Marc Chagall, ‘ Chloe’s Kiss, from: Daphnis and Chloe | Le Baiser de Chloé’, 1961, Gilden's Art Gallery

This original lithograph in colours is hand signed in pencil by the artist "Marc Chagall" at the lower right margin.
It is hand numbered in pencil "19/60" at the lower left margin.
This is one of the 42 plates that are part of the Daphnis and Chloe series of Marc Chagall.
Our impression is from the deluxe edition of 60 hand signed and numbered impressions.
There was a further book edition (not signed, not numbered and without margins of 250 impressions)
It was published by Tériade Éditeur, Paris in 1961.
The paper bears the Arches watermark.

The story of Daphnis and Chloe, a pastoral elegy attributed to the 3rd century Greek poet Longus, dates from the second century A.D.
It is a classical romance involving the adventures of two foundling children raised by adopted parents who are humble shepherds in the idyllic setting of the Isle of Lesbos.
The discovery of the infants who have been left exposed takes place at different times, but in both circumstances their clothing and rich tokens found with them suggest the foundlings may be of noble birth. In each instance the shepherd who finds the baby is alone and tempted to steal their treasure and leave them to fate, but instead bows to the paternal instinct to nurture and raise the child as his own.
As Daphnis and Chloe grow to be young adults tending their adopted parents' sheep and goats on the sun-drenched Grecian hillsides and pastures, they discover that their friendship is turning to love but in their innocence they do not know how to proceed.
Together they experience many trials and tribulations, protected throughout by the god Pan, before finally realizing their true fate.
Daphnis and Chloe has served through the ages as the inspiration for nearly every love story that has followed including Romeo and Juliet.

In 1959 Efstratios Tériade, the publisher of the vastly influential 20th century art review Verve, approached Chagall suggesting to him that he undertake a new project, illustration of the prose romance Daphnis & Chloe.
The idea of reviving and illustrating this story, which had been widely popular primarily in France and England throughout the 17th and 18th centuries, is one that greatly appealed to Chagall.
He began his preparation by making two trips to Greece, traveling there to absorb the inspiration of the Greek landscape. Over the course of three years Chagall worked on this project creating forty-two lithographs. These has since been heralded as one of Chagall's greatest graphic achievement. In the introduction to the set in the Mourlot catalogue raisonné it is referred to as “the most important graphic work that Marc Chagall has created thus far."

Literature:

  1. Mourlot, F. & Sorlier, C. (1998). Chagall: The Lithographs (Catalogue Raisonne). D.A.P./Distributed Art Publishers, Inc.
    Reference: Mourlot 316
  2. Cramer, P. (1995). The Illustrated Books of Marc Chagall. Geneva: Galerie Cramer.
    Reference: Cramer 46

Condition: Excellent condition. Remains of hinging tape, verso.

About Marc Chagall

Honored for his distinct style and pioneering role among Jewish artists, Marc Chagall painted dream-like subjects rooted in personal history and Eastern European folklore. He worked in several mediums, including painting, printmaking, and book illustration, and his stained glass windows can be seen in New York, France, and Jerusalem. Chagall arrived in Paris in 1910 and began experimenting with Cubism, befriending painters Robert Delaunay and Fernand Léger. Chagall’s style has been described as a hybrid of Cubism, Fauvism, and Symbolism, and his supernatural subjects are thought to have significantly influenced the Surrealists. Though he actively engaged in the Parisian artistic community, art for Chagall was first and foremost a means of personal expression. He preferred to be considered separately from other artists, his imagery and allegory uniquely his own.

Russian-French, 1887-1985, Vitebsk, Belarus