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Last updated: 1/25/2017
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Masters of Modernity: People II: Chagall / Miró

For selections from the show, see:The Figure / Artist and Model / Nature / Nature2 / People / People2 / People3
Music and Dance / Biblical etchings / Chagall's Lithographs for the Bible / Chagall and Paris / Kandinsky
Unlike Picasso and Matisse, Chagall had very little interest in portraiture per se. His art is full of people, but with the exception of his paintings of his wife Bella, he portrays types—lovers, artists, Biblical figures—not individuals. Miró includes lots of "personnages," but, again, very few indivduals. The same could also be said for Léger and Magritte. Giacometti, on the other hand, drew, painted, and sculpted, his wife Annette, his mistress Caroline, his brother Diego, and his friends. They also figure prominently in his lithographs and etchings. Kandinsky moved steadily towards abstraction, transforming the forms of the real world, including those of people, into color, movement, point, and line. On this page and several linked pages, we present a sampling of works by Chagall, Miró, Léger, and Giacometti from our 2007-2008 Winter show: Masters of Modernity.
Marc Chagall (Russia 1887-1985 Paris), Lovers for Berggruen (The offering) (M. 435i/ii). Original color lithograph, 1965. Circa 1500 unsigned impressions. There are also 75 signed & numbered impressions with large margins of the second state (which includes additional drawing in the margin). Image size: 115x220mm. Price: $1,025.
Marc Chagall (Russia 1887-1985 Paris), Lovers with bouquet (M. 281a). Original color lithograph, 1960. C. 2000 unsigned impressions for Chagall Lithographe I. Image size: 325x250mm. Price: $1250.
Marc Chagall (Russia 1887-1985 Paris), The Concert (M. 176) Original color lithograph, 1957. 90 signed & numbered impressions plus 2500 unsigned impressions with centerfold as published in the deluxe art review, Derrière le Miroir. Illustrated in the 1988 Moscow Chagall Exhibition. Ours is a signed impression from the edition published in Derrière le Miroir. In The Concert, we see a scene that is like a variant on medieval or Renaissance depictions of heaven with the hosts of angels singing for the Virgin and her Son, but here it is a pair of lovers reclining in a small boat floaating down a river with the Eiffel Tower visible on the right and a mermaid swimming on the lower right while what may be a sea serpent peaceably coils about on the lower left. The choir includes a figure playing a harp as boatman, a cock top left, a ram to the right of him (in the orange area), and a bird in the yellow circle above the lovers and the harper, suggesting a dream of the total harmony of all thiings good and enjoyable. Image size: 380x560mm. Price: $2,750.
Marc Chagall (Russia 1887-1985 Paris), Harlequin with flowers (M. 578). Original color lithograph, 1969. 75 signed & numbered impressions + 10,000 unsigned impressions for the frontispiece of Chagall Lithographe III. Image size: 320x240mm. Price: $1075.
Marc Chagall (Russia 1887-1985 Paris), Paysage au coq / Landscape with rooster (M. 208). Original color lithograph, 1958. 100 signed & numbered proofs plus c. 2000 unsigned proofs as published in the deluxe art review, Derrière le Miroir in 1958. One of Chagall's most important lithographs, it depicts a marriage scene and its aftermath. In the top center, we see a bride in wedding dress, her veil lifted off her face, standing under the traditional wedding canopy; in the forground, we see the celebration of the wedding, the coq, a bouquet of flowers in his tail, has planted himself "right in the middest" of the Paradisal garden of his spouse's body. Illustrated Nice 1987. Image size: 380x560mm. Price: $3250.
Marc Chagall (Russia 1887-1985 Paris), The Bay (M. 356). Original color lithograph, 1962. 75 signed & numbered impressions + c. 2000 unsigned impressions as published in the deluxe art review, Derrière le Miroir in 1962. One of Chagall's most beautiful presentations of the power of love to lift lovers out of the world ruled by Leviathan. Illustrated in the 1988 Moscow Chagall Exhibition. Image size: 380x560mm. Price: $2950.
Joan Miró (Spanish, 1893-1983), Cahiers d'art I / Surrealist Composition I (Dupin 14). Original color pochoir, 1934. 40 signed and numbered impressions plus c. 1200 unsigned impressions . There is a full-page color reproduction of this work in Gilbert Kaplan's Surrealist Prints (NY: Abrams, 1997). A rare and beautiful print with the surface texture of a gouache. Image size: 315x245mm. Price: $7500.
Joan Miró (Spanish, 1893-1983), Cahiers d'art II / Surrealist Composition II (Dupin 15). Original color pochoir, 1934. 40 signed and numbered impressions plus c. 1200 unsigned impressions . There is a full-page color reproduction of this work in Gilbert Kaplan's Surrealist Prints (NY: Abrams, 1997). It is also reproduced on the dust jacket of the book. A rare and beautiful print with the surface texture of a gouache. Image size: 315x245mm. Price: $7800.
Joan Miró (Spanish, 1893-1983), Aidez L'Espagne! (Dupin 17). Original color pochoir, 1937. Published at the height of the Spanish Civil War as a loose insert in Cahier d'art (1937) to draw support for the Republican government, then under attack by Franco (aided by Nazi and Fascist "volunteers"). Printed by Imprimerie moderne, Paris. A rare and beautiful print with the surface texture of a gouache, color fresh and unfaded, in excellent condition. During the Museum of Modern Art's 100th anniversary exhibition for Miro, they also mounted a small print show. This print was reproduced on the cover of their brochure in black and white; in 1999, when they mounted a large exhibition to celebrate their acquisition of Miro's first series of 8 "Red and Black" etchings, they again included this work and Art on Paper reproduced it in color in their feature about the show. Not to be outdone, the Metropolitan Museum of Art reproduced it in full color on the cover of their March-April 2007 Calendar. One of Miro's most important works (one of 60 signed impressions was recently offered for sale for $49,500). Signed in the plate. Image size: 315x245mm. Price: $7800.
Joan Miró (Spanish, 1893-1983), Femme pour XXè Siecle (Dupin 40). Original color linocut, 1938. Edition size unknown (c. 1200 unsigned impression published in XXème Siecle, 1938. Signed in the block. A beautiful fresh impression. Although Miró was later to do many woodcuts, this is his first and only linocut. There is a reduced size reproduction of this work in different colors in Sam Hunter's book on Miro's Prints. Image size: 315x245mm. Price: $4850.
Joan Miró (Spanish, 1893-1983), Le Miroir secret du feu et du froid (Dupin 980). Original etching, aquatint, and carborundum, 1977. 60 signed and numbered impressions on Rives and printed in Paris by Fequet & Baudier; published by Gérald Cramer, Geneva. Published as an "Hommage á San Lazzaro," the central motif in this print comes from a 1938 linocut Miro executed for the deluxe art review, XXe Siecle (see Miro1930s), founded and edited by San Lazzaro. Image size: 305x232mm. Price: $13,500.
Joan Miró (Spanish, 1893-1983), Figure on a blue background (M. 244). Original color lithograph, 1957. 75 signed & numbered impressions + c. 1200 unsigned impressions for XXe Siecle. One of Miro's most beautiful lithographs on this theme, it was reproduced (via photo-liothography) on the cover of the Christmas 1960 issue of XXe Siecle and inside the review, but this is the original lithograph from 1957. Image size: 314x243mm. Price: $1650.

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