“THE HARVEST OF A GAZE TRAINED ON WONDER”: SCARCE SIX-VOLUME LITHOGRAPHS OF CHAGALL, WITH 28 ORIGINAL PRINTS
(CHAGALL, Marc) CAIN, Julien and SORLIER, Charles. The Lithographs of Chagall. Monte Carlo, New York, Boston: André Sauret; George Braziller; Boston Book and Art Shop, 1960-86. Six volumes. Folio, original beige cloth, original dust jackets (themselves original lithographs), original acetates. $11,500.
First editions in English of the six-volume catalogue raisonné of Chagall’s lithographs, richly illustrated with 28 original lithographs (including the dust jackets).
"Chagall's emblematic irrationality shook off all outside influences: color governed his compositions, calling up chimerical processions of memory where reality and the imaginary are woven into a single legend, born in Vitebsk and dreamed in Paris" (Dictionary of Modern Art). For Chagall, the medium of lithography did not come easily. Printer Fernand Mourlot ran a lithography press where such greats as Braque, Matisse, Picasso, Miró and Chagall came to have their designs printed and to learn about this still nascent print-making process. "For many long months Chagall came and worked tirelessly, and his dissatisfaction allowed him to have only a few of his first attempts printed" (Sorlier, 45). Volumes I and II contain 24 of the original 28 lithographs published throughout the series; the dust jackets and frontispieces of Volumes III and IV account for the remaining four. (Volume V was published near the end of Chagall's life, and Volume VI was published posthumously.) All were issued separately over a period of 26 years and are very scarce as a complete set. All volumes published simultaneously in English and French. Volumes I and II also issued in a deluxe signed limited edition of only 100 and 150 copies. Gauss, 391. Freitag 1914. See Cramer, 43, 56, 77, 94.
Cloth of Volume II mildly toned, occasional minor nick or rub to extremities of dust jackets and acetate. A beautiful set in about-fine condition.