An original lithograph printed in colors on wove paper bearing apportion of the Arches block letter watermark.
This is a superb impression of the definitive state from the edition of 250 on this paper (there were 20 additional impressions printed on Japan paper, and 15 additional hors commerce impressions on Arches wove paper, for an overall edition of 285). Plate XII of 24 color lithographs by the artist illustrating The Story of Exodus. Published by Léon Amiel, Paris-New York, 1966; printed by Atelier Fernand Mourlot, Paris. Catalogue reference: Mourlot 455; Cramer 64 XII. Literature regarding this artwork: cf. Pierre Provoyeut, Marc Chagall: Biblical Interpretations, Alpine Fine Arts Collection, Ltd. New York London, 1983, pp. 92, 220.
Chagall was introduced in 1948 to original lithography by Fernand Mourlot, owner of one of the world's great lithography workshops in Paris. In the thirty-five years following over one thousand An original lithographs were created through the collaboration of Chagall and Mourlot. With these spectacularly vibrant works of art Chagall has become recognized as the greatest chromo-lithographer in the history of modern art. In 1966, Leon Amiel published The Story of the Exodus, a portfolio containing twenty-four large color lithographs, twenty-three of which were printed on paper measuring 500 x 370mm and one double-size plate with a centerfold. The edition consisted of a total of 285 portfolios.
The name Exodus means "going out" or “departure". It refers not only to one of the most important events of the book, the Exodus of the Israelites from Egypt, but also to other highly significant events as well, such as the oppression of the Chosen People in Egypt, the flight and call of Moses, and God’s covenant with the nation Israel at Sinai - an experience culminating in His giving of the moral law (Ten Commandments) through Moses to the people. Chagall’s illustrations of this story are a superb example of the artist’s masterful use of vivid color and texture. The Story of Exodus as done by Chagall re-introduces a celebrated historical tale in a refreshingly beautiful way.
This work illustrates the following passage: "And all the congregation of the children of Israel journeyed from the desert of Sinai, on the order of the Lord, so that they journeyed to the next place, and they set up camp at Tephidim, where there was no water to quench the thirst of the people. And the people murmured against Moses and they said to him, “Give us water, that we may drink!” And Moses said to them, “Why do you side against me? Why do you try the patience of the Lord?” And the people were tortured by thirst in this place and they murmured against Moses and said to him, “Why have you brought us out of Egypt? Is it so we die of thirst, with our children and our cattle?” And Moses cried unto them in these words, “What shall I do with this people, for they will certainly stone me!” And the Lord answered unto Moses, “Go at the head of the people, with the elders of Israel at thy side; and take into thine hands the stick that thou held above the sea, and go forth! And I will stand before thee, upon the rock of Horeb. And thou shall strike the rock, and water shall flow from it and the people shall have to drink.” And Moses did what he was told, in the sight of the elders of Israel. And that place was called by the name of Massa and Meriba, because there did the children of Israel side against Moses and test the patience of the Lord when they said, “Is the Lord with us or not?” Exodus 17:1-7
This work is part of a carefully curated selection by noted fine art expert Jennifer McCloskey, who was formerly affiliated with Doyle Gallery in New York and is now based in San Francisco. If you have questions about any of the works in this selection, please send an email to email@example.com.