Marc Chagall, Illustrations for the Bible, with Original Color Drawing of Moses For Sale
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Marc Chagall, Illustrations for the Bible, with Original Color Drawing of Moses

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First American edition, inscribed by Chagall and with stunning original full-page color drawing of Moses receiving the tablets on title page. With important provenance. ”If we had nothing of Chagall but his Bible he would be for us a great modern artist... In accomplishing this work, he has surmounted, then, what seem to be the limits of his own and perhaps of all modern art.” -Meyer Schapiro The astonishing original Chagall drawing, which fills nearly the entire title page (10.5x14 inches) depicts Moses receiving the Ten Commandments with an angel to his side. On the right border a dove emerges from a tree and above all is a rich, blue sky. Composed with orange, blue, and green crayons, pencil, and ink. Complete with 16 lithographs in color, 12 in black and white, plus the lithograph cover, all specially created for this book. Also illustrated with reproductions in heliogravure of the 105 etchings made by Chagall for the illustrations of the Bible. Provenance: Inscribed by Chagall: “Pour Lenette et George Nayor --> NJ 1966 Marc Chagall” and from the collection of Herman Krawitz, former assistant general manager of the Metropolitan Opera House. Krawitz was the son-in-law of the dedicatees Lenette and George Nayor. “Herman Krawitz worked for the Metropolitan Opera for nineteen years, with nine of those years as Assistant General Manager. During this time he worked closely with Marc Chagall... In 1966, Chagall painted two monumental murals for the outside of the Metropolitan Opera in New York... On display in the lobby, the murals are approximately 30 ft (9.1 m) by 36 ft (11 m) and visible to the outside plaza. The south wall holds the work entitled The Triumph of Music while the north wall contains The Sources of Music” (Llyn Towner, “Herman Krawitz ‘Working with Chagall’”). Note: The inscription is dated 1966, the same year Krawitz was working with Chagall on the murals. New York: Harcourt, Brace and Company, 1956. Folio, original pictorial (lithographed) boards, original dust jacket. Book with tape residue to endpapers, otherwise book and lithographs fine; extremely scarce dust jacket (almost never seen) with chipping, edgewear, and damage to spine. Housed in a stunning custom box by noted book artist Sjoerd Hofstra. A remarkable, original Chagall work.

Details

  • Condition
    Good
  • Condition Details
    The drawing is exceptionally clean and bright.
  • Wear
    Wear consistent with age and use.
  • Dimensions
    H 14 in. x W 1 in. x D 10.5 in.H 35.56 cm x W 2.54 cm x D 26.67 cm
  • Seller Location
    New York, NY
  • Reference Number
    LU905712462643
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About Marc Chagall (Artist)

Described by art critic Robert Hughes as "the quintessential Jewish artist of the twentieth century," the Russian-French modernist Marc Chagall worked in nearly every artistic medium. Influenced by Symbolism, Fauvism, Cubism and Surrealism, he developed his own, distinctive style, combining avant-garde techniques and motifs with elements drawn from Eastern European Jewish folk art.


Born Moishe Segal in 1887, in Belarus (then part of the Russian empire), Chagall is often celebrated for his figurative paintings, but he also produced stained-glass windows for the cathedrals of Reims and Metz, in France; for the United Nations, in New York; and for the Hadassah Hospital in Jerusalem, as well as book illustrations, stage sets, ceramics, tapestries and fine-art prints. Characterized by a bold color palette and whimsical imagery, his works are often narrative, depicting small-village scenes and quotidian moments of peasant life, as in his late painting The Flight into Egypt, from 1980.


Before World War I, Chagall traveled between St. Petersburg, Paris and Berlin. When the conflict broke out, he returned to Soviet-occupied Belarus, where he founded the Vitebsk Arts College before leaving again for Paris in 1922. He fled to the United States during World War II but in 1947 returned to France, where he spent the rest of his life. His peripatetic career left its mark on his style, which was distinctly international, incorporating elements from each of the cultures he experienced. Marc Chagall remains one of the past century’s most respected talents.

About the Seller

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