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April 13 Art Minute: Marc Chagall, "Les sept péchés capitaux (The Seven Deadly Sins)"

A black and white print of a woman standing among bushes being stared at by a man.
Marc Chagall (Belorussian, active France, 1887–1985), "Les sept péchés capitaux (The Seven Deadly Sins)." Book with 15 etchings and drypoints, some with aquatint, plus an additional suite of 16 etchings, 1926. Texts by various authors. Published by Simon Kra, Paris. Page (untrimmed): 10 x 7 5/8 in. (25.4 x 19.3 cm). Gift of Molly and Walter Bareiss, 1984.341

For his mixed etchings illustrating the Seven Deadly Sins, Marc Chagall drew on his satirical but affectionate look at village life in his native Vitebsk, Belarus. He produced two prints for each sin; the frontispiece; and one extra etching for the sin of Lust. His self-deprecating sense of humor is perfectly highlighted by the frontispiece—a witty self-portrait of the artist at his easel, represented as Envy (or Desire), with the heads of the six other deadly sins piled upon his own.