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La Joie by Marc Chagall

La Joie by Marc Chagall

Shapero Modern

Colour Lithograph


Edition Size: edition of 50

Image Size: 94.9 x 61.9 cm

Sheet Size: 115.9 x 75.3 cm

Reference: M. 976


Condition: Excellent

Details — Click to read

Lithograph in colours, 1980, on Arches paper, signed in pencil, numbered from the edition of 50, published by Maeght Editeur, Paris, image: 94.9 x 61.9 cm. (37 3/8 x 24 3/8 in.), sheet: 115.9 x 75.3 cm. (45 5/8 29 5/8 in.)

La Joie portrays the scene of a joyful celebration of love in Paris, the city in which Chagall spent the formative and central years of his artistic career, from 1910-14 and again from 1923-40. The embracing couple tower over the iconic Seine river, which they appear to float above. It is thought that they represent the artist and his childhood love and first wife Bella, who was a constant in both his life and his work, even after her death in 1944. Encircled by various figures and angelic beings, a fiddler laying at the bottom of the image is most significant. This figure of a fiddler is often present in Chagall’s portrayals of his home town, Vitebsk, where the fiddler traditionally made music for the major occasions of life, such as a marriage, which is perhaps what we are meant to be witnessing in this scene. Although an ode to love and joy, the hues of pastel blue create a sense of melancholia and nostalgia in this otherwise romantic scene.

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The Artist

Marc Chagall

Marc Chagall began using printmaking techniques when he was 35 years old. He produced a lot of lithographs, etchings, and woodcuts while residing in Berlin, Germany, during the time. The art dealer Vollard hired Chagall in 1923 to illustrate the Bible, La Fontaine’s Fables, and The Dead Souls by Gogol.

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