Monday, January 21, 2013

The story of Esther through Marc #Chagall

The Story of Esther: For this work, Chagall depicted Esther larger than life, gracefully and stunningly beautiful, in mellow tints of blue and beige. She almost seems to be floating. In this way, he pays tribute to one of the greatest women of the people of Israel. Thanks to her beauty and great personality, Esther became the queen at the court of the Persian King, Artaxerxes, after he had cast out his wife because of disobedience. Esther's uncle Mordechai, who also lived at the royal court, uncovered a conspiracy against the King and in doing so saved his life. But Haman, the highest court official, enviously hated all Jews. He obtained a writ from the King allowing him to extinct all Jews in the kingdom. Mordechai begged Esther to intercede with the King. She went to the King even though she was banned from doing so under threat of the death penalty. She successfully changed the King's mind, and this was how she saved her people from being wiped out.
To this day, the Jewish holiday, Purim, reminds of Esther's great and couragous achievement. She risked her life for the Jewish people. In the lower part of the painting, we can also see Mordechai. He looks sorrow-stricken, his hands appear to be tied. His future seems grey and sullen, but there are signs of life and hope: the sun, plants and a tree.
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Designs For The Bible: This original limestone lithograph is from one of Chagall’s most sought after series, “Designs For The Bible,” published by Teriade, printed in the Mourlot studios in Paris, 1960.  There were 50 signed and numbered prints.  The lithograph presented here is from the unsigned and unnumbered edition.  This lithograph is cataloged in the Mourlot catalog and also the Chagall Lithographic Book with corresponding catalog numbers.  Descriptions are complete.
Original color lithograph by Chagall.  From the unsigned edition created for "Designs For The Bible", Verve No. 37 & 38.  Printed at the Mourlot Studios, Paris, France 1960. 
Description of the Book from which the above print originates: Paris: Teriade Editeur, 1956, 1956. Paris: Teriade Editeur, 1956, first Chagall edition, two volumes, number 246 of 275 exemplars (total edition 295), printed on Montval paper, signed by Marc Chagall on the justification page. The complete book with the Bible text, illustrated with 105 original etchings by Marc Chagall; pp. 124 + 108, loose leaves in 2 thick Arches paper folders with four folded flaps and black printing on the front, inside publisher's 2 board chemises covered with grey paper printed in gold on the spine for each volume; housed in publisher's slipcase. In very close to excellent condition. Size of each book 18 x 13.5 x 3 in (46 x 35.5 x 7 cm); overall size 18.5 x 14 x 5.5 in (47 x 36 x 14 cm). References: Rauch 148; Klipstein 1960, The Artist & The Book 53; Cramer 29; Sorlier 199-303 (p.62); Monod 1532; The Artist & The Book in France p.326; Meyer 24; From Manet to Hockney 88. AbeBooks