La Tour Eiffel (The Eiffel Tower)


Marc Chagall (1887-1985), La Tour Eiffel (The Eiffel Tower), etching, 1943, signed in pencil lower right and annotated “epreuve d’artist” lower left. Reference: Kornfeld 85c. From the edition of 14, each an artist’s proof, printed in 1957 (there was an earlier edition of 50 in 1943, as included in the portfolio of original works by artists including Breton, Calder, Ernst, Tanguy, Motherwell). In very good condition, on laid paper with the FRANCE-PAPIER watermark, with full margins, 11 x 8, the sheet 19 1/4 x 13 inches; archival window matting.

A fine strong impression of this moving image.

Paris, and the Eiffel Tower, were of course critical to Chagall’s career. He moved to Paris from Russia in 1910, and lived and worked there intermittently during the course of his life, becoming a French citizen in 1937. But with the Nazi occupation of France during World War II, and the deportation of Jews and the Holocaust, the Chagalls fled Paris, first hiding in Marseille, and then escaping from France through Spain and Portugal, settling in the United States in 1941.

Chagall created many images of the Eiffel Tower during his career; in fact observers have frequently suggested that the Tower represented freedom or being up in the sky, in his paintings. But in this representation, created in 1943 in the midst of the War, Chagall depicts the tower as a woman, shedding a tear.