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Marc Chagall

Le peintre à la Tour Eiffel

oil on masonite
1965-1970
33 x 24 cm / 13 x 9 1/2 in.
signed lower right

Chagall arrived in Paris in 1910 and, coming from Russia, was overwhelmed by the city. On his second day in Paris, he visited the Salon des Indépendants, where he saw works by artists of the avant-garde for the first time. He was able to move into one of the tiny wedge-shaped studios in La Ruche, with Modigliani next door. Though he hardly had any money, eating very little, it was a time he dearly remembered many years later:. . "I arrived in Paris as though driven by fate. Words coming from my heart flowed to my mouth. They almost choked me. I kept stammering. The words crowded outward, anxious to be illuminated by this Paris light, to adorn themselves with it. I arrived with the thoughts, the dreams, that one can only have at the age of twenty" (quote from: Jacob Baal-Teshuva (ed.), Chagall A Retrospective, New York, 1995, p. 74). He often incorporated the Eiffel tower in paintings, because he never forgot those first impressions upon arriving and because it was, and still is, more than just an instantly recognizable landmark.

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