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Lot n° 19

CHAGALL, MARK BERLEWI, Henryk (1894-1967), Polish...

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[CHAGALL, MARK] BERLEWI, Henryk (1894-1967), Polish painter, art critic and theoretician. "Dialogue with Chagall. Questions asked by Berlewi". Manuscript (autograph?). [1951 ?]. 14 pp. in-4, with erasures, corrections and additions. Picasso and Matisse seen by Chagall. Requisitorium against the painting of his time. The first 8 leaves are occupied by questions and the 6 others by Chagall's answers for some of them, in particular about his beginnings, colour, Picasso and Matisse. "I come from the blood of the people. Continued by my parents. It is to them that I am indebted for what I am. My talent was passed down to me by my mother. The origin of my painting? It is in the entourage of my relatives, of my little mother so sweet, so devoted, of my father working in the sweat of his brow, lifting heavy barrels of herring []. Inside me was the enchantment of the colour that I wanted to make sing outside the structure. I felt brothers in France. The colour slept in me and France woke it up. I discovered Watteau []. Dear Picasso, there is no love. Everything is cerebral []. For 25 years we have been witnessing a cult of spontaneity. Picasso and Matisse have revealed themselves as high priests of spontaneity. They are afraid and ashamed to finish a painting []. This fashion has demoralized many painters. It can be said that the vast majority are victims of this excessive cult of the unfinished []. "It evokes the "divine breath" that inspired Georges de la Tour and Vermeer. "Today's painters are incapable of this continuation in ideas in the realization of their works. It is easier to cast a few rough black lines on a white background and leave them intact and undamaged by the finish, and thus quickly obtain the patent of genius, than to embark on a hard and thankless work requiring immense efforts to develop this spontaneous first draft pictorially to the last consequence []".

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