Chagall: Daphnis & Chloé

A pioneer of modernism, Marc Chagall formulated his own symbolic system in which reverie and playfulness often reigned, presenting an ethereal, richly coloured vision of the world. The set of lithographs titled Daphnis & Chloé is seen as Chagall’s most important graphic work among his vast production. The inspiration for this series was a romantic, semi-erotic tale written by the Greek poet Longus in the second century. 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. Through fanciful compositions and bright hues he expresses the pastoral idylls of the young goatherd Daphnis and the young shepherdess Chloé on the island of Lesbos. These lithographs highlight his unique style, setting him apart from the main 20th-century pictorial currents followed by some of his contemporaries, such as Matisse and Picasso. Presenting Longus’ tale in chronological order, the exhibition includes the entire series of 42 lithographs as well as a title page adorned with a decorative drawing by Chagall portraying the two protagonists in a passionate embrace.


Friday, October 25, 2013 Thursday, February 6, 2014


Art Gallery of Alberta
2 Sir Winston Churchill Sq
Edmonton, AB T5J 2C1