20. Marc Chagall
(Vitebsk 1887 – Saint-Paul-de-Vence 1985)
Les Adolescents (The Adolescents) (1975)
Signed lower right
Numbered 16/50 lower left
Lithograph in colours on Arches wove paper, 63.5 x 49.8 cm (image size) / 74.9 x 56.8 cm (sheet size)
Private collection, the Netherlands (since 1976), thence by descent to the present owner
The Belorussian-born French painter, printmaker, and designer Marc Chagall composed his images based on emotional and poetic associations, rather than on rules of pictorial logic. Predating Surrealism, his early works were among the first expressions of psychic reality in modern art. Vibrantly coloured and expertly composed, this piece, aptly entitled Les Adolescents, captures the bliss of young love. A young couple, gazing at each other with absolute adoration, embraces each other in the centre of the composition. Chagall creates a circular motion, surrounding the couple with an array of joyous figures. A translucent blue figure dives down from the top while a mother holds her child to the lower right. In the upper right corner, the moon and sun overlap in a whimsical eclipse as a rooster and horse look on from the left.