Marc Chagall, ‘Le Cirque (The Circus)’, 1967, Phillips

Portfolio: 17 3/4 x 13 5/8 x 2 3/8 in. (45.1 x 34.6 x 6 cm)

Signed in pencil on the justification, copy number VI of 250 (there was also a signed edition of 24 with margins), published by Tériade Editeur, Paris.

From the Catalogue:
Pour moi un cirque est un spectacle magique qui passe et fond comme un monde.

For me a circus is a magical spectacle that passes and melts like a world.

C'est un mot magique le cirque, un jeu millenaire qui se danse, ou les hommes et les sourires, le jeu des jambes et des bras prennent la forme d'un grand art. Le cirque est la representation qui me semble la plus tragique. A travers les siecles, c'est le cri le plus aigu dans la recherche de l'amusement et de la joie de l'homme. Il prend souvent la forme de la haute poesie. Il me semble voir un Don Quichotte a la recherche d'un ideal comme ce clown genial qui a pleure et reve de l'amour humain.

It is a magic world the circus, a millennial game that dances, or men and smiles, the play of legs and arms take the form of a great art. The circus is the representation that seems to me the most tragic. Through centuries, is the most sharp cry in the search for the amusement and joy of man. It often takes the form of high poetry. I seem to see a Don Quixote in search of an ideal like this genial clown who has wept and dreams of human love.

Mon cirque se joue dans le ciel. Il se joue dans les nuages, parmi les chaises. Se joue dans la fenetre ou se reflete la lune. Dans la rue passe un homme. Il eteint les lumieres des reverberes de la ville. La representation est finie.

My circus is played in the sky. It is played in the clouds among the chairs. Is played in the window upon which the moon is reflecting. In the street passes a man. He extinguished the lights of the city's lamp posts. The performance is over.
Courtesy of Phillips

Fernand Mourlot 490-527
Patrick Cramer Books 68

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