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Les Clowns Musiciens by Marc Chagall

Les Clowns Musiciens by Marc Chagall

Shapero Modern

Colour Lithograph


Edition Size: edition of 50

Image Size: 95.3 x 60.3 cm

Sheet Size: 116.8 x 75.8 cm

Reference: M. 978


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: 95.3 x 60.4 cm. (37 ½ x 23 ¾ in.), sheet: 116.8 x 75.8 cm. (46 x 29 ¾ in.)

In this piece, Chagall depicts a whimsical circus scene in which clowns, acrobats, musicians and half-man, half-animal creatures entertain the audience. Often seen as the artist’s exploration between our reality and a subconscious, dream-like state, Chagall drew inspiration from the theme of the circus throughout his life. As a child in Russia, he had been fascinated by the travelling acrobats he saw at village fairs. After he moved to Paris, the famous art dealer Ambroise Vollard regularly accompanied him to the circus, where he would sit in the audience and sketch. The chaotic and colourful atmosphere of the circus captivated the young artist. Here, he saw all aspects of life represented, from the comic to the tragic. Circus performers, with their outlandish costumes and garish make-up, were ideal characters to populate Chagall’s dream-like compositions. Chagall later said, ‘for me a circus is a magic show that appears and disappears like a world.’


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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