A Suite of 16 Lithographs «Daphnis & Chloé» (1956–1961).
Chagall created these exquisite, colourful illustrations in the 1950s at the start of his marriage with his second wife, the great love of his life.
Marc Chagall's illustrations to the pastoral tale, which is set on the island of Lesbos, were inspired by his first-hand experience of Greece.
The inspiration for this series was a sole surviving bucolic novel of ancient Greek origin was written by Longus, a poet about whom nothing else is known, and dates to about the mid third century A.D. The lyrical beauty and sensual frankness of the story have exerted lasting influence on European literature.
It is a classical romance involving the adventures of two foundling children raised by adopted parents who are humble shepherds in the idyllic setting of the Isle of Lesbos. Daphnis and Chloe together they experience many trials and tribulations, protected throughout by the god Pan, before finally realizing their true fate. «Daphnis & Chloé» has served through the ages as the inspiration for nearly every love story that has followed including Romeo and Juliet.
Marc Chagall's lithographs combine the Mediterranean lushness of the realm of Pan and Eros with memories of Russian Jewish folktales, and celebrate the lovers in a setting whose marvels of colour evoke Eden with a sumptuousness that is inimitably Chagall. Art of the highest order united with poetry of timeless appeal.
«Four Tales from the Arabian Nights» A Suite of 13 Lithographs.
In 1948 Marc Chagall produced a series lithographs based on four stories from «The Arabian Nights». The stories were:
- The Ebony Horse
- Julnar the Sea-Born and her Son King Badr Basim of Persia,
- Abdullah the Fisherman and Abdullah the Merman,
- Kamar Al-Zaman and the Jeweller’s Wife.
Marc Chagall and his «Four Tales from the Arabian Nights» were awarded the graphic prize of the Venice Biennial in 1948.
Prior to this work, all of Chagall’s lithographs (35 in total) were in black-and-white. “Four Tales from the Arabian Nights” (1948) was Chagall’s first project in color lithography, and most of plates explored themes in love and loss (they were done soon after his wife died). The predominant theme in the illustrations is that of separation or loss of love, reunion and the meaning of death.
Thousand and One Nights is a collection of Middle Eastern, West and South Asian stories and folk tales compiled in Arabic during the Islamic Golden Age. The influence of the versions of The Nights on world literature is immense.