Marc Chagall

An original Marc Chagall Etching.


Original etching and aquatint printed in colors on Johannot wove paper.

Hand-signed in pencil in the margin lower right Marc Chagall.

A superb impression of Kornfeld’s third and final state from the portion of the overall edition printed on this paper (there were 15 numbered impressions printed on Japon Nacré, 35 printed on Auvergne, 150 printed on Johannot, 28 printed on Johannot and designated “H.C.,” and 5 impressions reserved for collaborators numbered in Roman numerals, for an overall edition of 233). One of fourteen original prints issued in the album Paroles Peintes I (“Painted Words I”) in which each original print was paired with a poem by a variety of authors as its illustration, this Chagall aquatint illustrated a poem by Louis Aragon titled “Granade.” Published by Editions O. Lazar-Vernet, Paris, 1962; printed at Atelier Lacourière, Paris.

Catalog: Kornfeld 121.III.f; Cramer 51.

Platemark: 13 x 9 3/8 inches Sheet size: 15 x 11 1/4 inches

Jean Paulhan and André Pieyre de Mandiargues, who were closely aligned with the Surrealist circle, largely influenced the publication of a collection of albums, issued as five separate volumes published between 1962 and 1975 titled Paroles Peintes (“Painted Words”). The concept was simple: to pair engravings with poems.

A short introduction in Volume I specifies the objective of this project: To couple a poem with an engraving conceived as its visual translation. Poetry wants to be universal, but language ties it to its region of origin. The printmaker, however, is free of conventional language. Thus, one can regard engraving as a kind of translation, a transmutation, of the poem. The poem through the hand of the artist is rendered visible, and as a result becomes universally understandable.

Some of the greatest artists and authors of the day participated in this exercise. In the first three volumes can be found engravings by Chagall, Zadkine, Ernst, Braque, Giacometti, Alechinsky and Miró paired with poems by Aragon, Arp, Mandiargues, Paz and Queneau, to name just a few.