Marc Chagall, Le Cirque–Frontispice (The Circus–Frontispiece), 1967

Artist: Marc Chagall (1887 - 1985)
Title:Le Cirque–Frontispice (The Circus–Frontispiece), 1967
Reference:Mourlot 490
Series:Circus Series
Medium:Color lithograph on Arches paper
Sheet:20 5/16 in x 14 15/16 in (51.7 cm x 38 cm)
Edition:Numbered from the edition of 50 in the lower left margin.
Signature:This work is hand-signed by Marc Chagall (Vitebsk, 1887 - Saint-Paul, 1985) in the lower right margin.
Condition:This work is in excellent condition.
ID #w-7060

Historical Description

Marc Chagall’s Le Cirque–Frontispice (The Circus–Frontispiece), from Cirque, 1967 is one of the eye-catching lithographs from Chagall’s Circus series. Publisher and art dealer Ambroise Vollard loved the circus and commissioned a production of circus graphics, for which Chagall executed a series of gouaches in the late 1920s. Chagall was a circus enthusiast himself, and his assistant Charles Sorlier noted Chagall’s childlike pleasure in watching the performers.  When speaking of circus performers and clowns, Chagall said, “Their colors and make-up draw me towards other psychic deformations, which I dream of painting” (Mourlot 216). When Vollard died in 1939, the artist stopped working on the project, although circus motifs frequently appeared in his work after that time. Chagall eventually started working on the series again with encouragement from Tériade, who published the thirty-eight lithographs of the series in 1967. Capturing the dynamic energy of the circus and its lively performers, this work is a masterpiece any Chagall enthusiast would admire.

 

Marc Chagall’s Le Cirque–Frontispice (The Circus–Frontispiece), 1967 visually compacts the movement of a circus performance, heightening the perceived vigor and impact of the performers. For instance, the legs of the clown doing the splits align with the bottom limits of the image as if the stage lies just beyond what is visible. The muddy green hue filling the background of the image creates the illusion of an enclosed space, adding a sense of depth to the composition. The figures themselves appear to be compressed into the space of the image because of their large scale, which creates pressure and movement throughout. The varied positions of the figures also evoke a feeling of heightened drama that draws upon the thrill of watching a live circus performance. Through a compelling composition and vivid color, Marc Chagall’s Le Cirque–Frontispice (The Circus–Frontispiece), 1967 imagines the vigor and energy contained in a single moment of a circus performance.

 

Created in 1967, Marc Chagall’s Le Cirque–Frontispice (The Circus–Frontispiece), 1967 is a color lithograph on Arches paper. This work is hand-signed by Marc Chagall (Vitebsk, 1887 - Saint-Paul, 1985) in the lower right margin. Numbered from edition of 50 in the lower left margin.

 

Catalogue Raisonné & COA:

Marc Chagall’s Le Cirque–Frontispice (The Circus–Frontispiece), 1967 is fully documented and referenced in the below catalogue raisonnés and texts (copies will be enclosed as added documentation with the invoices that will accompany the sale of the work).

 

  1. Gauss, Ulrike. Marc Chagall: The Lithographs. The Sorlier collection. Edited by Ulrike Gauss et. al. New York: Distributed Art Publishers., Inc., 1999. Listed and illustrated as catalogue raisonné no. 490.
  2. Mourlot, Fernand. The Lithographs of Chagall, vol. II 1957-1962. Monté Carlo, 1960. Listed and illustrated as catalogue raisonné no. 490.
  3. A Certificate of Authenticity will accompany this artwork.

 

About the Framing:

Framed to museum-grade, conservation standards, Marc Chagall’s Le Cirque–Frontispice (The Circus–Frontispiece), 1967 is presented in a complementary moulding and finished with silk-wrapped mats and optical grade Plexiglas.