Sat, Dec 10, 2016 10:00AM EST - Sun, Dec 11, 2016 10:00AM EST
MARC CHAGALL (RUSSIAN-FRENCH 1887-1985)
L'homme a la barbe, circa 1922-23
lithograph on paper
32 x 24 cm (12 5/8 x 9 1/2 in.)
Collection of the artist Karlis Miesnieks, Riga
Acquired from the family of the above by Moscow Cultural Business center in the 1990s, Riga
Acquired by the present owner from Arthur Avotinsh, Riga
A letter of a research and expertise from Ye. Zhukova, N. Markova and I. Shumanova of the State Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow, 2004
A copy of a letter from Mara Litse, Art Historian
n.b. Copies of all above expertises available upon request.
This very rare lithograph by Marc Chagall of a bearded Jewish man was based by Chagall on his original drawing of the same name of 1911, now in the collection of the Centre Pompidou in Paris. According to the research performed by both Mara Litse and Ye. Zhukova, several interesting facts about its provenance, rarity, and dating can be noted. While this lithograph is exceedingly rare, there does exist another copy in the permanent collection of the State Tretyakov Museum in Moscow, which was gifted to the Museum by the well known collector George Costakis in 1977, and has been in numerous exhibitions and Chagall Retrospectives as "Old Man," "Head of a Jew", and "Old Jew" amongst other titles (New York, 1981; Moscow, 1988; Athens 1996). According to the expertise, these two copies were compared by Ms. Litse and Ms. Zhukova and were found to be identitical. The currently offered drawing was originally in the collection of the noted Latvian artist Karlis Miesnieks, who acquired it during his studies in Berlin in 1922-23, where he had seen Chagall's works at the Erste Russiche Kunstaustellung at Galerie van Diemen & Co. in 1922. Also in that year 1922, Chagall was actively studying lithography in Berlin at the studio of Hermann Struck, a fellow Jewish artist, master printmaker, and later Jewish activist. A well known and published painting by Miesniks that he painted in 1923, Still LIfe with Doll, shows this lithograph posted on the wall (see reference image here). For these reasons, as the expertises note, it is reasonable to assume that the current lithograph was made around 1922, and no later than 1923.