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Marc Chagall, Le Cirque (The Circus), from Cirque, 1967, M516

Artist: Marc Chagall (1887 - 1985)
Title:Le Cirque (The Circus), from Cirque, 1967, M516
Reference:Mourlot 516
Series:Circus Series
Medium:Color lithograph on Arches paper
Sheet:20 13/16 in x 14 3/4 in (52 cm x 37.5 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-7099

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.

 

Bathed in sapphire blue, Marc Chagall’s Le Cirque (The Circus), from Cirque, 1967 offers a richly colored and imaginative visualization of a female circus acrobat on stage. Sharing the same blue hue that illuminates the entire image, the upper body and legs of the female figure would almost meld into the background were they not distinguished by thick outlines. In contrast, the female figure’s dense white hair and floral skirt stand in stark juxtaposition to the deep blue background, creating visual confusion that places her figure an ambiguous spatial depth. Iconic figures of Chagallean topoi, such as the cock in the upper left corner, the floating head in opposite corner, and the horse at the bottom of the image, evoke a playful and dreamlike atmosphere that frame the female figure. The bright red figure of a clown springs from the bottom right corner holding a bouquet of red flowers, which adds another pop of color to the image and draws the eye back to the female figure. Framed by whimsical figures such as these, the female acrobat in Marc Chagall’s Le Cirque (The Circus), from Cirque, 1967 attests to Chagall’s romantic vision of circus performances.

 

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. 516.
  2. Mourlot, Fernand. The Lithographs of Chagall, vol. II 1957-1962. Monté Carlo, 1960. Listed and illustrated as catalogue raisonné no. 516.
  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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