(Le Christ)


In collaboration with Lanfranco LISARELLI

  • No. S-13
  • 1951 - 1952
  • Stela
  • Rognes or Gard stone
  • 20 1/2 x 9 1/16 x 5 11/16 in. (52 x 23 x 14.5 cm)
  • Signed Chagall on the left side
  • Private collection

This sculpture made of Rognes or Gard stone, titled Christ, belongs to a set of several stelae carved by Chagall beginning in 1951. Two solemn figures occupy the space and tenderly face one another, as in Lovers With a Bouquet [Les Amoureux au bouquet] (1958 - 1959). In the upper portion of the work, an implied cross and the raised arms of Christ reinforce the vertical movement of the composition. The Christ-like figure, associated with the martyr of the Jews and undoubtedly accompanied by Mary Magdalene, recurs throughout the artist’s works. The figure is an example of the depiction of the holy, both multicultural and syncretic, which the artist experimented with using various techniques. These ranged from painting The Yellow Crucifixion [La Crucifixion en jaune] (1942) to ceramics Crucifixion [Crucifixion] (1951).
Here, relief is created by carvings and incisions in the medium: stone with a grainy appearance. This light-colored stone with a warm tone features plays on light and texture. The material is ancestral, rife with meaning, which echoes the stones and landscapes of Jericho and Bethlehem.
This sculpture’s understated feel, the solemn expressions of its figures, and the biblical subject matter recall the monumental Romanesque sculpture that Chagall observed in Vezelay, Autun, and Chartres1. Jacques Thirion asserted that Chagall’s sculptures “make one dream of the spontaneity and enigmatic power of the works from the First Romanesque period2.

1Bruno Gaudichon, “Donner forme à la merveille : Chagall sculpteur” (Giving Shape to Wonder: Chagall as Sculptor), in Marc Chagall : L’Épaisseur des rêves (The Thickness of Dreams, Roubaix exhibition catalogue, La Piscine, October 13, 2012-January 13, 2013), Paris, Gallimard, 2012, p. 59.
2Jacques Thirion, “Sculptures et céramiques de Marc Chagall” (Sculptures and Ceramics by Marc Chagall), XXe siècle, No. 24, Paris, December 1964, p. 106, in Bruno Gaudichon, “Donner forme à la merveille : Chagall sculpteur” (Giving Shape to Wonder: Chagall as Sculptor), op. cit., p. 59.


Bible (crucifixion)

  • Christ, 1951 - 1952, Sculpture by Marc Chagall

    Marc CHAGALL, in collaboration with Lanfranco LISARELLI, Christ (Le Christ), 1951 - 1952, rognes or Gard stone, 20 1/2 x 9 1/16 x 5 11/16 in. (52 x 23 x 14.5 cm), Private collection © Fabrice GOUSSET/ADAGP, Paris, 2024