MARC CHAGALL (Belarussian-French 1887-1985)
    Femme au bouquet, circa 1960s-70s
    Colored crayons on Japon paper
    26-3/4 x 20-1/2 inches (68 x 52 cm)
    Signed at lower right in brown crayon: Marc Chagall

    Sale, Sotheby's, London, 24 March 1999, Lot 82, to the following;
    Crow Art Partnership collection (Dallas, Texas)

    In 1923, after witnessing the enormous toll Germany's aggression had taken on his native Vitebsk, Belarussia, Marc Chagall went into exile and settled in Paris where he was embraced by the avant-garde artists of the day. In Paris Chagall found a freedom of artistic expression that he would not have found in his country, yet he felt strongly that his work reflected his homeland. Chagall thrived in Paris during the 1920s and 30s.

    After the war Chagall settled along the Cote d'Azur where he was inspired by the lush gardens and topography of the region. In 1952 Chagall married Russian-born Valentia Brodsky (Vada). She was his model for many of the subsequent floral bouquet and lover themed compositions.

    Marc Chagall was a compulsive draftsman who was equally attracted to color and line. During the later decades of his career, drawing took on a new importance for him, and with it came a lighter and sparer line. Despite Chagall's tendency to work with a rather restricted set of imagery, it is possible nonetheless, to date his efforts on the basis of style, compositional arrangements of motifs, and choice of media and way of manipulating them. The present work, Femme au bouquet, has a nimbler touch in its use of materials. In contrast to his paintings, which the artist tended to work over at length, Chagall's late drawings are more spontaneous and playful. In Femme au Bouquet, his favorite motifs are present-the woman, the bouquet, the goat, and the embracing couple-but are sometimes superimposed upon one another in a childlike manner. The sumptuous bouquets found throughout his oeuvre are never still lifes but exuberant explosions of sweetly colored blossoms that no actual vase could ever contain. Chagall often explained that as he was developing a drawing, he would turn it sideways and even upside-down to see whether the image was more successful in another orientation. In this drawing, Chagall worked solely with colored crayons-a medium generally associated only with children's art. Very likely he seems to have drawn the central figure of a woman with a bouquet and the goat first, then to have reversed the sheet of paper to sketch the head at the bottom as well as the floating couple. A notable feature of this drawing is the use of a Japanese paper, which has a semi-translucent quality much like the ethereal image itself.

    This lot is accompanied by a letter of authenticity.

    Condition Report*:

    excellent condition, strong color with no apparent restoration

    *Heritage Auctions strives to provide as much information as possible but encourages in-person inspection by bidders. Statements regarding the condition of objects are only for general guidance and should not be relied upon as complete statements of fact, and do not constitute a representation, warranty or assumption of liability by Heritage. Please note that we do not de-frame lots estimated at $1,000 or less and may not be able to provide additional details for lots valued under $500. All lots are sold "AS IS" under the Terms & Conditions of Auction.

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    Auction Dates
    May, 2007
    25th Friday
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