Le coq bleu ou Le rêve du village

Marc Chagall

(Liozna, 1887 - Saint Paul de Vence, 1985)
Gouache, pastel and black pencil on paper 84 x 77 cm (33 x 30.3 in.) Signed lower left 'Chagall Marc' and label on the back 'Biennale de Venise, 1958' circa 1955-58

Moishe Zakharovich Chagalov, known by the name Marc Chagall, was born in Vitebsk in Belarus. He did not arrive in Paris until 1910 where he met Blaise Cendrars, Robert Delaunay, Fernand Léger and Guillaume Apollinaire. He was greatly inspired by Fauvism, Cubism and Russian Expressionism although he did not join any movement.

He exhibited his first works at the "Salon des Indépendants" in 1914 as well as in the Der Sturm Gallery in Berlin alongside Paul Klee and Alfred Kubin that same year. After returning to Belarus he became involved in the artistic life of his homeland and ran the art school at Vitebsk. When he came back to Paris in 1923 he met the famous art dealer Ambroise Vollard who commissioned some 30 gouaches and etchings.

In 1941 he left for the Untied States but returned in 1947 and he spent his final years in Saint-Paul de Vence in the south of France.

The subject shows one of the themes Chagall loved so much: his native town of Vitebsk which he never ceased painting. Here everything is depicted as a sort of dream. The artist returns to the subjects that are dear to him such as the blue cock, an allusion to virile love and renewal; the fish is a reminder of Chagall's father who sold herrings; the gentle and peaceful donkey represents the artist himself and the flowers a young bride. The woman holding the bouquet represents Chagall's great love, Bella, whom he married in 1915.

This gouache was carried out when Chagall was at the height of his art and career as his diary shows - it was filled with exhibitions and public commissions from all around the world.

The intensity of the colours and the artist's clear and vivid strokes make this fresh and exciting composition a major work in the Chagall corpus which the Committee wishes to lend to future exhibitions.

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Bailly Gallery Geneva-Paris

"European Paintings, Drawings & Sculpture from 1870 onwards, American Paintings from 1870 onwards, Sculpture & Works of Art (including Jewelry, Textiles, Arms & Armor, Clocks, Ceramics, Glass and Silver) from 1870 onwards"

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