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Marc Chagall, Le Cirque (The Circus), from Cirque, 1967, M521

Artist: Marc Chagall (1887 - 1985)
Title:Le Cirque (The Circus), from Cirque, 1967, M521
Reference:Mourlot 521
Series:Circus Series
Medium:Color lithograph on Arches paper
Sheet:20 7/16 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-7102

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 features a female circus performer posed with poise against a background filled with spectators and other circus figures. Holding a fan across her chest, the centralized female figure juxtaposes the busy scene behind her with a calm, distant gaze. Clumps of circles scattered in the background on either side of the female figure allude to the presence of an audience. In the upper right corner of the image, a cluster of figures with various musical instruments alludes to the auditory experience of circus performances. At the opposite corner, a figure clad in red sits atop a bar suspended by two lines on either end, evoking the image of a circus acrobat posed on a trapeze. Typical of Chagallean topoi, the horse-and-cock-headed animal at the base of the image adds an element of the absurd and contributes to the lively background. The overarching blue-green hue of Marc Chagall’s Le Cirque (The Circus), from Cirque, 1967 casts the image in a dreamlike that romanticizes the beauty and elegance of the female circus performer and circus performances overall.

 

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. 521.
  2. Mourlot, Fernand. The Lithographs of Chagall, vol. II 1957-1962. Monté Carlo, 1960. Listed and illustrated as catalogue raisonné no. 521.
  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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