Chagall's Apocalypse puts London gallery in the pink
The works of Belorussian jewish artist Marc Chagall, who is buried in the cemetery at St Paul de Vence, have always excited international interest, so the news of a previously unknown piece - Apocalypse in Lilac, Capriccio - is making waves throughout the art world.
Chagall, who was described by Picasso as 'the only painter left who understands what colour really is', was born Movsha Shagal in 1887 in Vitebsk, then part of the Russian Empire. In 1910 he moved to Paris, where he fell under the influence of his French contemporaries Robert Delaunay and Fernand Leger. In turn, his own paintings of circuses, fantasies and religious scenes inspired by his cultural roots, became a defining style of twentieth century art. Chagall's floating, rhythmic forms and his trademark use of vibrant colour, have made his work immensely popular with collectors and the general public alike.
After the war Chagall moved to the Côte d'Azur, where he found inspiration, as did the impressionists before him, from the natural brilliance of the landscape, and also developed his work in the field of ceramics. But despite his jewish background, Chagall also drew heavily on the Christian tradition, and he was responsible for many stained glass windows for churches and cathedrals in Europe.
The newly-discovered work, bought at auction in Paris for a mere £26,000 by a London gallery - less than a tenth of its probable value - again fuses the two traditions. It is one of several works produced by the artist between 1938-1945 in which he employs a distinctly Jewish Christ in order to show his personal distress at the Nazis' destruction of his people. The painting will go on show at the Osborne Samuel gallery, in Mayfair, on Friday.
To find out more about Chagall and his association with the Cote d'Azur, click here