Marc Chagall - Editions & Works on Paper New York Monday, October 24, 2022 | Phillips

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  • In Daphnis et Chloé, Marc Chagall beautifully illustrated the timeless pastoral romance by the ancient Greek poet Longus. Since the artist’s first, and highly successful, attempt at color lithography in 1948 when he illustrated four tales from Arabian Nights, Chagall had continued to demonstrate his mastery of the medium and unparalleled talent of enhancing these evocative stories though large portfolios of vibrant imagery. The versatile printing technique of lithography allowed Chagall to seamlessly integrate his signature artistic style of loose brushwork, deep colors, and rich layering of color into the prints. As he built up texture and lush scenes on individually inked plates, Chagall transported this ancient story into the world of his printmaking.
    "I have always painted pictures where human love floods my colors." —Marc ChagallThe enchanting tale of Daphnis et Chloé recounts the romantic journey between two soulmates, the goatherd Daphnis and the shepherdess Chloe, set on the Greek Isle of Lesbos. The love story deals with themes of young love, innocence, and fate as well as the determination to overcome thrilling obstacles such as the interference of the Gods and an abduction at the hands of pirates. Ultimately, however, love conquers all and the two protagonists eventually marry and live out their idyllic country lives. The whimsical nature of the romantic adventure was magnificently interpretated throughout Chagall’s expressive and dream-like scenes.


    Maurice Ravel's Daphnis et Chloé album cover. Artwork: © 2022 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris

    In 1952, Tériade, a great friend to and supporter of the artist, commissioned Chagall to illustrate the Greek legend of Daphnis et Chloé. Tériade was one of the most significant art publishers of the 20th century, in addition to Chagall he commissioned and published work from artists such as Pablo Picasso and Henri Matisse, and he would eventually publish this series of lithographs. This set of prints was not the first time Chagall had the opportunity to interpret the tale of Daphnis et Chloé. Three years earlier, the Paris Opera requested that Chagall design the sets and costumes for Ravel’s ballet of Daphnis et Chloé. The artist’s experience with the ballet clearly emerges in his fluid and elegant portrayal of the figures in his lithographs. Above all, Chagall was inspired by his extended honeymoon travels through Greece in 1952, producing pastel drawings and gouache paintings of his sun-soaked Mediterranean surroundings. Upon his return to Paris, Chagall used these preparatory studies to collaborate with renowned lithographer Fernand Mourlot and over the following nine years the pair produced the complete series of 42 lithographs that would become one of Chagall’s most significant illustrated books. 


     Marc and Valentina Chagall, Athens, 1952-1954. Image: © 2022 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris


    • Literature

      Fernand Mourlot 308-349
      Patrick Cramer books 46

    • Catalogue Essay

      Including: Daphnis et Chloé – Frontispice; Découverte de Daphnis Par Lamo; Découverte de Chloé par Daphnis; Songe de Lamon et de Dryas; Le Piége a Loups; Daphnis et Chloé au Bord de la Fontaine; Printemps au Pré; Le Jugement de Chloé; Le Baiser de Chloé; La Ruse de Dorcon; A Midi; L’été L’arondelle; La Mort de Dorcon; La Caverne Des Nymphes; Les Vendanges; La Leçon de Philétas; Les Jeunes Gens de Méthymne; Le Songe de Daphnis et les Nymphes; Le Verger de Philétas; Enlévement de Chloé; Le Songe du Capitaine Bryaxis; La Chasse aux Oiseaux; Sacrifice aux Nymphes; Banquet de Pan; La Fabel de Syringe; L’Hiver; Les Repas Chez Dryas; Le Printemps; Daphnis et Lycénion; La Saison D’été; Le Dauphin Mort et les Trois Cents Écus; Chloé; L’écho; Le Verger; Les Fleurs Saccagées; Daphnis et Gnathon; Arrivée de Dionysophane; Chloé Vêtue et Coiffé Par Cléariste; Temple et Histoire de Bacchus; Mégaclès Reconnait sa Fille Pendant le Festin; Festine Nuptial Dans la Grotte des Nymphes and Hymènèe.


Daphnis et Chloé (Daphne and Chloe) (M. 308-349, C. bks 46)

The complete set of 42 lithographs in colors, on Arches paper, the full sheets, some folded and loose (as issued), with text in French by Longus, title pages and justification all within the original paper folios with printed titles, cream colored imitation parchment paper covered portfolios and slipcase, all contained within the dark blue linen covered portfolio.
26 S. 16 5/8 x 12 5/8 in. (42.2 x 32.1 cm)
16 unfolded S. 16 5/8 x 25 1/8 in. (42.2 x 63.8 cm)
portfolio 18 7/8 x 14 1/2 x 5 1/4 in. (47.9 x 36.8 x 13.3 cm)

Signed in pencil and numbered 116 (printed) on the justification page (the edition was 250, there were also 20 artist's proofs in Roman numerals and an edition of 60 with margins all signed and numbered), published by Tériade Editeur, Paris.

Full Cataloguing

$120,000 - 180,000 

Sold for $151,200

Contact Specialist

212 940 1220

Editions & Works on Paper

New York Auction 24 - 26 October 2022