Marc Chagall, Aleko and his wife Zemphira from an Old Russian Tale, 1955

Artist: Marc Chagall (1887 - 1985)
Title:Aleko and his wife Zemphira from an Old Russian Tale, 1955
Reference:Maeght 1206
Medium:Color Etching and Aquatint on Rives BFK Paper
Image:18 1/4 in x 20 5/8 in ( 46.36 cm x 52.4 cm)
Sheet:21 13/16 in x 28 5/16 in (55.4 cm x 71.9 cm)
Framed:30 1/2 in x 32 1/2 in (77.4 cm x 82.5 cm)
Edition:Numbered from the edition of 300 in pencil in the lower left margin.
Signature:This work is hand signed by Marc Chagall (Vitebsk, 1887 - Saint-Paul, 1985) in pencil in the lower right margin
Condition:This work is in excellent condition.
ID #w-7599


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Historical Description

This enchanting moonlight scene depicts Aleko and his wife, Zemphira from an old Russian tale of love. Chagall, commissioned to illustrate and create backdrops for the ballet of Aleko, uses the emotion, passion, and excitement from the story to inspire this work. In it, he embraces his wife under the light of a brilliant moon; the deep, rich hues of the midnight blue is augmented by the bright red rooster, used to signify virility and re-birth. The bright red color also represents the passion of love, and the contrast between the deep blue and the vibrant red is striking. Like many of Chagall's more romantic works, the couple is floating above a town that we see detailed in the foreground, making them appear separate from time - where they can embrace alone forever. The story follows Aleko, an old and tired husband who is devoted to his young, hapless wife. We follow him through a journey in which true love is revealed and explained to him, his values challenged, his morals questioned. It is a tale reminiscent of a Shakespearean tragedy which Chagall uses as a foundation on which to create an equally rich and inspiring work.

Created in 1955, this artwork is based on the original oil on canvas by Marc Chagall from 1951. Published by Maeght and printed by Georges Visat, this color etching and aquatint is numbered from the edition of 300, and hand-signed by Marc Chagall (Vitebsk, 1887 - Saint-Paul, 1985) in pencil in the lower right margin.

Catalogue Raisonné & COA:
1. Meyer, Franz. Marc Chagall: Life and Work. New York: Distributed Art Publishers., Inc., 1944. Listed and illustrated as catalogue raisonné no. 844.
2. A Certificate of Authenticity will accompany Marc Chagall Aleko and his Wife Zemphira, 1955.

About the Framing:
Marc Chagall Aleko and his Wife Zemphira, 1955, from Old Russian Tale is framed to museum-grade, conservation standards, presented in a complementary moulding and finished with silk-wrapped mats and optical grade Plexiglas.