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PROPERTY FROM A PRIVATE EUROPEAN COLLECTION

Marc Chagall
LE PEINTRE À LA FÊTE 
JUMP TO LOT
24

PROPERTY FROM A PRIVATE EUROPEAN COLLECTION

Marc Chagall
LE PEINTRE À LA FÊTE 
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

Impressionist & Modern Art Evening Sale

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London

Marc Chagall
1887 - 1985
LE PEINTRE À LA FÊTE 
signed Marc Chagall (lower right); signed Marc Chagall and dated 1982 on the reverse
oil on canvas
116 by 88.8cm.
45 5/8 by 35in.
Painted in 1982.
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The authenticity of this work has been confirmed by the Comité Marc Chagall.

Provenance

Estate of the artist

Acquired from the above by the present owner in 2000

Exhibited

Moscow, The Pushkin Museum, Marc Chagall, 1987, no. 84

Catalogue Note

The figure of the artist at work is a motif that recurs frequently in Chagall’s œuvre, and he pursued it with vigour in his later years. By the time he painted Le peintre à la fête, Chagall had much to reflect on: Russia remained at the forefront of his mind – even more so following his emotional visit during the previous decade after an absence of over fifty years – yet at the same time he had been happily settled in Vence for many years. Widely acclaimed and sought after, he could reflect in comfort on his artistic success, a position consolidated in the 1970s by the opening of the Musée National Message Biblique Marc Chagall in Nice in 1973 and by the presentation of the Grand Cross of the Legion of Honour in 1977.

 

In Le peintre à la fête this self-reflective mood encompasses the many and varied influences on the artist’s work. Dominating the top of the composition, 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. Performances of music, dance and the circus played an important role in Chagall’s universe and provided an infinite source of inspiration for his painting. The present composition evokes street entertainment that was a large part of his early life in rural Russia; the joyous atmosphere and the sense of celebration inherent to this subject certainly appealed to the artist’s colourful, life-affirming vision.

 

Looming large at the centre of the composition, the image of the artist – brush in one hand and palette in the other – is surrounded by a joyful and colourful array of characters including a bride and groom, musicians, circus performers and cheering spectators. Gesturing with his brush, the larger-than-life central figure of the artist also assumes the role of a conductor, setting the rhythm to which the figures around him play and dance. Areas of bright pigment lead the viewer’s eye from one part of the canvas to another, highlighting various figures that animate the canvas and generate a palpable sense of energy and movement.

Impressionist & Modern Art Evening Sale

|
London