Marc Chagall - Les Amoureux IV (Roi David)
Les Amoureux IV (Roi David)
Gouache and brush and India ink drawing on firm, ivory-coloured watercolour card 35.8 x 26.8 cm Framed under glass. Signed and dated 'Marc Chagall 1955' in black brush and India ink lower right.
“Since my earliest youth the Bible has captivated me. To me the Bible seemed - and still continues to seem - to be the richest poetic source of all time. Since then I have sought its image in life and in art. The Bible is like an echo of nature, and I have tried to pass this secret on.” (Marc Chagall, cited in exhib. cat. Marc Chagall, Druckgraphische Folgen 1922-1966, Bestände des Kunstmuseum Hannover mit Slg. Sprengel, p. 168)
This compositionally compact and chromatically intense depiction of a couple is to be understood directly in connection with Chagall's painted transpositions of extraordinary Biblical scenes. These scenes occupied him practically from the 1930s until the end of the 1970s. Alongside a King David shown with a decorated crown and beard, the work depicts a female figure that may represent Bathsheba (cf. Bible, First Book of Kings).
In 1956, one year after the creation of the gouache offered here, two volumes featuring Biblical etchings were published by Tériade in Paris; a version in colour followed in 1958 (see Cramer Books, nos. 29, 30). In 1956 the series of etchings was also printed in the form of photoaquatints in the “Revue Verve”, where they were joined by 28 additional black-and-white and colour lithographs (Mourlot 118-146). In 1979, 30 more etchings - some in colour - appeared in the cycle dealing with the psalms of David. Among these, sheet 14 displays a composition affiliated with the present gouache (see Cramer Books, no. 108). With its pyramidal structure, “David and Bathsheba” - another colour lithograph also created in 1979 - likewise proves related to the couple devoutly turned towards one another (see Sorlier 936).
With a photo-certificate by Jean-Louis Prat, Comité Marc Chagall, Saint-Paul, dated 2 June 1989, no. 890065