One of the highlights of 2008, From Russia, at the Royal Academy, shone a spotlight on Russian art from 1870 to1925. A Russian artist whose work needed no introduction was the well-known and much-loved Marc Chagall (1887-1985).
If you are one of his admirers, there is an opportunity not only to see but if you are moved to buy one of 35 lithographs from the artist’s Bible Series, including David and His Harp (pictured). They will be on sale at the Dadbrook Gallery, near Thame, from Saturday, October 4, to Sunday, October 12.
Clico Kingsbury, the gallery owner, explained: “We are thrilled to be able to show these important works. These prints were originally commissioned by the impressionist dealer, Amboise Vollard and published in 1958 by Mourlot Freres. They met with such acclaim that Chagall made a further set which was published in 1960. The works we have on show are from both series and the prices start at £350.”
Chagall drew inspiration from his own experiences during a trip to Palestine. He used them to explore the relationship between man and God. His vision incorporated elements of French cubism into his highly individual poetic distillation of Russian Jewish folk law and Bible stories.
Chagall said: “Ever since my earliest youth, I have been fascinated by the Bible. I have always believed that it is the greatest source of poetry of all time . . . The Bible is an echo of nature, and this I have endeavoured to transmit. In art, everything is possible, so long as it is based on love.”
What a contrast with the cynicism of diamond-encrusted skulls! In my opinion, human emotion is at the heart of art that is meaningful. Warmth and a hint of humour are hallmarks of Marc Chagall. There is compassion too: the last of the prints from the first series was made in 1939 and prefigures the plight of refugees.
Dadbrook Gallery@Dadbrook House, Cuddington, HP180AG (11am-6pm daily). Enquiries and directions: Tel 01844 292459 or visit www.dadbrookgallery.co.uk