Marc Chagall married Valentina Brodsky in 1952, having been introduced by his daughter Ida. Vava, as she was known by her relatives strongly encouraged her husband’s creativity and managed his career up until his death, she was also particularly fervent in promoting his designs for stained glass windows.
‘This is my modest gift to the Jewish people who have always dreamt of biblical love, friendship and of peace among all peoples. This is my gift to that people which lived here thousands of years ago among the other Semitic people.’ (Marc Chagall, 6 February, 1962)
In 1960, Marc Chagall was asked by the Hadassah Medical Center in Jerusalem to create twelve designs in stained glass for its new synagogue. Inspired by his lifelong study of the Bible, Chagall realised these designs on the theme of Moses’ blessing of the Twelve Tribes of Israel. As a result of Judaism’s injunction against depicting human beings, the works instead feature animals, flowers, trees and Jewish symbols. Each window design is dominated by a specific colour, contains a blessing.
Many considered these windows Chagall’s crowning achievement, and the artist himself confessed: ‘they have completely transformed my vision, they gave me a great shock, made me reflect. I don’t know how I shall paint from now on, but I believe something is taking place.’
In 1961, prior to their installation in the synagogue, the twelve windows were exhibited in the Louvre and New York’s MoMA, where they had the greatest success. The official dedication ceremony of the newly decorated synagogue took place on 6 February 1962.
The present work contains Chagall’s sketches and studies for the windows. The colourful lithographs offer an insight into the making of these exceptional works of art and provide the Biblical quotations they were designed to illustrate.
Deluxe edition; Folio (36 x 27 cm). One of XX copies pour artisans du livre, this numbered 1. With original colour drawing to limitation page, signed and dated ‘Marc Chagall 1963’ with dedication ‘pour ma femme vava’ , also signed by the publisher, André Sauret . Title, text in French by Jean Leymarie, limitation page, contents and complete set of 7 lithographs (3 in colour), on Arches paper, unbound as issued. Contained in Arches woven cover, original box covered with grey-green cloth printed in gold on the front; in good condition.
Stock ID: 99240