Marc Chagall - Hyménée from Daphnis and Chloé
Original lithograph (From the large series) , in colours, 1961 , on Arches paper, signed by the artist in pencil
Edition: 60 (there was also an unsigned book edition of 250, without margins, and twenty hors commerce copies)
1. Cramer, Patrick. Marc Chagall, The Illustrated Books: Catalogue Raisonnè, Geneva: Patrick Cramer, 1995. Listed and illustrated as catalogue raisonné no. 46.
2. Gauss, Ulrike, ed. Marc Chagall: The Lithographs, La Collection Sorlier, Stuttgart: D. A. P., 1960. Listed and illustrated as catalogue raisonné no. 349.
3. Mourlot, Fernand. The Lithographs of Chagall, Vol II. 1957-1962. France: Andre Sauret, 1963. Listed and illustrated as catalogue raisonné no. 327.
Note: In the Mourlot Catalogue Raisonee the Daphne and Chloe Suite is described as the most important graphic series made by the artist. It was a combination of the quality and numbers of the pieces made that occasioned such a statement, The suite consisted of 42 different works which are all distinguished by their bright colours and splendid compositions.
It is set on the isle of Lesbos during the 2nd century AD, where and when scholars assume the author to have lived. Daphnis and Chloe resembles a modern novel which is remarkable more for its plot than for its characterization.
Daphnis and Chloe is the story of a boy (Daphnis) and a girl (Chloe), each of whom is exposed at birth along with some identifying tokens. A goatherd named Lamon discovers Daphnis, and a shepherd called Dryas finds Chloe. Each decides to raise the child he finds as his own. Daphnis and Chloe grow up together, herding the flocks for their foster parents. They fall in love but, being naive, do not understand what is happening to them. Philetas, a wise old cowherd, explains to them what love is and tells them that the only cure is kissing[. They do this. Eventually, Lycaenion, a woman from the city, educates Daphnis in love-making. Daphnis, however, decides not to test his newly acquired skill on Chloe, because Lycaenion tells Daphnis that Chloe "will scream and cry and lie bleeding heavily [as if murdered].” Throughout the book, Chloe is courted by suitors, two of whom (Dorcon and Lampis) attempt with varying degrees of success to abduct her. She is also carried off by raiders from a nearby city and saved by the intervention of the god Meanwhile, Daphnis falls into a pit, gets beaten up, is abducted by pirates, and is very nearly raped. In the end, Daphnis and Chloe are recognised by their birth parents, get married, and live out their lives in the country. Chagall’s illustrations are vibrant and full of activity; the characters are surrounded by flowers, animals, and mythological figures, amid meadows, mountains, and seas.It is in this final scene where both lovers lay together deep in love after a dramatic journey. Chagall renders the couple in a passionate and intimate scene, alone in a barren bedroom. Only with the presence of an angel-like nymph watching over them, this scene unfolds in a whimsical and beautiful manner. It carries the magical tone of the original Greek narrative but with a splash of a Chagallian fantasy world. The colours are rich and dynamic set with a lush background. The onlookers in the crowd play instruments and celebrate the hurrah of both Daphnis and Chloé’s culmination in this romantic and personal scene.
Printed by: Fernand Mourlot, Paris
Published by: Tériade Editeur, Paris
Size: 21 x 29.5 ins ( 53.3 x 74.9 cms ) ( sheet )
Collections: Charles Sorlier, Paris
Condition: In generally good condition . Minor spotting on margins.