Marc Chagall, Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat, France, 1952


Gelatin silver print

35.6 x 23.9 cm (14 x 9 7/16 in.)

His face partially shadowed by a palm tree, the painter Marc Chagall stares at the photographer who is immortalizing him, himself captured in a reciprocal game as he sketches a portrait of the photographer.

Henri Cartier-Bresson takes this intimate picture of the painter, a long time friend, during a summer holiday at the villa of art critic and publisher Stratis Eleftheriadis, a.k.a. Tériade, the villa Natasha in Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat. There, the latter often gathers his entourage of well known figures of the art world. Rather than brightly illuminating his model as is conventionally done, this portrait presents him in an enigmatic light. His frowned features revealing his old age, he is represented in the midst of a creative act.

Marc Chagall, Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat, France, 1952 is presented for the first time as part of the Pinault Collection in the monographic exhibition Henri Cartier-Bresson. Le Grand Jeu at Palazzo Grassi in Venice, in 2020.