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Marc Chagall

(1887 - 1985)

Marc Chagall - Chloe's Judgment 1961

Medium: Color Reproduction Hand Signed by the Artist
Size: 17" X 25"
Reference: Mourlot 315

Certificate of Authenticity: Herman Darvic


Marc Chagall began his preparation for the Daphnis & Chloe suite by making two trips to Greece. Chagall was delighted with the tale.


The story of Daphnis and Chloe, a pastoral elegy attributed to the 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. Weinstein Gallery


Falling in love with Greece: its landscape, history and climate, deeply influenced his choice of color and form for the Daphnis and Chloe lithographs. It has been said of Chagall that he neither added nor subtracted from what his imagination understood from the text. The result was imagery that illustrated the elegy of Daphnis and Chloe from a more intimate perspective thus transforming the world of Daphnis and Chloe into a universal Eden where figures seem to float in an atmosphere of infinite happiness and warmth.

The Daphnis and Chloe book is the most important graphic work that Marc Chagall has created. Because of the quality, format and number of lithographs it contains, the book constitutes a work of notable importance which, unquestionably, can be placed at the top of our list of illustrated works of our time.

Charles Sorlier, the colorist for the project, hand-mixed the color palette Chagall used in this suite. He and Chagall worked together to develop new blues and greens to meet Chagall's vision of this paradisiacal story. Chagall also experimented with surface textures. It was standard at the time this suite was published in 1961 to use approximately 3 to 6 lithographic stones in creating a single print. Chagall generally used 25-30 individual stones per print in the Daphnis & Chloe suite creating the density and layering of color, which is so unique and rich.

The format of the book is 12-5/8 x 16-1/2" and it contains 42 lithographs. The illustrations are full page without margins; 26 are in 12-1/2 x 16-1/2" format, and 16 on facing pages, that is, in 16-1/2 x 25-1/4" format. The lithographs are presented in two Volumes, boxed together, and the text was printed by the French Imprimerie Nationale. Classification of the edition is as follows: "There were printed 250 copies on Arches, numbered from I to XX. All these copies were signed by the artist. In addition, there were printed a few sets of all the plate, which are reserved for the artist and the publisher."

Marc Chagall's Daphnis and Chloe illustrations, published in 1961, have since become nearly priceless.


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