In the late thirties the French publisher Ambroise Vollard proposed to Marc Chagall that he should make a book of lithographs about the circus. Marc Chagall agreed, and completed 19 gouaches in preparation for the images he was to engrave on the litho stones. As time progressed, both Chagall and Vollard felt it necessary to drop the project in order to embark on a new project, illustrating the Bible.
Thirty years later, Chagall, still interested in doing a series of lithographs based on the circus, picked up where he had left off. Having had the imagery for "The Circus" series in his mind for a number of years, Chagall was able to execute theses lithographs with relative ease and speed.
When asked about his interest in the circus, Chagall explained: "For me a circus is a magic spectacle which passes and melts like a world. There is a disquieting circus and a profound circus. These clowns these riders and these acrobats dwell in my visions. Why am I so moved by their make-up and their grimaces? In their company I draw near to other horizons. All the color and the make-up lead me on toward other psychic variations which I long to paint. The very wor "circus" has magic in it, for it betokens the thousand-year old dance in which people and there smiles, and the play of their legs and arms transform themselves into great art. Of all the dramas the circus seems to me the most tragic. Right down the centuries this is the shrillest cry odf seekers for amusement and for human joy. Often it is clothed in exhalted poetry. I see another Don Quixote seeking an ideal in that clown of genius who has wept and dreamed of human love."
This book, measuring 420 x 320, contains 23 colored lithographs. Three of these are double-paged, and fifteen are black and white lithographs. All thirty-eight plates fill the whole page without margins. Two hundred and fifty copies of this book were published and numbered one to two hundrede and fifty. Twenty copies printed with roman numeral from one to twenty were not for sale. These were kept for those who had worked on the book. All copies of "The Circus" were signed by Marc Chagall. A few of the proofs from the twenty three color lithographs were printed with wide margins, and kept for the artist and the editor. Editions, Verve 1967.
If you are interested in buying, selling or consignment of an original color lithograph from the Circus series made by Marc Chagall, please feel free to contact the Georgetown Frame Shoppe. We also carry original Marc chagall art, etchings, lithographs, posters, etchings, and linocut prints from other Marc chagall suites such as the Odyssea, Daphnis and Chloe, Arabian Nights, Drawings for the Bible and Illustrations for the Bible.