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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 Etchings for Maternité (1925-1926)

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 Posters

Review, 12/10/03 Rhythm Section (an entertainment guide jointly produced by the Wisconsin State Journal and the Capital Times)
Maternité was an early work, done while Chagall was finishing up his etchings for the Dead Souls and before he began work on his etchings for The Fables of La Fontaine. The story begins with a young woman being shunned by the whole village because she had given birth to a child and left its dead body in a deserted place. After an investigation she is not charged with a crime but she is shamed by her neighbors. The first plate shows her with a policeman who is escorting her through her village: she is being mocked, shunned, and the subject of scandal. The second shows her giving birth alone, lying on the floor next to a naked infant showing no signs of life. The third plate shows a scene of tremendous violence as her father beats her with a chair beneath a wildly swinging chandelier. The fourth plate shows her in bed with a young man, and the fifth plate shows him climbing into her bedroom through an open window. In short, we begin at the end and end at the chronological beginning of the events of the narrative.

The etchings were published in a book published by Sans Pareil, a small avant-garde French publisher, in 1926. There were 960 copies: 765 examples on Velin Lamufa de Voiron (of which ours is one), 80 on Dutch laid paper, 60 on Dutch laid paper with a separate suite of the etchings, 20 reserved for the Amis du Sans Pareil with two separate suites, one on Japon and one on vellum, and 35 on Japon, also with two separate suites. All told, there were 1130 impressions of each etching on Japon or Butten papers.

Bibliography: Patrick Cramer, Marc Chagall: The Illustrated Books (Geneva: Patrick Cramer Publisher, 1995); E. W. Kornfeld, Verzeichnis der Kupferstiche, Radierungen und Holzschnitte: Band I: Werke 11922-1966 (Bern: Verlag Kornfeld und Klipstein, 1970); Charles Sorlier, Le Livre des Livres / The Illustrated Books (Monte Carlo: Editions André Sauret, 1990). Cramer and Kornfeld illustrate all five of the etchings and Sorlier illustrates two.
Maternité / Motherhood I: Honte / Disgrace (Kornfeld 65, Cramer 5, Sorlier, p. 20-21). Original etching and drypoint, 1925-1926. 1130 unsigned impressions on various papers; ours is one of 765 on Velin Lamufa de Voiron. Full page illustration in Sorlier. Image size: 143x102mm. Price: $1750.
Maternité / Motherhood II: Naissance / Birth (Kornfeld 66, Cramer 5, Sorlier, p. 20). Original etching and drypoint, 1925-1926. 1130 unsigned impressions on various papers; ours is one of 765 on Velin Lamufa de Voiron. Full page illustration in Sorlier. Image size: 136x98mm. Price: $1750.
Maternité / Motherhood III: La rixe / strife (Kornfeld 67, Cramer 5, Sorlier, p. 20). Original etching and drypoint, 1925-1926. 1130 unsigned impressions on various papers; ours is one of 765 on Velin Lamufa de Voiron. Image size: 150x100mm. Price: $1750.
Maternité / Motherhood IV: Couple au lit / Cople in bed (Kornfeld 68, Cramer 5, Sorlier, p. 20). Original etching and drypoint, 1925-1926. 1130 unsigned impressions on various papers; ours is one of 765 on Velin Lamufa de Voiron. Image size: 151x103mm. Price: $2000.
Maternité / Motherhood V: La visite par la fenêtre / Visit viia the window (Kornfeld 69, Cramer 5, Sorlier, p. 20). Original etching, aquatint, and drypoint, 1925-1926. 1130 unsigned impressions on various papers; ours is one of 765 on Velin Lamufa de Voiron. Image size: 151x103mm. Price: $2000.

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