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Russian-born painter, printmaker and designer Marc Chagall was one of the greatest figurative artists of the twentieth century. Chagall’s later career is defined by his major public commissions, most notably his monumental stained-glass windows for significant buildings in both Europe and the United States.

‘The landscapes, the figures of Cézanne, Manet, Monet, Seurat, Renoir, Van Gogh, Fauvism, and many other things overwhelmed me. These attracted me to Paris like a phenomenon of nature.’


Prolific throughout the twentieth century, Chagall’s works portray the world with a dreamlike simplicity and a fusion of fantasy and nostalgia, anchored by an astounding sense of colour and of the atmospheric effects of light. Having started his artistic career in Russia, in 1923 Chagall moved permanently to France where he would mix with leading Fauvist, Cubist and Surrealist artists. As well as painting, in his later years Chagall continued to design for the theatre and in the late 1950s he started working with stained glass, including major commissions in cathedrals throughout Europe and for the United Nations in New York.

‘I am often asked: what do you call colour and its chemistry? The same can be said about colour as is said about music: The depth of colour goes through the eyes and remains within the soul, in the same way that music enters the ear and stays in the soul.’


Grand Bouquet de renoncules, 1968

Marc Chagall

As in many of Marc Chagall’s most distinguished and best-known canvases, Grand Bouquet de renoncules from 1968 is a celebratory yet tender embodiment of love. The pastel, gouache and oil painting demonstrates the extraordinary use of evocative colour for which Chagall is celebrated. As Pablo Picasso espoused, ‘When Matisse dies, Chagall will be the

Les Deux Bouquets , 1950

Marc Chagall

Marc Chagall settled in Vence in 1950, and would live in this area of the South of France for the last three decades of his life. The inscription on Les Deux Bouquets, ‘Vence 1950’, identifies this as one of the first paintings Chagall created in his new home. The flowers are painted delicately with a faithfulness to the true colours of the petals. Flowers were a prevalent subject in Chagall’s art, evoking joy, love, but also the melancholy of memories. Though he often used colour irrespective of the diverse elements of a composition

‘When Matisse dies, Chagall will be the only painter left who understands what colour is … His canvases are really painted, not just tossed together. Some of the last things he’s done in Vence convince me that there’s never been anybody since Renoir who has the feeling for light that Chagall has.’