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Last updated: 1/25/2017
Home / Gallery Tour 1 / The Worlds of Marc Chagall / Gallery Tour 2 / Artists
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Chagall: 1956 Bible lithographs, page 2

Our Chagall pages are arranged thematically and/or by series and illustrate over 200 different etchings and lithographs.
Clicking on the links will bring you to one or more pages on that subject.

Paris / Paris2 / The Village / The Circus / Circus 2 / Lovers / Lovers 2 / Music / Music 2
Flowers / Flowers 2 / Self Portraits / Self Portraits 2

Dead Souls (1923-27) / Dead Souls 2 / Dead Souls 3 / Dead Souls 4 / Dead Souls 5 / Maternité (1925-26) /
Fables of La Fontaine (1927-30) / Fables 2 / De Mauvais Sujets (1958) / Et sur la terre (1977)

Chagall and the Bible
Etchings for the Bible (1930-39, 1952-56) / Bible Etchings 2 / Bible Etchings 3
1956 Verve Lithographs for the Bible / 1956 Bible Lithographs 2
1960 Verve Lithographs for Drawings for the Bible / 1960 Bible Lithographs 2 / 1960 Bible Lithographs 3
The Story of the Exodus (1966) / Exodus 2 / The Jerusalem Windows (1962) / Other Biblical Subjects

Chagall in black and white / Signed Chagall Etchings and Lithographs
Original Chagall Posters

Review, 12/10/03 Rhythm Section (an entertainment guide jointly produced by the Wisconsin State Journal and the Capital Times)
In 1956, the etchings on Biblical themes that Chagall had begun for Vollard in 1930, left unpublished (though printed and stored) when he escaped from the Gestapo in 1939, were finally published by the Swiss publisher Teriade, augmented by the pieces that Chagall had added between 1952 and 1956. To celebrate the occasion, Teriade commissioned a set of lithographs on Biblical themes for a special number of the deluxe art review Verve (also published by Teriade) that included heliogravure reproductions of all of Chagall's Bible etchings. The result was some of the most intense color lithographs that Chagall ever made. These lithographs (12 of which have an additional black-and-white lithograph printed on the reverse) show Chagall revelling in color but always sensitive to the themes of the stories he picks to illustrate. In addition to the edition of 6500 published in Verve (from which ours came), there was also a deluxe edition of 75 on paper with largin margins signed and numbered by Chagall.
David and Bathsheba (M. 132). Original color lithograph, 1956. 75 signed and numbered impressions plus 6500 unsigned impressions as ours. Illustrated in the catalogue for the 1973 Musee National Message Biblique Marc Chagall inauguration. This is a very hard piece to find. One of Chagall's most important prints, it tends to get full page illustrations in books that present most of Chagall's works in smaller illustrations. It is reproduced in color on the rear cover of Charles Sorlier, Chagall: Le Livre des livres / Illustrated Books. It is also reproduced full-size in color as the frontispiece of the book and again full-size and in color on page 207 to illustrate the 1956 Issue of Verve devoted to The Bible. Image size: 355x260mm. Price: $6500.
David with his harp (M. 133). Original color lithograph, 1956. 75 signed and numbered impressions plus 6500 unsigned impressions as ours. Illustrated in the catalogue for the 1973 Musee National Message Biblique Marc Chagall inauguration. Our impression was recently illustrated on the cover of Anthony Phillips, David: A Story of Passion and Tragedy (London: SPCK, 2008). Image size: 355x260mm. Price: $2850.
David Mourning Absalom (M. 134). Original color lithograph, 1956. 75 signed and numbered impressions plus 6500 unsigned impressions as ours. Illustrated in the catalogue for the 1973 Musee National Message Biblique Marc Chagall inauguration. Image size: 355x260mm. Price: $2850.
Solomon (M. 131). Original color lithograph, 1956. 75 signed and numbered impressions plus 6500 unsigned impressions as ours. Illustrated in the catalogue for the 1973 Musee National Message Biblique Marc Chagall inauguration. Image size: 355x260mm. Price: $2075.
Jeremiah (M. 139). Original color lithograph, 1956. 75 signed and numbered impressions plus 6500 unsigned impressions as ours. Illustrated in the catalogue for the 1973 Musee National Message Biblique Marc Chagall inauguration. Image size: 355x260mm. Price: $1,975.
Jeremiah's Lamentations (M. 140). Original color lithograph, 1956. 75 signed and numbered impressions plus 6500 unsigned impressions as ours. Illustrated in the catalogue for the 1973 Musee National Message Biblique Marc Chagall inauguration. Image size: 355x260mm. Price: $1,975.
Isaiah (M. 141). Original color lithograph, 1956. 75 signed and numbered impressions plus 6500 unsigned impressions as ours. Illustrated in the catalogue for the 1973 Musee National Message Biblique Marc Chagall inauguration. Image size: 355x260mm. Price: $1,875.
1956 marked the end of a long artistic journey for Chagall. In 1930, Ambroise Vollard had invited him to make a set of etchings for the Bible. After a trip to Palestine, Chagall began to work, creating 105 etchings between 1931 and 1939 and completed bertween 1952 and 1956, which were ulitmately published by Teriade in 1956 in a dual edition: 295 black-and-white etchings for the book edition (each of the books were signed; none of the prints in the regular edition, included unbound in their own removable folder, were signed) and a separate deluxe edition of 100 hand-painted etchings by Chagall that were signed and numbered (see above for an example). To celebrate the completion of this long awaited project, Teriade, the publisher of Chagall's three great artist's books—The Dead Souls (1948), The Fables of La Fontaine (1952), and The Bible, who was also the publisher of the deluxe art review, Verve, persuaded Chagall to create 17 color lithographs on the theme of the Bible as well as 12 original black and white lithographs that were printed on the reverse side of the lithographs devoted to Moses, David and Solomon, and the prophets Jeremiah, Isaiah, and Daniel for a special number of Verve devoted to Chagall's Bible etchings. These twelve black-and-white lithographs were also issued in an edition of 75 on large sheets of Arches paper, but only five of them were pencil-signed and numbered by Chagall, one of which is Isaiah ddivinely inspired (M. 141). Edition: circa 6500 unsigned impressions printed on the verso of Isaiah (M. 146) and 75 signed and numbered impressions on Arches paper of which ours is n. 45. Image size: 403x305mm. Price: $8500.
The scene illustrates Isaiah 6:1-8:

In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, high and lofty; and the hem of his robe filled the temple. Seraphs were in attendance above him; each had six wings: with two they covered their faces, and with two they covered their feet, and with two they flew. And one called to another and said:
‘Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts;
the whole earth is full of his glory.’
The pivots on the thresholds shook at the voices of those who called, and the house filled with smoke. And I said: ‘Woe is me! I am lost, for I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips; yet my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts!’  Then one of the seraphs flew to me, holding a live coal that had been taken from the altar with a pair of tongs. The seraph touched my mouth with it and said: ‘Now that this has touched your lips, your guilt has departed and your sin is blotted out.’ Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, ‘Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?’ And I said, ‘Here am I; send me!’
Daniel in the Lion's Den (M. 142). Original color lithograph, 1956. 75 signed and numbered impressions plus 6500 unsigned impressions as ours. Illustrated in the catalogue for the 1973 Musee National Message Biblique Marc Chagall inauguration. Image size: 355x260mm. Price: $1,675.

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