Art/ Collection/ Art Object

The Lovers

Artist:
Marc Chagall (French, Vitebsk 1887–1985 Saint-Paul-de-Vence)
Date:
1913–14
Medium:
Oil on canvas
Dimensions:
42 7/8 × 53 in. (108.9 × 134.6 cm)
Classification:
Paintings
Credit Line:
Jacques and Natasha Gelman Collection, 1998
Accession Number:
1999.363.14
Rights and Reproduction:
© 2017 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 905
Fairy-tale details of a Russian town can be seen through the window of Chagall's imaginary scene of his room in Vitebsk, painted in Paris. The lovers represent the artist with his fiancée, Bella Rosenfeld. Mainly self-taught, Chagall developed a unique style that blends sentiment and fantasy - an effect the poet Guillaume Apollinaire called "supernatural."
Inscription: Signed, dated, and inscribed (lower right): Chagall/ Marc 1911/ Paris; signed (verso, twice): Chagall
the artist, Paris (from 1914; left in storage in his Paris studio upon departure for Vitebsk, Russia in May 1914); Gustave Coquiot, Paris (in 1923); Bergmann, The Hague; [Herbert Tannenbaum Gallery, Rye, N. Y., by 1950–51]; private collection, California (from 1951); Adolphe A. Juviler, New York (by 1956–at least 1967); his heirs, New York (until 1972; sold in 1972 to Hahn and Acquavella); [Stephen Hahn, New York and Acquavella Galleries, New York, 1972; sold in June 1972 to Marx]; Louis Marx (from 1972; sold to Acquavella); [Acquavella Galleries, New York, until 1975; sold to Rosengart]; [Galerie Rosengart, Lucerne, 1975–76; sold in 1976 to private collection]; private collection, Switzerland (1976–ca. 1983; sold it ca. 1983 to Galleria Marescalchi); [Galleria Marescalchi, Milan, from ca. 1983]; private collection, Italy (until 1984; sold in 1984 to Beyeler); [Galerie Beyeler, Basel, 1984; sold on August 14, 1984 to Gelman]; Jacques and Natasha Gelman, Mexico City and New York (1984–his d. 1986); Natasha Gelman, Mexico City and New York (1986–d. 1998; her bequest to MMA)

Rye, N. Y. Herbert Tannenbaum Gallery. January 1950, no catalogue.

New York. Curt Valentin Gallery. "Lehmbruck and His Contemporaries," September 24–October 13, 1951, no. 17 (as "Vision," 1912, lent by Mr. Herbert Tannenbaum).

New York. Perls Galleries. "Marc Chagall," March 12–April 14, 1956, no. 3 (as "La Vision," 1911, lent by Mr. Adolphe A. Juviler).

Hamburg. Kunstverein. "Marc Chagall," February 6–March 22, 1959, no. 33 (as "Liebespaar [Les Amoureux]," 1911, lent by Adolphe A. Juviler, New York).

Munich. Haus der Kunst. "Marc Chagall," April 7–May 31, 1959, no. 33.

Paris. Musée des Arts Décoratifs. "Marc Chagall," June 14–end September 1959, no. 33.

New York. Beilin Gallery. "Marc Chagall Eightieth Birthday Exhibition: An American Tribute," April 17–May 6, 1967, no. 2 (as "Vision," 1911, lent by Mr. and Mrs. Adolph A. Juviler).

New York. Acquavella Galleries, Inc. "XIX & XX Century Master Paintings," November 1–30, 1979, no. 9 (as "The Lovers [Vision]," 1911).

Basel. Galerie Beyeler. "Marc Chagall," November 1984–February 1985, no. 6 (as "Les amoureux," 1911, lent by a private collection).

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Twentieth-Century Modern Masters: The Jacques and Natasha Gelman Collection," December 12, 1989–April 1, 1990, unnumbered cat. (p. 135).

London. Royal Academy of Arts. "Twentieth-Century Modern Masters: The Jacques and Natasha Gelman Collection," April 19–July 15, 1990, unnumbered cat.

