Sur le divan
oil on plywood
36 x 27 cm / 14 1/8 x 10 5/8 in.
with signature stamp lower right
The theme of embracing lovers surrounded by colorful bouquets or even fields of flowers as depicted in the present work is one which the artist had consistently explored since the 1920s until his mature oeuvre in the 1970ies. The couple is widely considered to be Chagall himself and his beloved first wife Bella, who died in 1944, but who remained his eternal bride and forever the light of his life. The present work is a glorious and early example of this recurrent motif, depicted in a vibrant burst of color and mysticism as represented by the angel floating at the left top corner of the painting and seemingly blessing the couple. When Chagall came to France from his native Vitebsk, he was struck by the charm of French flowers. Chagall is quoted saying that, when he painted a bouquet it was as if he was painting a landscape. In the present work, Chagall’s masterful use of color - the intense reds of the woman’s dress, the deep blues of the divan, and the warm, radiant greens, reds, pinks and blues of the bourgeoning flowers and the floating white angel - is particularly poignant.
Price on request