When studying the voluminous output of an artist like Marc Chagall, it is instructive to examine the artist’s life. There’s a good reason for doing so: Chagall spun a story of himself that’s far removed from biographical fact. For this reason, information about his life provided by himself, his family or the Chagall Comittee always needs to be scrutinized. Description of his life and art are usually structured around his various places of residence. A structuring on the grounds of his changing basic philosophy requires detailed research, but can lead to a vision offering a deeper insight into Chagall‘s life and work.
Those who take an interest in the nearly two thousand works of graphic art created by such a prominent artist must take the time to study them. The dots can be connected by tracing sources, by documenting, by comparing. Fortunately, almost the entirety of Chagall‘s graphic art can be documented in different ways and from several approaches. A good starting point is offered by the catalogues raisonnés by Fernand Mourlot, Ambroise Vollard, E.W. Kornfeld and Gerald Cramer. Here Chagall’s fantasy is no complicating factor, but the question of the authenticity of a work of art may give rise to doubts. By its very nature, graphic art is not unique, and the sale of falsifications is a lucrative trade. Problems that keep cropping up include the type of paper or paint used, the print run, dating, numbering and the signature.
Our research has led, over the past ten years, to a flood of lectures and publications. It can also provide answers to those who are in doubt about the authenticity of their Chagall lithograph, etching or woodcut, or the signature on it. Our certificates of authenticity are valuable documents because of the detailed information they provide.