Marc Chagall, ‘Roses et Mimosas from Nice and the Cote d'Azur Suite’, 1967, New River Fine Art

Nice and the Côte d’Azur along the famed French Riveria captured the heart and imagination of Marc Chagall, who loved the beauty of the Mediterranean. It was in Nice that Chagall believed he was “born for the second time,” as Nice awoke within him a sense of well-being, plentitude, and freedom. His whimsical imagery reflects the love that he held for the warm sun and crystal blue waters of the Mediterranean. Relishing his surroundings, Chagall created the beautiful, whimsical and colorful Nice and the Côte d’Azur series of lithographs resplendent in romantic, fanciful imagery at its best - bountiful bouquets of flowers, soaring birds, floating fish, dazzling seashores and sparkling cityscapes, embracing lovers, and sirens floating through the deep blue sky.

Printed by Charles Sorlier and published by Mourlot, Paris in 1967, Chagall’s Nice and the Cote d’Azur series is comprised of 12 color lithographs created to accompany text written by Jean Adhemar, Director of the Cabinet des Estampes at the Bibliotheque Nationale. Jean Adhemar states that in these works “one rediscovers the characters dear to Chagall: those lovers in the firmament, those men whom Malaparte saw walking on the roof of the storm, on the guttering of the clouds, the woman with the flowers and the Sirene, the most poignant symbol of Nice. There are also those visions, the memory of which pursued him from childhood, from his days in Vitebsk, which he called the invisible, supposedly illogical form of the object and which we came to perceive like him. Above all, there are the midday sun and the brilliancy of his flowers. They explain the richness of tones in these lithographs, the beauty and harmony of the colors, the deep blue, and somber vividness of the reds, the haunting garland of flowers.” Indeed, these lithographs remain some of the most stunning examples of color and imagery of Chagall’s entire artistic oeuvre.

Reference: CS 29.

Signature: Signed, lower right.

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