Marc Chagall, Le Cirque (The Circus), from Cirque, 1967, M501

Artist: Marc Chagall (1887 - 1985)
Title:Le Cirque (The Circus), from Cirque, 1967, M501
Reference:Mourlot 501
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-7082

Historical Description

Marc Chagall’s Le Cirque (The Circus), 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 (The Circus), from Cirque, 1967 is a particularly complex lithograph from the Cirque series, featuring a multi-layered composition of dynamic figures and bright colors. The figures of the audience and performers overlap each other and blend into one collective image of the circus. A large head in profile floats in the upper left corner with a violin, while the figure of a clown plays a horn at the right border of the image. Both figures tower over the outline of spectators near them, and the lack of perspective makes for a dreamlike composition that denies the logic of scale. Such visual amalgamation of circus performers and spectators alludes to the practical need for both performers and spectators in a successful circus. The large white sphere surrounded in a thick navy-blue halo further contributes to the dreamlike quality of the image, as it remains unclear what it represents. For instance, it could be a spotlight, the moon, or simply another pictorial invention of the artist that does not represent anything in particular. Thus, Marc Chagall’s Le Cirque (The Circus), from Cirque, 1967 captures the flurry of movement and excitement at the circus, evoking the dynamic energy between performers and spectators.

 

Created in 1967, Marc Chagall’s Le Cirque (The Circus), from Cirque, 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 (The Circus), from Cirque, 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. 501.
  2. Mourlot, Fernand. The Lithographs of Chagall, vol. II 1957-1962. Monté Carlo, 1960. Listed and illustrated as catalogue raisonné no. 501.
  3. A Certificate of Authenticity will accompany this artwork.

 

About the Framing:

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