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Marc Chagall, Le Cirque (The Circus), from Cirque, 1967, M515

Artist: Marc Chagall (1887 - 1985)
Title:Le Cirque (The Circus), from Cirque, 1967, M515
Reference:Mourlot 515
Series:Circus Series
Medium:Color lithograph on Arches paper
Sheet:20 3/8 in x 14 15/16 in (51.8 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-7098

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.

 

With its discordant figures and minimal background, Marc Chagall’s Le Cirque (The Circus), from Cirque, 1967 is one of the more compositionally abstruse works in the Cirque series. A human-like figure sits along the bottom of the image and fills most of the space, its bright yellow head and lower body segmented by color from its red torso. The forehead of the humanoid figure is fused with what appears to be the head of a horse, which also has a long appendage affixed behind its eye. Such layering of figures and forms creates an ambiguous sense of the subject in this image. To the right, an upside-down figure extends to the upper and lower borders of the image, one of its legs bent in a manner that resembles a curling vine. Along the left side of the image, a collection of curved black lines and a haze of fuchsia create an almost smoke-like effect that fills the space before the humanoid figure. The background is tinted in beige and gives no indication of perspectival depth, so the figures appear to share the same plane. The pictorial inventiveness and ambiguity in Marc Chagall’s Le Cirque (The Circus), from Cirque, 1967 reflects on the mystery and wonder of the different components that constitute a circus.

 

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. 515.
  2. Mourlot, Fernand. The Lithographs of Chagall, vol. II 1957-1962. Monté Carlo, 1960. Listed and illustrated as catalogue raisonné no. 515.
  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.

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