Esther — Mourlot
Original lithograph in colors by
Marc Chagall from his book "Illustrations
for The Bible", 1960
This is the original lithograph from Chagall's Bible II series, as
referenced in Mourlots catalogue raisonné.
Size: 35 x 26 cm | 14" x 10.2" (sheet size = image
Published by: Éditions de la Revue Verve, Teriade, Paris
Printed by: Mourlot, Paris
Remarks: On the reverse: another original lithograph, plain (Mourlot
Biblical reference: Esther 2
The Story of Esther: For this work, Chagall
depicted Esther larger than life, gracefully and stunningly
beautiful, in mellow tints of blue and beige. She almost seems to
be floating. In this way, he pays tribute to one of the greatest
women of the people of Israel. Thanks to her beauty and great
personality, Esther became the queen at the court of the Persian
King, Artaxerxes, after he had cast out his wife because of
disobedience. Esther's uncle Mordechai, who also lived at the
royal court, uncovered a conspiracy against the King and in doing
so saved his life. But Haman, the highest court official,
enviously hated all Jews. He obtained a writ from the King
allowing him to extinct all Jews in the kingdom. Mordechai begged
Esther to intercede with the King. She went to the King even
though she was banned from doing so under threat of the death
penalty. She successfully changed the King's mind, and this was
how she saved her people from being wiped out.
To this day, the Jewish holiday, Purim, reminds of Esther's great
and couragous achievement. She risked her life for the Jewish
people. In the lower part of the painting, we can also see
Mordechai. He looks sorrow-stricken, his hands appear to be tied.
His future seems grey and sullen, but there are signs of life and
hope: the sun, plants and a tree.
Designs For The Bible:
limestone lithograph is from one of Chagall’s most sought after
series, “Designs For The Bible,” published by Teriade, printed in
the Mourlot studios in Paris, 1960. There were 50 signed and
numbered prints. The lithograph presented here is from the
unsigned and unnumbered edition. This lithograph is cataloged in
the Mourlot catalog and also the Chagall Lithographic Book with
corresponding catalog numbers. Descriptions are complete.
Original color lithograph by Chagall. From the unsigned edition
created for "Designs For The Bible", Verve No. 37 & 38. Printed
at the Mourlot Studios, Paris, France 1960.