MARC CHAGALL (1887-1985)
Le magicien de Paris I
signed 'Marc Chagall' in pencil (lower right), inscribed 'lithographie aquarelle et collage' (lower left)
gouache with printed fabric collage on lithograph in black, on wove paper
Executed in November 1967
Sheet 964 x 705 mm.
see Mourlot 597a
Post Lot Text
The Comité Marc Chagall has confirmed the authenticity of this work.
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Lot Essay

The present lot is a rare proof extensively reworked by the artist in gouache with printed fabric collage and gives a fascinating insight into the artist's creative process. The master printer Charles Sorlier, with whom Chagall collaborated at the legendary Imprimerie Mourlot from the early 1950s until his death in 1985, described the artist’s method in making lithographs as follows:

Chagall normally begins the process of producing a lithograph by drawing a composition in black on stone, zinc or transfer paper…The black is nearly always the complete skeleton of the work. After printing some proofs, he adds colour, in watercolour or pastel, thus permitting himself a choice between several versions. The maquette established, Chagall then executes the principal plates.
Next he and I do our colour tests at the printing press, tests which are subsequently submitted to him. He nearly always goes over them again, correcting them and adding other tones. New trial proofs are usually necessary before the definitive adjustments. Only when he finds the proof entirely to his satisfaction does he sign the order to print [the edition]." (C. Sorlier, Chagall Lithographs, 1974-79, Monte Carlo, 1984, p. 12).

Chagall used this motif for the poster of his exhibition at the Grand Palais in 1969-70.

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