Mexico City. Centro Cultural Arte Contemporáneo. "Chagall en Nuestro Siglo," October 10, 1991–January 26, 1992, no. 13.

Martigny. Fondation Pierre Gianadda. "De Matisse à Picasso: Collection Jacques et Natasha Gelman," June 18–November 1, 1994, unnumbered cat. (p. 159).

Kyoto Municipal Museum of Art. "Picasso and the School of Paris: Paintings from The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York," September 14–November 24, 2002, no. 27.

Tokyo. Bunkamura Museum of Art. "Picasso and the School of Paris: Paintings from The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York," December 7, 2002–March 9, 2003, no. 27.

Gustave Coquiot. Cubistes, futuristes, passéistes. Rev. ed. (1st ed., 1914). Paris, 1923, ill. opp. p. 10, calls it "Vision" and locates it in the collection of Gustave Coquiot.

Charles Estienne. Chagall. Paris, 1951, pl. 19, calls it "Le Couple," dates it 1911, and locates it in a private collection, California.

Isaac Kloomok. Marc Chagall: His Life and Work. New York, 1951, pl. XII (reproduced sideways), calls it "Lovers," dates it 1911, and locates it in the collection of Tennenbaum [sic], Rye, N. Y.

Stuart Preston. "European Moderns: Lehmbruck and a Group—New One-Man Shows." New York Times (September 30, 1951), p. 85.

Franz Meyer. Marc Chagall. 2nd ed. (1st ed. German, 1961). New York, [1964], pp. 204, 741, ill. p. 213, notes that it was probably inscribed 1911 in error.

Jean Cassou. Chagall. New York, 1965, p. 275, no. 32, ill. p. 53.

Jean Cassou. Chagall. Paris, 1982, ill. p. 27, lists it still in the A. A. Juviler collection.

Susan Compton. Chagall. Exh. cat., Royal Academy of Arts. London, 1985, pp. 15, 37, 44 n. 39, p. 191, ill. p. 16, fig. 2, notes that during the time Chagall was in Russia and Berlin from 1914–23, this picture was purchased by Coquiot from the artist's studio in Paris.

Alexandre Kamenski. Chagall: Période russe et soviétique, 1907–1922. Paris, 1988, ill. p. 234, dates it about 1913 and erroneously locates it still in the Adolphe A. Juviler collection.

Susan Compton in Marc Chagall. Exh. cat., National Gallery of Iceland. Reykjavik, 1988, p. 18, fig. 1, dates it 1911–14 and locates it in a private collection.

Pierre Schneider in Twentieth-Century Modern Masters: The Jacques and Natasha Gelman Collection. Ed. William S. Lieberman. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1989, pp. 30–31 n. 5, states that Jacques Gelman previously owned this picture, but sold it "only to regret his decision at once" before purchasing it a second time from the Galerie Beyeler.

Sabine Rewald in Twentieth-Century Modern Masters: The Jacques and Natasha Gelman Collection. Ed. William S. Lieberman. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1989, pp. 134–36, 297, ill. (color and bw).

William S. Lieberman in Twentieth-Century Modern Masters: The Jacques and Natasha Gelman Collection. Ed. William S. Lieberman. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1989, p. 15.

Joachim W. Storck in Für die Kunst! Herbert Tannenbaum und sein Kunsthaus. Exh. cat., Reiss-Museum der Stadt Mannheim. Mannheim, 1994, ill. p. 35 (installation photo of Exh. Rye 1950).

Jacob Baal-Teshuva. Marc Chagall 1887–1985. Cologne, 1998, ill. p. 42 (color), calls it "The Lovers (Vision)," dates it 1911–14, and locates it in a private collection.

William S. Lieberman in Picasso and the School of Paris: Paintings from The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. Exh. cat., Kyoto Municipal Museum of Art. [Tokyo], 2002, pp. 72, 166, no. 27, ill. p. 76 (color).

Holland Cotter. "The Hidden Collection." New York Times (August 15, 2008), ill. p. E25 (color detail).



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