This exceptional folio etching is from Marc Chagall’s The Bible. It was commissioned by Ambroise Vollard in 1931 and completed for Teriade in 1956. It used the Biblical text from the French Geneval translation of 1638. Chagall truly drew upon his Jewish heritage and study of modern art to create these etchings.
The work was one of the rare illustrated Bible publications from the 20th century. Only 275 copies of the work were published. It is on montval paper, and is numbered 73 in the publication. It was signed by Chagall in ink on the justification.
Chagall himself said “Since my early youth, I have been fascinated by the Bible. And that it was the greatest source of poetry of all time. Through this work he said The Bible is like an echo of nature and this secret I have tried to transmit.”
Bachelard noted of Chagall’s work “The joy of painting is a ‘joie de vivre’. As Chagall’s art so finely demonstrates, the goal of all creation, despite its blemishes, is happiness, and man’s whole duty is to regain the paradise he lost.”
Marc Chagall (1887-1985) was a Belarusian-French artist. His given name was Moishe Segal and was born in Belarus which was part of the Russian empire. His art was influenced by Symbolism, Fauvism, Cubism, and Surrealism. The art critic, Robert Hughes, described Chagall as “the quintessential Jewish artist of the twentieth century.”