddenly passed away. For months he could not paint. The canvases which appeared the following year are full of tributes to Bella's memory; aside from imagery of couples themselves, many of Chagall's compositions from the years immediately following Bella's death contain long, tapered candles, bouquets of flowers, baskets of fruit and canvases deeply saturated with passionate reds or deep, melancholy blues.
A year after Les Fruits enchantés was painted, it was sold by Pierre Matisse to Frederick J. Hellman of San Francisco. Hellman was a well respected art collector who donated many of his works to the California Palace of the Legion of Honor including compositions by Vincent van Gogh and John Singer Sargent. Hellman gifted Les Fruits enchantés to the museum in 1965 where it remained until 1990. It has been in the current private collection for nearly thirty years.
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