Marc Chagall

L’Écuyère [The Horse Rider]

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About this artwork

The female circus horse-rider is a recurring subject in Chagall’s work. In 1926 the art dealer Ambroise Vollard invited Chagall to make a project based on the circus. They visited Paris’s historic Cirque d’Hiver Bouglione together; Vollard lent Chagall his private box seats. Chagall completed the 19 gouaches known as The Vollard Circus in 1927. Our gouache was made during a five-year period from 1949–53. The artist’s return to France from America in 1948 represented an emotional journey back to his adopted home country following the Nazi occupation. In 1949 Chagall relocated temporarily to Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat on the Côte d'Azur, but by 1950 had moved to Les Collines, an estate that became his permanent home in nearby Saint-Paul-de-Vence. It was around this time that gouache became a preferred medium for the artist, who focused on rich blues as a response to the beautiful sunlight in the south of France.

Published November 2020

  • artist:
  • title:
    L’Écuyère [The Horse Rider]
  • date created:
    1949 - 1953
  • materials:
    Gouache on paper
  • measurements:
    49.00 x 46.70 cm (base size); 80.50 x 78.30 x 8.00 cm (framed size)
  • object type:
  • credit line:
    From the collection of Andrew Stirling and Simonetta Stirling-Zanda, both of whom had great fondness for the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art. Accepted by HM Government in lieu of Inheritance Tax and allocated to the National Galleries of Scotland 2020
  • accession number:
    GMA 5647
  • gallery:
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Marc Chagall

Marc Chagall