52
52

PROPERTY OF A PRIVATE COLLECTOR

Marc Chagall
AU VILLAGE ROUGE
Estimate
2,800,0003,500,000
JUMP TO LOT
52

PROPERTY OF A PRIVATE COLLECTOR

Marc Chagall
AU VILLAGE ROUGE
Estimate
2,800,0003,500,000
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

Impressionist & Modern Art Evening Sale

|
New York

Marc Chagall
1887 - 1985
AU VILLAGE ROUGE
Signed twice Marc Chagall (lower left & on the reverse)
Oil, sawdust and pastel on canvas
31 3/4 by 25 5/8 in.
80.7 by 65.1 cm
Painted in 1968-73.
Read Condition Report Read Condition Report

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

Provenance

Galerie Maeght, Paris (acquired from the artist in 1973)

Private Collection, Japan

Jeffrey H. Loria & Co., Inc., New York

Private Collection (acquired from the above on December 21, 1998 and sold: Christie’s, New York, May 6, 2014, lot 48)

Acquired at the above sale

Catalogue Note

Marc Chagall was born Movsha (Moses) Shagal in July 1887 in Vitebsk, a village in Belarus, and the small community would present itself in Chagall’s art throughout the course of his long life. Chagall lived through and witnessed the most momentous occasions of the twentieth century, including two World Wars, the Russian Revolution and construction of the Berlin Wall, which shaped his life and artwork. Chagall’s first sojourn in France occurred in 1910 when he was only twenty three, just as cubism was making its impact in Paris, and he took up lodgings and came into contact with many of the most significant artists of the time. In the decades to come he would be esteemed by the Surrealists in Paris but never considered himself a part of their group and exhibited instead alongside exiled European artists in New York in the 1940s without mingling with the émigré community. Though he actively engaged in the Parisian artistic community, art for Chagall was first and foremost a means of personal expression.

After a sojourn in Russia after his French residency, where he watched the rise of Suprematism, and a period in America, Chagall eventually returned to France which remained his adopted home. Yet his childhood village remained at the forefront of his imagination and artistic expression. The town survived only in his fantasy as, having been construed mostly of wood, it was irrevocably destroyed by fire during World War II. Dominating the composition of Au Village Rouge, we see the familiar landscape of Chagall’s native Vitebsk. The life he experienced in this rural region was the subject of his earliest forays into artistic expression and remained a mainstay of his personal symbolism (see figs. 1 & 2). Au Village Rouge evokes the fantasy and harmony of Russian rural life; accompanied by a full moon and farm animals, the figures embody a world of lyrical childhood memories that provided emotional and mental refuge for the artist. Vitebsk was also the location where Chagall met his beloved wife Bella, whom he married in 1915 (see fig. 3).

“The fact that I made use of cows, milkmaids, roosters and provincial Russian architecture as my source forms is because they are part of the environment from which I spring and which undoubtedly left the deepest impression on my visual memory of the experiences I have” Chagall explained (quoted in B. Harshav, ed., Marc Chagall on Art and Culture, Stanford, 2003, p. 83). Among his recurring imagery, Chagall also revisits the embracing couple and the mother and child. Tucked away in the top right corner we can see a couple lovingly floating through the village skyline recalling the setting of his first love. Au Village Rouge constitutes a nostalgic voyage as Chagall revisits his earliest memories of happiness, love and fatherhood as he approaches the last years of his life.  

Impressionist & Modern Art Evening Sale

|
New York