EXTRAORDINARY FIRST EDITION OF THE SECOND VOLUME OF CHAGALL'S LITHOGRAPHE, PROFUSELY ILLUSTRATED, INSCRIBED ACROSS A TWO-PAGE SPREAD BY CHARLES CHAGALL TO HIS DAUGHTER'S SISTER-IN-LAW WITH SPLENDID ORIGINAL COLOR DRAWING BY CHAGALL
CHAGALL, Marc. Lithographe 1957-1962 (Volume II only). (France): Andrew Sauret, (1963). Folio, original beige cloth, original dust jacket. $28,500.
First trade edition, French issue, of the second volume of this catalogue raisonné, one of 500 copies printed on Grand Vélin d'Arches paper sets, richly illustrated, beautifully inscribed in green marker across the entire two-page half title spread by Chagall to his daughter's sister-in-law, Swiss psychoanalyst Marian Von Castelberg-Meyer: "Zurich. Pour Marian en souveur. Marc Chagall" ["For Marian in remembrance."], with a beautiful two-page color drawing by Chagall depicting a pink dove, a green tree, a pink person, and an orange donkey.
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). Text entirely in French. Published simultaneously with a signed limited edition of only 150 copies on Grand Velin d'Arches. Published simultaneously in French, German, and English. Without slipcase. Sorlier, 229. This copy is wonderfully inscribed to Marian Von Castelberg-Meyer. She was the sister of Franz Meyer, director of Basel's Kunstmuseum from 1962-1980. More importantly, Meyer was the husband of Chagall's daughter, making Marian Von Castelberg-Meyer Chagall's daughter's sister-in-law. The original drawings by Chagall include both a dove and a donkey—two well-known motifs in Chagall's work. Perhaps most prominently, Chagall featured donkeys in his 1911 "L'ane vert" (The Green Donkey), his 1968 "La reve de l'ane" (The Donkey's Dream), and his circa 1977 "Child with Dove" (depicting a child with a dove on his shoulder standing on the back of a donkey.